Elsewhere on this site, we've reviewedvery positively. Now, imagine that you've added 13cm to its screen size and taken AU$1,700 off its selling price. That's pretty much what the Samsung PS60E8000 plasma TV delivers.
It has a whopping 152cm (60 inch) full HD plasma display, packing all the networking smarts and special new features of the LCD TV. The trade-off is that it isn't as elegant in styling: it is thicker at 55mm, and its bezel is wider at 35mm on the sizes, 33mm at the top and 50mm at the bottom. Despite the large screen, the TV has a convenient swivel stand.
There are three HDMI inputs, support for component and composite video and three USB sockets. You can use one of these to plug in a hard disk drive, which then acts as a PVR, allowing recording and pausing TV shows.
Built into the top bezel of the TV is a small camera and a couple of tiny microphones. These are used for Skype, and also for the motion and voice control capabilities of this TV. The TV has Ethernet and Wi-Fi, and access to the full range of Samsung's "Smart Hub" network offerings. It comes with a regular remote control and a touch pad remote, which works via infrared (RF). There's also an RF blaster. You can program the touch pad remote to also control a Blu-ray player and PVR. The TV sends the touch pad's commands via RF to the blaster, which sends them as IR commands to the devices that are to be controlled.
And, of course, the TV delivers 3D, with two pairs of Samsung's AU$30 (per set) glasses included.
Up close, the picture from plasma isn't quite as smooth as LCD. In dark parts of the picture, the pixels are "dithered" — flashed on for only a small proportion of the time, in order achieve dark greys. At low light levels, this can be perceived if you're up close. We mention this because the TV is so big that you can perceive this effect as far as a metre away. If you sit at the recommended 2.2 metres (three times the screen height), this effect is imperceptible.
What you get — after turning off Samsung's unfortunate Sharpness control — is a smooth, detailed and rich picture. Plasma browns and greens still seem more realistic than those from LCD, although there is not much in it any more. The brightness levels were excellent. The black levels were not quite as deep as those available from the best LCD screens, but were still impressive and perfectly even across the whole screen, from corner to corner.