Samsung PN51D8000 Review
Description: Samsung PN59D8000, 51" 1080p, Plasma 3D TV
Dimensions:47.1" (W) x 28.3" (H) x 1.5" (D) Without Stand
Stand Depth: 13.8"
Date: Late Summer 2011
This shot from The Transporter shows the excellent flesh tone and detail in this close up of Jason Statham
- Great Looks, cool stand
- Excellent Standard Definition up conversion
- Film-like picture quality experience
- Black Levels Excellent
- Full Web Browser
- Audio Quality/Inbuilt Speakers
- Good Value for Large Sizes
- 3D Viewing
- Lower contrast due to lower measurement for peak whites
- QWERTY Remote difficult to use and not backlit
Samsung's C8000 series plasma was our favorite TV last year, hands down. We were the first company to review a plasma TV way back in year 2000 and last year's C8000 series was one of the best pictures we have seen since the Pioneer Kuro. The entire office was blown away by it's performance, picture quality and overall good looks. In 2011 one of Samsung's theme for plasmas is "+1", by making the bezel even thinner they are adding 1 diagonal inch to every size of plasma, 59 replaces 58, 64 replaces 63 and so on. With the smaller bezel the physical size of the TV remains the same even though the screen is larger.
HD Picture Quality: 9/10
As mentioned this was our top rated TV from last year with an overall rating of 9.45/10. Unfortunately, Samsung did make a few changes that hurt the picture quality slightly. The reason for that appears to be energy consumption. A yellow sticker on the TV touts the dollar usage per year at $35 per year. I think I would rather pay an extra dollar a month to get better brightness. As you know, plasma TVs use more power to produce white and light colors, though the D8000 has lost some of it's light output and brightness from last year.
A shot from The Sting shows great color saturation in the D8000. The TV present a theater-like picture quality
That said, this is still one of the best pictures we will see this year and probably the most film-like. There is a smooth calm precision to the picture on these high end Samsung plasma TVs that just cant be matched by LED-LCD TVs. That's the case with the D8000 picture. Colors are accurate and black levels are extremely deep. The Samsung PN59D8000 displays wonderfully balanced color information and uniformity. Images are presented in a clean and clear manner devoid of artifacts, with colors properly saturated.
Standard Definition Picture Quality: 9/10
Of course Samsung puts their top end processor in the D8000 so up conversion from lower resolution signals is smooth and well done. Picture quality is excellent from lower resolution sources. We still recommend turning off the Motion Judder Controller especially for standard definition programming where natural background blur is more important.
Features Rating: 9.5
Appearance: The new slimmer bezel and the dark silver matte metal finish (Samsung calls the color Titan Black) combine to give this TV ultra expensive airs. It looks much darker in person than it does in the pictures. It's one of the best looking TVs in the market for 2011. Depth is super thin at just over an inch. Another change is the table top stand which this year is the chrome quadrapod 4 -legged cool dude. We like it. It's something unique and different and its functionally sound.
The remote for the D8000 includes a full QWERTY keyboard on the back that makes using the web browser and search features much more convenient.
Audio Output Quality: Sound quality is much better on this 1.5" plasma than on similar depth LED-LCD TVs – even Samsungs. Why, I have no idea. The 15W X 15W speakers deliver a richer, fuller sound than most TVs these days. There was plenty of volume to fill a large room at the 50% level. We've always like the Clear Voice feature in the past.
Value Rating: 9/10
Plasma TVs are really bringing it in the value category. This 51 inch D8000 sells for $1900 from authorized Internet dealers. It has a slew of features and is 1 inch larger than a 50" panel. When shopping for this TV, Samsung has often included a promotion for two free pairs of glasses or the 3D Starter kit which has two pair of glasses and two movies. Competition is ever present from Panasonic with the TC-P55VT30 which is 4 inches larger. Also try the top end LG 50PZ950.
Overall Rating: 9.2/10