Samsung Series 8 PS51D8000 3D Plasma TV

4/19/2012 3:21:44 PM

Picturesque pleasure in three dimensions

Samsung’s LED-backlit HDTV offerings has earned the lion’s share of consumers’ interest so far, and it is quite a pity little attention has been showed in the direction of their plasma lineup. The PS51D8000 on test this month is a Samsung fourth-generation plasma product fitted with 3D and Smart TV under their Series 8 range. The D8000 PDP also bears Samsung’s Plasma+1 design. By trimming its bezel’s breadth, you get an additional inch of screen estate in what was supposed to be a 50-inch panel.

Description: Samsung Series 8 PS51D8000 3D Plasma TV

Apart from this, the 51-inch D8000 is visually a dead ringer to its C8000 predecessor. The Full-HD TV features a brushed-metal bezel, framed by a transparent glass lining along the outer rims. The quad stand makes another appearance here. Most of the digital slots, including four HDMI and two USB ports, are aligned by the side. The composite and component options share the same analog jack, and in typical Samsung fashion, breakout cable is required. With a 37mm depth, this model is well suited for wall-mounts too.

Description: The D8000’s HDMI and USB ports are aligned by the side for easy access

The D8000’s HDMI and USB ports are aligned by the side for easy access

Of all the major HDTV brands, Samsung has produced one of the sleekest and lightest active-shutter glasses to date. In fact, the USB-rechargeable SSG-3700CR looks more like a pair of vogue shades rather than stereoscopic eyewear. The remote, on the other hand, remains clad in a humdrum outfit. There are redeeming attributes, however, such as a dedicated button for Samsung’s Smart Hub, plus a backlight option to illuminate the keys.

Web browser and DLNA networking features still apply, while a Samsung Smart Hub ID is required for social networking apps like Facebook and Twitter. On top of that, fans of English and Mandarin drama series can stream content via the SingTel Video Store. Noticeably, the D8000 does not feature any THX presets like Panasonic’s VT30S, but it does offer a variety of advanced picture adjustments such as 10-point White Balance under the Movie mode.

Performance wise, the Series 8 delivered excellent color gradations with minimal banding (or compression) on our DisplayMate test patterns. It also demonstrated respectable video de-interlacing, scaling, motion processing, and noise reduction capabilities with SD and HD material.

Details were nicely retained without compromising black depths as compared to the LG PZ950. On the whole, the D8000 is a laudable improvement over last year’s collection, although Samsung has yet to top the Panasonic VT30S in this area. Observably, the PDP’s black levels can be further enhanced by priming the TV’s Black Tone to Dark as well. The Series 8 also performed admirably in the 3D aspect, where crosstalk is almost absent. The display’s Cell Light (phosphor brightness levels) and Contrast are set to the maximum by default when in 3D mode.

On the other hand, minor image retention can be a niggling factor, plus the panel’s glossy treatment doesn’t make it suitable for viewing in brighter environments despite the presence of Samsung’s Real Black filters.

At a glance

Display area: 51-inch

Panel type: Clear image Plasma panel

Native resolution: 1920x1080

Aspect ratio: 16:9

Price: $3,499



Tuners: Analog and DVB-T

Engine: 3D HyperReal Engine

Features: Smart Hub, Samsung Apps, Web Browser, 2D to 3D Conversion, 24p Real Cinema, Skype-Ready

Connectivity: 4x HDMI 1.4a, 2x USB, Component, Composite, VGA, LAN, Optical Audio Out, Headphone Out, PC Audio-in

Speakers: 2x 10 watts with Dolby Digital Plus

Standby power: Under 1-watt

Dimensions: 1196x802x310mm (with stand)

Weight: 25.4 kg (with stand)







Verdict: 9.0

Physique: 9.0

Features: 9.0

User-friendliness: 8.5

Performance: 9.0

Value: 8.5

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