Samsung PN51E8000 3D Smart Plasma HDTV Review$2,199.00
3D Effect & Experience
We were very impressed with Samsung's 3D showing this year, and the E8000 continues that tradition. Samsung's full 3D viewing shows convincing depth-of-field without much crossover--when images become "ghosted" and the immersion is foiled. Samsung is also very good about including at least two pairs of their active shutter 3D glasses--a choice Panasonic could learn from.
The PN51E8000 comes with two pairs of Samsung's 3D glasses, which are lightweight, active shutter devices. They come disassembled, meaning you'll need to snap the arms into place and install the battery before syncing them to the TV, via Bluetooth. It's easy enough to get them set up, and they're pretty comfortable compared to other glasses we've tried. The only problem we foresee is for anyone who wears particularly thick spectacles, as there's not a lot of room offered in that regard.
The PN51E8000 didn't show us a huge 2D contrast ratio--while 2775:1 is about twice the acceptable, average limit, it's cut down considerably during 3D viewing. 3D televisions, aware of the fact that their viewers are wearing fancy sunglasses, tend to amp up their light output to offset the natural darkening that occurs. Unfortunately, that tends to wreck black levels--and the E8000's 0.06 cd/m2 was already not as dark as comparable plasmas. The peak brightness is usually halved--or in this case, cut by almost 75%. This leads to a rather pathetic contrast ratio of 470:1, but as we've seen, contrast is not this plasma's strongest area.
Overall, content will still be viewable, but expect to be noticing 3D picture depth more than strong contrast in your movies.
Like it's 2D color temperature, the 3D color temperature integrity of the E8000 was quite good, if not better. The only deviation from 6500° K happens around the darkest part of the input spectrum. This is a good result, better than average.
The E8000's 3D color curves almost complete mimicked its 2D color curves--which, regardless of accuracy, is a good sign. Like the 2D curves, the RGB side of things ramps up in a fairly uniform manner, while the grayscale favors a convex knee to add detail to the midtones. This isn't an amazing result, but considering its closeness to the 2D curves, it's a good thing to see this kind of accuracy.
If you'll recall from our section detailing 2D performance, the E8000 jumped a huge hurdle in managing to show us an absolutely perfect 2D color gamut. That said, the 3D gamut tested with about half as much accuracy--which isn't really bad at all if you consider how spot-on the 2D gamut was. It deviated at the white and blue points, but it's red and green points are spot on.
Essentially, this is much better color integrity than many TVs show us while in 3D. Not a bad result at all.
Samsung's done a good job at minimizing (or totally eliminating) crosstalk from their full 3D content. While the occasional extreme foreground image will have a bit of the ghost-like quality denoting crossover effects, 3D content was almost entirely free of crosstalk, which is starting to happen within the realm of 3D TVs for the first time. Samsung's got some very well implemented 3D technology (compared to most of the competition), and it shows.