As one of Samsung’s flagship Smart TVs, the PN60E8000 ($2,300) drew close scrutiny for its advanced interface, which, among other things, allowed for voice- and gesture-based control over things like menu navigation, web browsing, and channel/volume adjustments. For the most part, we found those features to be half-baked. What we did like about Samsung’s 3D plasma was its basic picture quality, which pretty much rivaled that of any other TV we tested in 2012.
At a time when most 3D TVs are shipped without glasses, Samsung generously provides two pairs with the PN60E8000. It also comes with any high-end TV feature you’d expect, from Wi-Fi and a built-in web-camera with Skype-compatibility, to a few you might not, such as a MHL input for connecting a compatible mobile device, and a Smart Evolution slot to accomodate future system upgrades.
As for picture quality, while its contrast ratio measurements came up just shy of the Panasonic VT50, real-world performance yielded more than satisfying black depth and shadow detail. Color is mostly accurate out of the box, and Samsung gives you all the tools you’ll need, including extensive color-management system adjustments, to dial it in perfectly. There was a bit of crosstalk with 3D content, and its picture in that mode wasn’t the last word in brightness, but it does compete well with most other plasma TVs on the 3D front. We look forward to seeing TVs in general get smarter, but to judge from the PN60E8000, Samsung’s plasmas definitely make the grade.
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