Huge Samsung plasma flashes red, not so black blacks

Samsung's PN63A760, a 63-inch plasma TV, couldn't quite measure up to the performance of other large-screen flat panels in our tests.

The 63-inch Samsung N63A760 seems even larger in person. CNET

We recently put the largest plasma TV we've reviewed yet, Samsung's 63-inch PN63A760, though its paces, and this massive plasma came up a bit short of the tough competition. Although its distinctive red styling makes it stand out, its lighter black levels don't help its picture quality.

We compared the Samsung directly with a pair of other huge-screen plasmas, the 58-inch Panasonic TH-58PZ800U and the 60-inch LG 60PG60, and both delivered better black levels and more-accurate color. That's not to say the Samsung wasn't without its charms--we liked its antireflective screen, and proponents of of dejudder will appreciate its Smooth option (although it doesn't work with 1080p sources). The TV's prodigious feature set, which includes a full suite of interactive options, will also draw some fans.

Read the full review of the Samsung PN63A760.

Below you'll find the settings we found best for viewing the Samsung PN63A760 in a completely dark room via the HDMI input with a 1080p, film-based source. Your settings may very depending on source, room conditions and personal preference. Check out the Picture settings and calibration FAQ for more information.

Picture menu
Mode: Movie
Cell Light: 2
Contrast: 92
Brightness: 54
Sharpness: 0
Color: 45
Tint: G50/R50

Detailed settings submenu
Black adjust: Off
Dynamic contrast: Off
Gamma: -3
Color space: Auto
Flesh tone: 0
Edge enhancement: Off
xvYCC: Off

White balance submenu
R-Offset: 25
G-Offset: 26
B-Offset: 24
R-Gain: 23
G-Gain: 17
B-Gain: 18

Picture options submenu
Color tone: Warm2
Size: Just Scan
Digital NR: Low
DNIe: [grayed out]
HDMI black level: [grayed out]
Advanced film mode: [grayed out]
Blue only mode: Off

Setup menu
Entertainment: Off
Energy saving: Off

Bonus: We adjusted the Custom color management options to comes as close as possible to the Rec 709 HD color standard. We preferred the look of Auto with normal program material, but below we'll provide our Custom numbers for folks who want to compare the two.

Color Space Custom submenu
Red: Red 52, Green 10, Blue 0
Green: Red 47, Green 50, Blue 21
Blue: Red 0, Green 0, Blue 50
Yellow: Red 50, Green 68, Blue 21
Cyan: Red 52, Green 56, Blue 50
Magenta: Red 47, Green 0, Blue 100

About the author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."

 

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