televisions

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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Resolution & Formats

The Samsung PN51E30A3 supports all NTSC formats. It is a native 1080p, plasma television.

Viewing Angle

While it didn't quite best the two viewing angle behemoths we pulled as comparison models prior to testing, the PN51E530A3 still boasts an impressive total viewing angle of 138°; that's 69° from center on either side, which is ample real estate for group gatherings, and certainly put the Panasonic TC-P50U50 to shame.

Viewing Angle Chart

Motion Performance

We've found through repeated testing that plasma TVs tend to test with better motion performance than LCDs. That's why we were both surprised and disappointed to discover that the PN51E530A3 doesn't handle motion as well as it should. Granted, it's just slightly on the upper end of entry-level, but when it comes to plasmas, even those in the $500 range tend to have better motion performance. It wasn't terrible, but we saw a lot of blurring, both during our motion performance test and during subjective viewing of broadcast content. This TV wouldn't be a good choice for a lot of fast motion events, like sports. We also ran Diablo III (from a connected Macbook Air) to see how it handled game content, and it did better in that regard, though this may have been because it was set to 720p resolution.

Screen Uniformity

This Samsung has some great uniformity; white screens were full and smooth, and there was almost no bezel shadowing whatsoever. Likewise, its full black screen looks the same as when the power is off, due to some permanent dimming features that are well implemented.

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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