A tad lower on the performance scale, if compared with its more expensive brother Samsung PN50C8000, Samsung PN50C7000 has about everything one would expect from a model that aims to score among the best plasma TV models released in 2010. Besides being 3D capable, the model also delivers excellent 2D image quality, which is not to be taken lightly since 3D content is actually quite scarce and it cannot really count for making or breaking consumers’ choices in new HDTVs. Slight issues with accessing the applications Samsung’s proprietary system offers for access with this trendy television set, as well as the fact that sources in 1080p/24 format are not handled quite well, mar a little the praise Samsung PN50C7000 should deserve. However, if you are willing to let these slide, and you do not mind that the manufacturer did not care about adding a pair of 3D glasses with this 3D plasma TV, then you may find it to be one of best plasma TV models on the market right now.
- Excellent blacks
- Overall great picture quality
- A wide array of streaming options
- No 3D glasses included
- 1080p/24 performance subpar for a model of this caliber
- Not as energy efficient as LCD TV models
It is true that you will search in vain for a pair of 3D glasses when the package containing your new Samsung PN50C7000 is delivered to your door (something that Panasonic TC-P50VT25 comes equipped with), but, on the other hand, the fact that this 3D plasma TV has a special feature allowing the conversion of 2D content into 3D makes it stand out of the crowd. Also, when compared with the competition, represented mostly by Panasonic TC-P50VT25 and Panasonic TC-P50VT20, it has much more options for online entertainment. Internet@TV is readily available, offering access to services like Netflix, VUDU, and Blockbuster, among many others, and Samsung Apps are very much appreciated, as well.
Samsung PN50C7000 sports a clean, classic design, which may not be as sleek as the latest LCD TVs, like LG Infinia 50PK950, but it is still slim enough to make heads turns. The see through stalk and the brushed metal stand complete the picture, and you will surely not be disappointed with the design exhibited by this 50 inch plasma TV.
There are not many differences between Samsung PN50C7000 and Samsung PN50C8000 (the flagship model of the manufacturer for 2010) when it comes to connectivity, but still, the ones that exist may be considered important by some consumer. The 3D plasma TV that is reviewed here has wireless capabilities, but no integrated Wi-Fi. On the other hand, everything else is in place, and with 4 HDMI outputs, 2 USB ports, and one Ethernet port, there is almost nothing to complain about. There is no S-video, this is true, but not many find it as necessary as in the past. The Samsung plasma TV model also has one PC input – so you can use it as monitor for your computer when you play game – and one digital audio output for great sound fidelity.
When evaluating the performance of a model like Samsung PN50C7000, you need to consider both the 3D TV performance, and the 2D performance. As far as the first is concerned, the abilities of this 50 inch plasma TV are on par with competitive models like Panasonic TC-P50VT25. Also, its 2D capabilities are nothing to sneeze at, since picture quality is great indeed, because of its very accurate levels of blacks and vivid colors. Video processing does not fall behind either, although engaging the 1080p/24 mode pose some problems. All these will be explained more thoroughly below.
For any plasma TV, and HDTVs in general, the intensity of blacks is very important because it says a lot about picture quality (which is, undoubtedly, still the main reason why people with enough cash to go around prefer one model over another). The blacks on Samsung PN50C7000 are pretty amazing, and they are better than one can see on the competition models, like LG Infinia 50PK950, and Panasonic TC-P50G20. Still, despite sporting the same Real Black filter as Samsung PN50C8000, its blacks are not as good as seen on the flagship model. Overall, the black levels are solid and stable, yet, shadow detail may be a little obscured at times, and somehow under what Panasonic TC-P50G20 can sport.
This is one area where Samsung PN50C7000 pulls it off quite nicely. Overall, color accuracy is excellent, despite some very small issues, such as the primary colors turning a little too vivid in certain movie scenes. On the other hand, the dark areas or shadowy scenes do not turn bluish, like it is happening on other plasma TV models.
Samsung PN50C7000 is full HD, which means that it is perfectly capable of playing high definition content. Still, the main reason for discontent is related to the hitches that can be encountered when the 1080p/24 mode is engaged (that is, when you want to play a Blu-ray disc, and watch a movie in its natural cadence). As the Cinema Smooth technology is reserved only for Samsung PN50C8000, its absence is easily noticeable, and it can be deemed as being particularly annoying, especially if you are a videophile in search of an authentic movie experience.
There is a very important reason why all plasma TV manufacturers try to do their best when introducing new filters. The new Real Black filter from Samsung aims to reduce glare and reflections, and it does succeed, its success being worth noticing. You will encounter fewer problems with glare when you watch TV on this Samsung plasma TV, no matter the light conditions in the room, as the new filter really strives to get the job done.
Since Samsung PN50C7000 is a 3D plasma TV, we need to talk a little about how the model performs in this area. One issue encountered by many 3D TV models released in 2010, whether they are plasma TVs, or LCD TVs, is the crosstalk. It is worth mentioning that Samsung PN50C7000 solves the problem quite well, and image accuracy for 3D content is really great, and superior when compared to models like Sony Bravia XBR-52HX900, or other LCD TVs. Its 3D performance is really on par with Panasonic TC-P50VT25 when it comes to eliminating crosstalk, which is very important, since these are the best 3D TV models on the market. Also, image quality is very good, and the amount of noticeable details is pretty high. All in all, it can be said that Samsung PN50C7000 is a very good performer as a 3D plasma TV.
With so much buzz going around the new 3D wave, we may be tempted to forget about how important is to have a TV that still sports great standard definition performance. Playing your favorite DVDs, or watching regular broadcasting can be done easily and with no hassles, since performance is quite great for this 50 inch plasma TV. The noise reduction capabilities are solid, and image artifacts are not a bother, even when more demanding images are displayed on the screen.
Samsung PN50C7000 is a model that is worth a second look. Lacking only a few things, when compared with its brother Samsung PN50C8000, like integrated Wi-Fi, and Cinema Smooth technology, it still delivers great image quality in 3D, 2D, standard and full HD. Any type of content can be played on this screen, and you will not be disappointed, as its capabilities are truly amazing. Scoring among the best plasma TV models released in 2010, Samsung PN50C7000 is a complete product, with excellent connectivity, and great entertainment options that can be accessed online.
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