Samsung PN58C7000 Review

Model: Samsung PN58C7000
Description: Full HD 1080p 58" Plasma TV 3D TV Compatible
Includes Swivel Table Top Stand. Does not include 3D glasses.
Reviewer: Jack Burden
Date: Fall 2010

Samsung PN58C7000 Review

We've been reviewing plasma and LCD flat screen TVs for 11 years. When we find a great picture, we're ecstatic. While we were a little disappointed this year with the picture performance of the C550 series by Samsung, we were crazy about the C8000 plasma. The C7000 series is the next to highest line in the 2010 plasma lineup for Samsung. It comes with that all-important new feature – 3D TV Ready and has generally the same features as the C8000. In fact, the only feature differences lacking in the C7000 that are included in the C8000 plasma is 1 USB port, and lack of the Cinema Smooth Technology which is a judder reduction feature that we were not fond of anyway.

Test and Optimum Viewing Distance: 15 feet

Samsung PN58C8700 Post-Calibration Picture Settings
Picture Mode: CAL-DAY
Cell Light 18
Constrast 92
Brightness 57
Sharpness 0
Color 46
Tint G48/R52
Color tone WARM2
Digital Noise Filter OFF
MPEG Noise Filter OFF
For Complete Picture Settings Click Here

Samsung PN58C7000 Review
This grayscale ramp shows very uniform color during calibration of the C7000.

Samsung PN58C7000 Review
Though this is just a standard definition DVD of Wedding Crashers, the image is clean and crisp without motion artifacts. It almost appears HD.

Picture Quality: With both high def and standard definition programming the PN58C7000 displays an exceptionally balanced and realistic picture. Colors are not over saturated but still have plenty of pop. Black levels are excellent and dark shadow detail is very good. Viewing angles are perfect. We recommend leaving the Motion Judder Controller off due to destruction of natural background blur. Judder will then be apparent in some film based scenes, but that's just a natural part of 3:2 conversion that we can accept. Motion effects were minimal and the picture quality has a smooth uniform appearance that we do not often encounter. The processing chips in this TV do a wonderful job of up converting standard definition DVDs and other source material. The picture reveals clean lines without a background noise and false edges.

Samsung PN58C7000 Review
A shot from the HD Blu Ray version of Wyatt Earp. The TV presents images with a smooth film-like quality.

3D TV Viewing: I guess the main question when asking whether it's worth it to buy a 3D TV is, "does it improve my viewing experience"? I'm going out on a limb and leaning toward yes, though I must admit that I had a pinched headache afterwards. No one has been able to watch enough 3D programming to know whether or not it is strongly preferred to 2D viewing. But I'll give it a slight thumbs up for now. The C7000 made me feel more involved during viewing. There is some flashing effects from the 3D shutter glasses in situations where lamp light or window light interfered with the receiver on the glasses (often when turning your head) so be wary of surrounding light when viewing.

Samsung PN58C7000 Review
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in 3D. The picture is taken through one lens of the 3D shutter glasses, therefore will not show the 3D image.

3D TV Glasses: We liked the optional Samsung 3D glasses for two reasons. First, they look natural like a large pair of sunglasses with their burgundy frames and they are rechargeable.

Samsung PN58C8700 Review
Samsung 3D Shutter Glasses (sold separately)

Black Level/Contrast: Blacks appear saturated from the black/purple plasma screen panel. The black bars top and bottom during movies appear inky black. Contrast measured a respectable 1688:1. Details in dark areas of the picture were clearly visible.

Viewing angles were perfect at the most extreme side angles with no contrast degradation.

We recommend keeping the Motion Judder Controller feature off for all but possibly sports programming. The feature distorts the picture by reducing natural background blur thus presenting an unnatural looking soap opera effect to the picture.

Internet: Samsung has expanded the Internet lineup on the PN58C7000 to include Yahoo!, Netflix, Blockbuster, twitter, Facebook, USA Today, Pandora, Napster, You Tube, Google Maps, Daily Motion, and Samsung Apps which gives options on gaming and sports and other material. This is perhaps one of the beset Internet suite options available. Samsung is adding new options at a faster rate than many TV manufacturers.

3D TV Glasses: The Samsung 3D shutter glasses are battery powered and very comfortable. I also liked the red burgundy color which made them appear more natural and similar to sunglasses. There is a less expensive battery powered option are around $119 and are not rechargeable. The battery has a short life span so if you are planning on watching more than a couple of programs in 3D we recommend the $199 rechargeable glasses.

Samsung PN58C7000 Review
The rechargeable Samsung 3D shutter glasses are charged through the USB out on the TV or a computer.

Design and Appearance: The Samsung PN58C7000 by contrast is a beautiful TV with less than a 2" framing bezel and with many design elements including a clear neck on the chrome swiveling table top stand, a matte dark charcoal (brushed black) metallic finish on the bezel frame, sleek 1.4" depth, and a dark black/purple screen. The heavy and attractive accompanying stand swivels to 20 degrees. Samsung calls the bezel a Touch of Color Brushed Black.

Samsung PN58C7000 Review
Samsung PN58C7000.

Remote Control/Menu Funtionality: The included remote control is superb with a heavy expensive feel, matte metal chrome finish (no fingerprints), sleek thin design and great layout. Every button also lights up for a second upon depression. The menu system presents itself as an colorful overlay with a convenient tutorial feature appearing in the bottom of the screen. Menu options are very complete.

Samsung PN58C7000 Review

Samsung PN58C7000 Review
The menu system presents itself as an overlay with a convenient tutorial feature appearing in the bottom of the screen. The menu is thorough enough if not a bit tedious to maneuver around.

Audio Output Quality: Audio output was impressive from the 15W X 15W speakers. There was plenty of volume to fill a large room at the 50% level. Use the Clear Voice feature as much as possible for added voice definition. We are a big fan of voice/dialog enhancement features. Music was not great but we felt the sound quality was well balanced. The audio category on this TV could be improved, but is not a weakness either.

Picture Mode Features: P. Mode button controls preset picture mode options Dynamic, Standard, Relax, Movie, Cal-Night, Cal-Day. The last two options are there for calibrated picture settings to be viewed during daylight or times with lots of room light. Obviously, the Cal-Night may use darker backlighting and lower contrast settings. The calibrated picture settings we recommend above are good for a combination between average and darker light rooms. Picture settings are discreet per input.

With 3D TV compatibility and a competitive price of $2425 we think this model will be a good seller this year. It's simply got a great picture, and excellent Internet options. I would buy it just for the picture quality alone. Competition is from the Panasonic TC-P58VT25 which sells for a few hundred dollars more. Some LEDs also compete in this are but if you want 3D compatibility one of the only competitors is Samsung with the UN55C8000.

Rating scale from 70 (denoting poorest quality) to 100 (signifying the very best quality). Picture quality is double-weighted in the Overall Rating Score calculation.

Review Equipment Used: Sony Blu Ray BDP-S1 High Definition DVD player, Sony DVP-S50 DVD player, Sencore Color Pro 5000, Sencore Auto Cal Pro, Sencore signal generator, SpectreCal X-rite Pro Meter Reader, Cal Man Software.

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