"Outshines similar Panasonic"5.0 starson by lindguini
Pros: Excellent color fidelity, picture clarity, and user menu adjustments.
Cons: Had to return first unit due to excessive "crackling" noises made by the plastic TV frame when the unit warmed up. Second unit is perfect.
Summary: I tested both the Samsung PN42B450 and the Panasonic P42X1 plasmas in my home. In this price range, the Samsung is clearly superior to the Panasonic. The Samsung has better color fidelity, picture detail, and a wider range of user adjustments. By comparison, the Panasonic has limited controls and the picture just doesn't have the vibrancy and detail of the Samsung. In addition, the Panasonic "flickers" when trying to display bright images on dark backgrounds like PIP (this used to happen on conventional CRTs). The Samsung, on the other hand, has a rock solid image and has no trouble handling rapid shifts in bright/dark areas onscreen. The Samsung is a joy to watch and is the clear winner.
Also worth noting is that I tried two different PN42B450s and both had perfect plasma screens without any plasma pixel defects at all. The Panasonic had more than a dozen defective red and blue pixels plus dust behind the front glass.
SAMSUNG BEZEL PROBLEM: The plastic bezel on the first Samsung PN42B450 I brought home exhibited unusually loud "crackling" and "popping" noises as the TV warmed up. The noises would continue for an hour or more. It was very distracting. The crackling noises could even be made just by gently squeezing the bezel around the TV edges. A few internet searches revealed that other people have experienced a similar problem with this TV model. The only way to fix it is to exchange the TV for another one in hope of getting a unit with a normal and "silent" bezel. I did exchange the TV and fortunately the second TV is totally silent and makes no noises at all.
Samsung definitely had a quality control problem with some bezels manufactured for the PN42B450. I'm very glad that the second TV I tried did not have this problem or else I would have returned it and probably purchased a different brand of TV."