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Samsung PN59D8000

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Samsung PN59D8000

Post  Naveen Mohan on Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:24 pm

Samsung PN59D8000

The best Panasonic plasma or the best Samsung plasma? In 2011 the vessel bearing the Samsung flag is the PND8000, and while Panasonic's VT30 still deserves the nod for overall picture quality in our book, the Samsung is good enough to match the Panasonic's numeric Performance score of 9. The PND8000's picture quality is superb, and we don't expect any other TV aside from the VT30 to surpass it this year--although the less expensive PND7000 series, which we have yet to review, might equal it. The kicker, and it's a big one, is that the 59-inch Samsung PND8000 we reviewed actually costs less than the 55-inch Panasonic, while delivering a better design and even more features. Unless you're the pickiest of videophiles with the most unlimited of budgets, it's tough to justify the cost of the VT30 over the PND8000.

Thinner than its Panasonic and LG counterparts and sporting a new, more compact frame around the screen, the D8000 series gets our vote for the best-looking plasma TV available. That bezel is narrower than any plasma's we've tested, outdoing the Panasonic GT30's by 0.19 inch. The bottom edge of the frame is a bit thicker (2.13 inches), but that does nothing to spoil the PND8000's LED TV-like dimensions.
The panels of the D8000 and D7000 plasmas look basically identical. Samsung's web site says their metallic frames are colored "titanium" and "brushed black," respectively, but in person we couldn't tell any difference. We do like the D7000's stand better however, with its rectangular base and transparent stalk. The D8000's chrome-colored spider stand is a great reason to get this TV wall-mounted.

The remote included with Samsung's PND8000 and UND8000 is a flipper. The top side of the wedge-shaped rectangle offers standard TV controls that shoot infrared commands to the TV, while the bottom gets a full QWERTY keypad along with a screen, and works via Bluetooth (which doesn't need line-of-sight).
Unlike our experience with the UND8000, we had no trouble this time around pairing the clicker with the PND8000 (a necessary step to enable Bluetooth). According to Samsung, the pairing issue on the UN was due to a previous pairing performed before the review sample was sent to us; since we purchased our PN review sample directly from a merchant, rather than it being a sample sent by Samsung, its remote was never previously paired. We expect most users won't have any problems pairing.

The screen is its best feature, allowing you to see what you're typing without having to look up at the TV. Spacing and key action were improvements on the other two. Unlike the flipper found on Boxee, Samsung's can sense what side is "up" and automatically deactivate the "down" side to prevent accidental button presses.
While we appreciated the little thumb touch-cursor control better than Sony's when using the browser, it was still quite difficult to control. The lack of backlighting on the QWERTY side was a major flaw--using the remote in dim to no light ranged from annoying to impossible--and all told we actually liked using our Android phone as a remote best of all.
Samsung's new 2011 TV menus have been refreshed and also feel a bit snappier than before. The main column of adjustments, formerly transparent, is now bright opaque blue with rounded edges and good-size text. Each major menu item gets a text explanation and many are accompanied by helpful little illustrations.

As Samsung's highest-end plasma TV for 2011, the PND8000 comes equipped with the kitchen sink. The main step-up features compared with the less-expensive PND7000 are the remote described above, the ability to interface with the optional Skype camera, a Web browser, and a performance-related feature called Local Contrast Enhancer (LCE).A Samsung representative described LCE to us as an enhancement to the dynamic contrast control that automatically optimizes contrast separately for different areas of the picture. We generally leave dynamic contrast disabled to avoid such on-the-fly fluctuations as much as possible, so we don't consider LCE an improvement to picture quality.

As we mentioned above Samsung no longer offers free 3D glasses with this TV. Panasonic, on the other hand, does include one pair of glasses with its flagship TC-PVT30 series plasma. Retailers may offer promotions at their discretion, but since Samsung doesn't pack the glasses in with the TV, you'll have to check with the retailer first.

We applaud the inclusion of built-in Wi-Fi on this Samsung (as well as the D7000 and D6500 plasmas), saving the cost and hassle of the USB dongle.
This TV also features apps form Samsung App store. This includes a private Facebook Suite and a Yahoo! Messenger. There are also many other apps you would like.

The good: The Samsung PND8000 series has outstanding overall picture quality, with excellent black-level performance, and the most accurate color of any TV we've ever reviewed. It can handle bright rooms well and exhibits the nearly perfect screen uniformity of plasma, as well as superb 3D picture quality. It includes built-in Wi-Fi and a comprehensive set of picture controls. The Smart Hub Internet portal boasts more apps and streaming services than the competition, along with a functional Web browser, and is easier to use thanks to the included dual-sided Bluetooth keyboard with a screen and QWERTY keyboard. The PND8000's design is one the most attractive of any plasma we've seen.
The bad: The relatively expensive PND8000 cannot produce full shadow detail or proper 1080p/24 cadence without sacrificing some black-level performance. Smart Hub lacks Amazon Instant, its search is next to useless, and its interface can be cluttered and confusing.
The bottom line: With picture quality that's nearly the equal of the tough competition, as well as best-in-class design and features. The Samsung PND8000 makes a strong case for being the best overall plasma TV of 2011.

This TV is a perfectly built piece of machine and promises to entertain you and your family with the best visual quality there is.

This product costs around Rs.1,24,450.
Naveen Mohan
Naveen Mohan

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