Samsung PN51E7000 vs. Panasonic TC-P50GT50 Shootout

Comparison of Features, Picture Quality and 3D



Panasnonic vs Samsung 2012For the past two years we have conducted a comparison review of some of the top tier lines from Samsung and Panasonic. This year we are choosing the next to highest end Plasma 3D TVs from these two manufacturers, both of which represent exceptional value in both 3D performance and top picture quality and features performance. Keep in mind that calibration in these plasma TV offerings is important to obtaining the best possible picture quality.

3D TV programming still looks best on Plasma TVs from our perspective due to receiving full 1080p to each eye and also due to the picture nature of plasma TVs through colored phosphors.

Picture Quality

Picture Capability

Though I felt it was very close this year I gave the nod to Panasonic on overall picture quality due to the new advanced louvered filter Infinite Black Ultra panel that is included in the GT50. Blacks are 1.5 times deeper. To me there seemed to be more advancement in black levels nearing that pitch point at which the panel can go no further. Another factor in choosing the Panasonic was its new 24,000 steps of transition in grayscale – leading to more fluid color transition throughout the picture.

Advantage: Panasonic TC-P50GT50

Panasonic TC-P50GT50
The Panasonic TC-P50GT50 3D Plsama TV

Picture Calibration

We're separating this category out for this year due to difficulties in dialing in the Panasonic to D6500. It can obviously be dialed in, it just requires more effort through the 10 point white balance menu. Once, done it looks great. The Samsung PN51E7000 was very easy to calibrate to D6500 – out of the box near perfect in the Warm 1 picture setting mode.

Advantage: Samsung PN51E7000

3D TV Viewing

Both the Panasonic and Samsung plasmas are full active 3D TVs so they both show considerable depth, detail and full 1080p to each eye when viewing. There have been advancements in both and I have to comment that I like the 2012 Samsung 3D glasses slightly better, but aside from that they both leave nothing to be desired in 3D processing and display.

Advantage: Draw

Standard Definition Picture Quality

Though manufacturers rarely focus on this resolution signal it is important due to the fact that many cable signals and especially signals from streaming video services like Netflix have fairly poor compressed signal resolution. For whatever reason, the Samsung PN51E7000 processes the signal more smoothly with less grain and artifacts.

Advantage: Samsung PN51E7000

Contrast Ratio Measurement

Measuring contrast on
the Samsung PN51E7000

As with last year the Panasonic TC-P50GT50 wins by registering a contrast ration above 2100:1 post calibration contrast. Samsung's contrast is slightly better for 2012 while black levels are richer.

Advantage: Panasonic TC-P50GT50

Audio Sound Quality

Last year this section was a draw as both TVs had good solid sound quality characteristics but Panasonic has innovated here with the new 3D Real Sound Feature with 8-train speakers. The TV actually fools you into believing the sound is coming from the very center of the screen rather than from the bottom mounted speakers. It works exceptionally well for this often overlooked feature on a TV. Samsung's PN51E7000 sound is very good for todays flat screen TV. It's just not comparable with that new 3D Real Sound feature.

Advantage: Panasonic TC-P50GT50

Internet Options

Although Panasonic has made strides in the Internet Apps area through use of a Cloud based storage system which speeds Apps loading time, it still does not have the breadth of Samsung's Smart TV Smart Hub offerings which include over 1500 Apps now and just added Angry Birds to its growing list. Samsung also has the most third party developers working on their TV Apps.

Advantage: Samsung PN51E7000

Samsung PN51E7000
The Samsung PN51E7000 3D Plsama TV

Design and Appearance

Oh, Panasonic has made such strides in the 2012 years GT50 series with a thinner frame in a nice black color. The panel is also much thinner at just over an inch. Even with the effort the Samsung PN51E7000 didnt even have to change its design to win this category again. The charcoal black brushed aluminum frame with acrylic edges just looks too sharp – though if it were competing with the new "window" look of Samsung and LG LED TVs it would lose this challenge.

Advantage: Samsung PN51E7000

Remote Control, Features and Menu Functionality

Panasonics GT50 series does not receive the little touchpad mouse remote control like the VT50. Smasung includes their dual sided QWERTY remote control in the E7000 this year. Both TVs have a full web browser and built in Wifi. Panasonic's TC-P50GT50 has access to the Touhpad remote control software for iPad, iPhone or other touchpad devices from Android which is cool to have. Both TVs have a good solid menu system that is easy to navigate. Given the choice I would take the QERTY remote over the App for iPad since I do not want to rely on it being in front of the TV.

Advantage: Samsung PN51E7000

Value/Price Considerations

These two superb plasma TV offerings are priced similarly well and will be two of the go-to best values in the market for 2012.

Advantage: Draw

Overall Scoring

Panasonic TC-P50GT50 Winner 3 Categories

Samsung PN51E7000 Winner 5 Categories

2 Draws

Note: Though the Samsung PN51E7000 ended up with more category wins, the arguably most important ones went to the Panasonic TC-P50GT50 - Overall picture quality and Sound quality.

TV Extended Warranties from DTV Express