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Samsung PN51E530A3F Plasma HDTV Review

51 in.

The perfect example of a relatively cheap, entry-level plasma that does nothing more than it needs to.

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Contrast

The Samsung PN51E530A3 tested with a deep black level of 0.04 cd/m2, and a peak brightness of 153.27 cd/m2. This gives it a maximum contrast ratio of 3832:1, which is plenty of black/white differentiation for almost any viewing purpose. It tested better than all of our comparison models except for the Panasonic TC-P50U50. More on how we test contrast.

Contrast Chart

Color & Greyscale Curves

The E530's curves started out strong--gradual slopes and decent smoothness--but around the last 30% of the input spectrum began to get very jumpy and uneven. This isn't a great performance, but it's not terrible. None of them peaked early or were slow to rise, so while the sRGB spectrum might show substantial banding, most televised content is going to be acceptable in its color fidelity. In simpler terms, you likely won't notice these errors on a day to day basis while watching this TV, but might notice it in familiar pictures. More on how we test color performance.

RGB Curves Chart

Color Temperature

The E530 tested with just below average color temperature. Most of its errors are within the range of perceptibility, meaning that while they are technically missing the 6500° Kelvin temperature standard, they won't be visible to human eyes. The darker half of the input spectrum bleeds into visibility, however, meaning your shadows will be a little on the cold or warm side, adding a blue or orange tint. This won't be terribly noticeable during broadcast content. More on how we test color temperature.

Color Temperature Chart

Color Gamut

The E530 tested with a very impressive color gamut. As you can see from the chart below, it hit the white, red, and blue points perfectly, and missed the green point by a hair. We test against the rec. 709 color gamut for HDTVs, to determine how close their color production comes to what is considered the gold standard. This is a great result, and is even more amazing when you consider that this is a lower-end plasma. More on how we test color temperature.

Color Gamut Chart

Picture Dynamics

We test picture dynamics to determine how well a TV maintains its black/white contrast with varying amounts of each shade on the screen. Due to the technology behind their operation, many plasmas tend to show brighter whites on a mostly black screen, and darker blacks on a mostly white screen. We expect this, and the E530 behaved in just that way. It has an auto dimming feature that darkens out its screen to less than 0.01 cd/m2 while showing a full black screen, but during partial amounts of black and white, its contrast remained high. More on how we test picture dynamics.

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. Design
  3. Tour & Design
  4. Connectivity
  5. Performance
  6. Picture Quality
  7. Screen Performance
  8. Audio
  9. Power Consumption
  10. Calibration
  11. Software & Internet
  12. Software & Interface
  13. Conclusion
  14. Series Comparison
  15. Photo Gallery
  16. 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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