Snapshot of 2009 Plasma TV Top
Best 42" Plasma TV
The best 42 inch plasma TV, Panasonic TC-P42G10 features exceptional black levels and highly accurate colors. Though TC-P42S1 offers similar black levels, TC-P42G10 is superior to it and every other 42 inch plasma TV through the THX certification and the high number of features.
Best 42" Value for Money
Similar to G10 model, the TC-P42S1 offers comparable picture quality. The black levels being exceptional on this model as well. Colors are slightly less accurate as S1 does not have THX mode and the set of features is not as impressive. However, this plasma TV is available at a lower price.
Best Cheap 42" Plasma TV
Panasonic TC-P42X1 is a budget 42 inch plasma TV. It is much cheaper than the high-end and mid-end models, especially because the panel has a native resolution of 720p. Though the picture quality is very good for a model in this price class, the plasma panel is not the new NeoPDP from 2009 and the set of features is limited.
Cheap 42" Plasma TV
Targeted at consumers without high demands, Samsung PN42B450 is another budget plasma TV. Just as Samsung TC-P42X1 it has 720p native resolution and a basic set of features. Since it is an entry-level model, it is a relatively cheap plasma TV. However, considering its price, the picture quality is pretty good.
Best 46" Plasma TV
The best in this size class, Panasonic TC-P46G10 impresses through it’s picture quality. It has impressive black levels, and thanks to the presence of THX mode the color accuracy is very good. The feature set is the most impressive found in a plasma TV of this size. Naturally, being a high-end model, TV-P46G10 is also a relatively expensive one.
Best 46" Value for Money
Panasonic TC-P46S1, as all plasma TVs from S1 series, offers superb picture quality. Though the black levels are exceptional, just as on G10, it lacks THX mode and because of that the colors are slightly inaccurate. From the perspective of its features, it is somewhere in the middle, offering a very good balance between number of features, quality and price.
Best Cheap 46" Plasma TV
Panasonic TC-P46U1 is a 1080p entry-level plasma TV. That means the picture quality is not exceptional, nor is the feature set. The panel is not the new NeoPDP from 2009 but the older G12 Progressive HD PDP. Because of that, black levels are not comparable to those found on NeoPDP models above, nor is color accuracy. It does however have the price advantage, as it is a pretty cheap plasma TV.
Pioneer Elite PRO-111FD
Best High-End Plasma TV
A model from the 2nd generation of Pioneer Kuro Elite HDTVs, the PRO-111FD is Pioneer’s flagship in the 50 inch class. This is the best plasma TV money can buy, and you will need plenty of money if you want to take this baby home. Pioneer Elite PRO-111FD has 5 times better black levels than its predecessors and offers outstanding picture quality. While the extra features and collor controlls seem to be the reason for the higher price (compared to PDP-5020FD), in practice the real advantage is the awesome picture. Though it has a full array of color controlls you won’t need them because the picture is perfect out of the box. The “Elite” designation perfectly describes the target audience of this Plasma TV. This is now a discontinued plasma TV, as Pioneer exited the TV business, however if you can get your hands on one, you will have the best HDTV of all times.
Best High-End Plasma TV
In the 50 inch class, Panasonic TC-P50V10 is the best plasma TV model from 2009. Though it is Panasonic’s bet model so far, it does not manage to outperform Pioneer Kuro (now discontinued) when it comes to black levels. Even so, it does outperform any other HDTV (including LED LCD TVs) when it comes to black levels. Color accuracy is very good if you use THX mode and the set of features is enough, even for most demanding users. One other area where Panasonic TC-P50V10 shines is video processing. It handles 1080p/24 content perfectly and pretty much everything that has to do with video processing is top notch.
Best High-End Plasma TV
This year, Samsung managed to bring significant improvements to their plasma TV black levels. Samsung PN50B650 is a model that clearly benefits from this, being quite close to Panasonic high-end models. Aside from the impressive black levels, the PN50B650 is blessed perfect colors out of the box. In terms of features and controls it slightly tops Panasonic models, offering more picture adjustment modes.
Best Consumer Plasma TV
Though in 2008 it was #2 in our top, just below Pioneer Kuro Elite, this year we had to drop PDP-5020FD on a lower position. This is because though it does have the best black levels and an impressive overall picture quality, when it comes to features it lacks plenty compared to 2009 plasma TVs from Panasonic and Samsung. Also it has slight issues with color accuracy compared to Panasonic V10 and Samsung B650 models. Note that this is now a discontinued model and you might have a hard time finding it.
Best 50" High-End Value for Money
With black levels similar to those of TC-P50V10 and very good color accuracy thanks to the THX mode, Panasonic TC-P50G10 is one of the best plasma TVs from 2009. Feature-wise it has pretty much everything you can expect from a high-end plasma TV, however Samsung remains superior in this area. One of the areas where it doesn’t perform as good as it’s V10 brother is 1080p/24 content which produces flicker.
Best 50" Mid-End Plasma TV
With excellent black level performance, similar to V10 and G10 models, the TC-P50S1 is the best mid-level plasma TV on the market. It has a very good picture quality overall, and though it lacks THX certification, which means the color accuracy is not great, it is one of the best plasma TVs around. TC-P50S1 has less features than the high-end models, however this keeps its price down.
Good 50" Mid-End Plasma TV
Samsung PN50B550 is a mid-end plasma TV that offers a better price to quality ratio compared to PN50B650. It is a very good plasma TV if you do not afford the models above. While it doesn’t perform as well as the Samsung series 6 models, it does offer very good black levels and Samsung’s specific high-quality colors. Compared to series 6 models, that pack a lot of features, this model has only the basics. That means you get no Internet connectivity, DLNA or other fancy stuff. Overall, for the price you pay, it is a very good HDTV.
Best Cheap 50" Plasma TV
If you are looking for a 50 inch 720p plasma TV, Panasonic PC-P50X1 is the best out there. It is an entry-level plasma TV and should not be compared with the high-end models. Not only it is 720p but it also lack the quality and features of those high-end models. On the other side, it is significantly cheaper and for an entry-level plasma TV it offers an exceptional picture quality.
Best 54" Plasma TV
The deepest black levels of a 2009 plasma TV together with the highly accurate colors produced by its THX mode, make Panasonic TC-P54V10 the best 54 inch plasma TV on the market. Aside from the fantastic overall picture quality, TC-P54V10 is packed with features as you might expect from a high-end plasma TV. Such high quality however, comes with a price to match it.
Best 54" Value for Money
Panasonic G10 series, of which TC-P54G10 is a member of, features exceptional picture quality. With black levels matching the slightly more expensive V10 model and generally high picture quality, this Panasonic plasma TV is one of the best. Color accuracy is great thanks to the THX certification, and the features are enough to satisfy most consumers. This HDTV, also happens to offer a better balance between pice and quality than the more expensive TC-P54V10.
Best 54" Mid-End Plasma TV
Though its color accuracy is not as good as that of the high-end G10 and V10 models, specifically because it is not THX certified, Panasonic TC-P54S1 offers the best bang for the buck. Lacking some of the features present in high-end models, this plasma TV will give you great quality for an affordable price. It is built on top of the new NeoPDP panel from Panasonic and that means exceptional black levels and lower power consumption.
Best 58" Plasma TV
The catchy slim design is not the only thing that impresses at Samsung PN58B860. This model from Series 8 is a step-up of PN58B650 below and aside from the difference in design, it is similar to that. The black levels are deep, being much better compared to past Samsung models. Color accuracy is exceptional as well, PN58B860 requiring no calibration in order to get a superb picture. If you want this plasma TV, you will have to pay a premium for its features and especially the slim design.
Best 58" Value for Money
Samsung PN58B650 is the slightly thicker brother of PN58B860. While it might not be as impressive through its depth size, in terms of picture quality is just as good. The extra inch makes it more affordable, being a plasma TV that offers a better bang for the buck. Samsung PN58B650 has the same impressive black levels as the PN58B860, the same color accuracy, and even the set of features is similar.
Very Good Quality and Lower Price
Samsung PN58B550 is a step-down model that sacrifices some features present in the top-of-the-line in favor of a better price. If you can live without the exotic features as Internet @ TV, DLNA and PIP, this plasma TV will prove to be a very good choice, especially since it costs less. In terms of picture quality it performs extremely well. It is not exactly as impressive as the top-of-the-line models, however it does offer one of the best price to quality ratios.
Pioneer Elite PRO-151FD
Best Large High-End Plasma TV
The 60 inch model in the Pioneer 2nd generation of Kuro Elite plasma TVs is, as one might expect, the best HDTV money can buy
in this size class. The picture quality and black levels are absolutelly impressive, same as for its smaller brother - PRO-111FD.
At 60 inch in diagonal, Pioneer Kuro Elite PRO-151FD is smaller than largest Panasonic and Samsung models but it does compensate
through great quality. The premium features and quality specific for Pioneer’s Elite line will cost you, as usual, an extra $1000 over the regular Kuro price.
Pioneer Kuro PDP-6020FD
Best Large Plasma TV
Sharing the same 60 inch display as the Elite version, Pioneer Kuro PDP-6020FD is also impressive. Same deep black levels and amazing picture quality
make this the best consumer plasma TV among all large models. It lacks the extra features of the Elite version and doesn’t have quite the same picture quality but that also makes it less expensive. If
you can settle for a plasma TV that isn’t the biggest or you prefer quality to size, Pioneer PDP-6020FD is your best choice.
Larger & with Good Quality
Samsung PN63B590 is an obvious choice if you are looking for a large plasma TV. With superb colors and significantly better black levels than previous Samsung models, this is a plasma TV you can’t go wrong with. It doesn’t have exotic features like internet connectivity, however at this screen size we think it is a good thing because it keeps the cost down. Also, if you like 1080p/24, this model has it (as opposed to PN63B550 below).
Good Quality, Large Size, Lower Price
Samsung PN63B550 is very similar with its brother, the PN63B590. It has great black level performance and beautiful colors. Overall it offers a superb picture quality and performance. Though it is a step-down version of PN63B590, there are not huge differences between them – PN63B550 has no Cinema Smoothing Mode (1080p/24p) and the screen filter is better on PN63B590.
This top is outdated and kept only as an archive record on site. It is possible that some if not all of the models in this top have been discontinued and are no longer available on the market. If you wish to buy a plasma TV, please consult the current top of best plasma TV
models available on homepage.
This is a snapshot of how the top of best plasma TV models looked during the last half of 2009 and first half of 2010. We keep this as an archive for those that are interested in which models scored best during this period of time.