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  • Best of Year 2012
  • Editors' Choice

Samsung PN51E550D1F Plasma TV Review

51 in.

Best Value 3D TV 2012

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.

Science Introduction

The Samsung PN51E550 tested with solid color accuracy and a decent contrast ratio. In the area of screen performance, it tested with very impressive motion, making it perfect for sports or video games. It also offers a 168° total viewing angle, which—combined with its swiveling—gives you a huge range of options as to where you view the screen from.

As a bonus, Samsung’s included ECO mode allows for user-controlled leveling of power consumption: You can lock the cell light to particular brightnesses and cut back on wasteful measures, ending up with a plasma that’s much cheaper than similar models within Samsung’s line-up.

Contrast

The E550's deep black level boosts its contrast ratio into an impressive range.

The E550 series tested with a black level of 0.04cd/m2, and a peak brightness of 140.86cd/m2. This renders a maximum contrast ratio of 3522:1, which is roughly three times what we would consider "average" or "acceptable." More on how we test contrast.

Viewing Angle

A wide viewing angle makes the E550 ideal for group watching.

Because of their light-producing technology, plasma TVs tend to have much wider viewing angles than LCDs. The Samsung PN51E550 is a testament to that result.

The E550 tested with a total viewing angle of 155°, or 78° from center in either direction. This is a really good result, proving that the E550 is a great choice for most rooms, and offers ample options for viewing location, especially when you consider that its glassy stand allows it to swivel. More on how we test viewing angle.

Other Tests

For more information about this television's time in our lab, just browse the gallery.

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.
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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