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Samsung PN63C8000 63-Inch 1080p 3D Plasma HDTV
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- 3D HDTV
- Crystal Full HD Engine with Cinema Smooth?
- Exceeds ENERGY STAR® standards
- SAMSUNG SMART TV
- ConnectShare? Movie
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Get a true cinematic experience without going to the cinema with a Samsung plasma HDTV. This Samsung PN63C8000, with Mega Dynamic Contrast Ratio makes sure every frame is saturated with dense, rich color. Samsung is also ENERGY STAR compliant so you are assured that your 63 -inch plasma HDTV is helping the environment by using less enery while saving you money.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
When looking for a new TV, my #1 concern was and is 2D picture quality in a large sized flat panel screen. I could care less about 3D - I think 3D is a stupid gimmick, but because most of the top end TVs with the best 2D quality have it, I was stuck looking mostly at 3D capable TVs. For this reason, I'm actually happy the Samsung doesn't come with 3D glasses as that would add another $100 or so to the price. I also wanted true 1080p/24 capability, and to my surprise only a handful of TVs offer this, which was surprising given Blu-ray has been available for awhile now. When I started my search, I was absolutely certain that I wanted an LED LCD TV, but after doing some research and looking at TVs in stores, I was surprised to learn that Plasma isn't dead yet, in fact IMO it's the best choice for large screens (over 50"). Five years ago when I bought my sony I was turned off to plasma due to 1) risk of burn in and 2) the high gloss screens didn't do well in light or bright environments. In my opinion, both of these issues have been put to bed and Plasma deserves a very close look.
I read the CNET reviews (both editor and user) as well as many Amazon and other reviews as I could. I also went to Best Buy and looked at the competing models/technologies, though honestly I think going to such stores is not very helpful because you never know about the connection and the terrible overhead flourescent lighting does a poor job of represented how the TV will look in your house. Suffice to say, based on this research (and the in store look) I determined that Plasma TVs in general (and this Samsung in particular) would offer the best choice based on my viewing needs - mostly movies, HD TV, some gaming. I don't watch a lot of sports, but wanted the capability for when I do (and Plasma seems to handle the motion better than LED/LCD). The room my TV is in does have some ambient light although it does have good blinds, I wanted a TV that would look ok with some ambient light.
I've had this TV up and running since this morning, and have a few observations:
1) As expected (confirming my in store look as well as other reviews), picture quality is excellent. I'm very happy. The color was a bit off out of the box, but I went to CNET.com and printed off their recommended calibration settings - it look me about 10 minutes to complete the calibration and I'm happy with the results, though I'm sure I'll continue to tweak them over time. If you print off the CNET recommended settings (just go to their review of the TV and click the link), the calibration is very easy to complete even for the technology challenged. Picture from the HD cable box looks very good, picture for a blu-ray through my PS3 looks out of this world. After calibrating, I watched some Top Gear on BBC America HD and the picture quality was very good. Then I popped a Blu Ray of Revolver on my PS3 and was blown away - in particular there were several scenes in the film with old black cadillacs, and the black paint on the Caddys looked spectacular - deep black, clean, and glossy.
2) It does very well with some ambient light. This was one of the strengths of this TV highlighted in the CNET and other reviews, and I'm very happy with the performance of the Samsung in this regard.
3) It's huge - but I'm glad I went with the 63". I have mine in a 15x20 room (oriented with the TV against one of the shorter 15' walls). If you're on the fence, don't be afraid to go with the bigger size.
4) Many reviews commented that the TVs internal speakers are a weak point. My old Sony had excellent speakers, so I was a bit worried about this. In my opinion, these speakers are just fine for normal TV viewing, though a bit weak for movies. I do plan to purchase a home theater system. (edit: I ended up purchasing a Marantz SR5005 Audio Video Receiver (Black) receiver and a 5.1 speaker system from Aperion Audio ... I do recommend if you buy this TV you at least upgrade to a soundbar if not a home theater system).
5) It looks great and as noted it is very thin - very nice for a plasma screen of this size.
6) It's packed with features. Netflix streaming is a cool feature although I already had the capability on my PS3. It's got plenty of inputs - and a great feature is the inputs are oriented parallel to the TV, which is a great convenience (almost a necessity) if you want to mount your TV close to the wall.
7) Finally, the infamous BUZZING: Does it buzz? Well, mine does have a slight buzz. Emphasis on slight. In my opinion, it's not unusually loud compared to other household electronics/appliances that may buzz or have fans or otherwise make noise. Guys, electronic things sometimes buzz or hum. Take my house for example - my refrigerator hums, my small beer fridge hums, my wine cooler hums, my overhead fan hums, my HV/AC constantly cycling on and off hums - IMO having one more electronic gadget that makes a slight noise is a negligible change. I think this issue has gotten more attention than it warrants, it was something I was a bit worried about when I ordered (only because it was mentioned in so many reviews) but now that I have the TV up I think it's a non issue. It's not really noticeable with the volume on, and it's one of those constant noises (like a fan) that you just sort of get used to. Importantly, I'd note that of all the mentioned appliances/electronics in my house that make a noise, the ONLY one that bothers me is my XBOX 360 - I'd say the buzz on the Samsung is about one tenth of the XBOX. So for those of you who already live with an XBOX and the "buzzing" reports about the Samsung are conjuring up similar mental images, I wouldn't worry about the TV as it's nowhere near as loud as the 360. Bottom line - if you're worried about the buzzing, don't, simply buy the TV from Amazon and if the buzzing bothers you, return it. I have a feeling a lot of people who otherwise never would have noticed or been bothered by the buzzing have read about it in reviews and got themselves so worked up that they get the TV and are bothered by this non-issue. I'm sorry I wasted so much of this review talking about buzzing but I think it had to be addressed.
After doing my research and knowing what I was looking for in this size and picture quality range, I ultimately narrowed my choice down to this Samsung line as well as the Panasonic VT25 line Panasonic TC-P65VT25 65-inch 3D Ready 1080p VIERA Plasma HDTV and I chose the Samsung. While I'm not always a huge fan of direct comparisons, I'm sure a lot of people reading these reviews have narrowed it down to the same two choices. For that reason, I will outline why I think, at least for my needs, the Samsung is the better choice:
1) The biggest positive mentioned about the Panasonic TV is its outstanding black levels. While this is true, I'd highlight the following: The samsung's black levels, while not quite as good as the Panny, are still very very good. Also, the Panasonic black levels deteriorate over time - this is a documented fact regarding prior year panasonic plasmas and it was confirmed by CNET for this new model. True, apparently even after they deteriorate the black levels are still excellent, but I'm not sure I'm willing to gamble with the unknown of what's going to happen after a number of years, especially when it seems the excellent black levels are the #1 reason for recommending the Panasonic. Also, I'd highlight that black levels are just one aspect of picture quality - on every other measure of picture quality, the Samsung stacks up very well against and often better than the Panasonic. Bottom line - they both have excellent picture quality, I wouldn't get too hung up on minute black level differences.
2) The Samsung is significantly cheaper.
3) This was a big one for me - the Samsung is significantly thinner and lighter than the Panasonic. This is important if you plan to mount the TV on the wall. According to Panasonics website, the TC-P65VT25 has a depth of 3.6 inches. The Samsung has a depth of only 1.4 inches. That's an enormous difference. On top of this, as I mentioned earlier the Samsung has most of it's inputs oriented parallel to the TV (so the cords come in sideways). The Panny has most of its inputs oriented perpendicular to the TV (so the cords face into the TV) - this will be an issue if you want to mount the TV snug to the wall. Buying a bunch of 90 degree angle adapters will help the problem, but it still won't be as tight as if the inputs were oriented parallel. I was able to mount my Samsung very flush to the wall, such that the front of the bezel is only about 2" from the wall. While I'm sure it's possible to mount the Panasonic to a wall, it will be more difficult and you won't be able to achieve nearly as clean a result - the front of the TV will be 4-5" from the wall by the time it's all said and done. If you're interested, I mounted mine using the Sanus Systems LL11-B1 37-Inch to 65-Inch Ultra-Thin Flat Panel Mount which is well built and very low profile, but to be honest I'm not thrilled with it - it might be a little too low profile and I'm having a hard time getting the mount to lock in correctly (even with a slightly less low profile mount the front of the panel will still be only about 2" from the wall).
4) The Samsung has excellent performance in rooms with any ambient lighting (i.e. if you have a window in your TV room). If there's much ambient lighting present, the black level advantage of the Panasonic will be negated by the Samsung's superior bright room performance.
Bottom line - large size, thin and sleek design, great 2D picture quality (3D is also supposedly at or near best in class, but as noted I don't care about this and haven't tested the 3D or 2D to 3D conversion capability). In my opinion the Samsung PN63C8000 is a great choice for a large screen flat panel TV.
I ended up buying the bundle deal with 4 Shrek 3d movies, 2 adult glasses and the blue ray player. The player is basic 3d and I don't mind because I use the new apple tv to stream netflix not to mention you can do it via the TV itself so upgrading the blu ray player would be a waste. There is talk about the software upgrade out there. It was a snap as I have the TV hard wired to my router. If you can't do this the jump drive upgrade seems like a pain-I'd just buy a cheap 50' Ethernet cable and do it via the tv menu upgrade like I did.
The buzzing noise-yes it buzzes. When you are more than 2 feet away you cannot hear it not to mention when the sound is on you can't hear it. Funny thing is I never even though about the buzz and only recently realized the old Samsung dlp I have also buzzes. The buzz is so minor I am surprised people get hung up on it (and I'm usually pretty uptight about things).
I would highly recommend this TV and buying it through Amazon. FYI my kids love the 3D!
BUZZ UPDATE- So I moved the ferrite power cord block Samsung gives you with the tv all the way up the power cord against the back of the TV and the slight buzz I had disappeared. No buzz at all even when my ear is one inch away from TV.
This tv has 6 settings for every type of room lighting you may have and unless you change the setting to match your room you may not get the best possible picture. We change the settings only twice a day if we view during daylight and evening hours. The standard is great for dark or evening viewing and the Dynamic is great for bright or daylight viewing.
Amazon has the best pricing and delivery available, you will not be disappointed.