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Samsung PN42C450 Plasma HDTV Review

42 in.

The Samsung PN42C450 is a 720p entry-level plasma that fails to dispel the notion that Samsung is an LCD-maker first, followed – at some distance – by plasma manufacturing.

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Value Comparison

Samsung makes better LCDs than it does plasmas. That's not a conclusion we came to from this review, specifically, but it does help to confirm our opinion. Everything about the LN40C630 feels better – better parts, better looking menu appearance, as well as better performance and better features. Obviously, there's a price premium between these two exact models, but these are generalizations that can be applied to their entire LCD and plasma TV lines.

The fact that the Samsung PN42C450 only has a 720p resolution is a big strike against it. The inclusion of a LAN port and streaming content on the LN40C630 should help clinch the deal.

Blacks & Whites

Surprisingly, the LCD Samsung was able to get a much deeper black level than the plasma Samsung. Granted, you'd be able to deepen the blacks pretty easily through a few different options in the menu, but not without affecting peak brightness and other picture quality issues. And because the Samsung could produce that deep black and still get a very bright white under the same calibration settings, it has a much wider contrast ratio.

Contrast Chart
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Color Accuracy

The Samsung PN42C450 had some real problems in our color testing, showing problems with color temperature and producing smooth curves in the red, green, and blue channels. The Samsung LN40C630 was certainly perfect, but managed better performance in both tests.

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Motion

The Samsung LN40C630 produced much better results in our motion tests, though you'll want to employ some of the TV's special processing features when watching some types of content (read full review for details).

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Viewing Effects

The Samsung PN42C450's plasma screen has one clear advantage over the Samsung LN40C630's LCD, and that's viewing angle. There's no contest: the PN42C630 was nearly 2.5x times wider.

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Connectivity

The Samsung LN40C630 has a LAN port for streaming content and DLNA support, as well as an additional USB port.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Tour & Design
  3. Blacks & Whites
  4. Color Accuracy
  5. Motion
  6. Viewing Effects
  7. Calibration
  8. Remote Control
  9. Connectivity
  10. Audio & Menus
  11. Multimedia & Internet
  12. Power Consumption
  13. Panasonic Viera TC-P42S2 Comparison
  14. Sony Bravia KDL-40NX700 Comparison
  15. Samsung LN40C630 Comparison
  16. Conclusion
  17. Series Comparison
  18. Photo Gallery
  19. Ratings & Specs
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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