"Oustanding Color and Affordable!"5.0 starson by Michael925
Pros: Accurate color.
Inky blacks and amazing contrast.
Excellent viewing angles, with no reflection.
Cons: None thus far.
Summary: I was in the market for my very first HDTV and spent countless hours doing all sorts of research and due-diligence. The room that my TV is in is only 11x11 (with one large window) and I did not want to go any bigger than 51". Having settled on the 51" size, I knew I was pretty much captive to buying a Plasma. My brother had recently purchased a Samsung 55" LED/LCD (UND6000) at Sears and I was very impressed with the color, especially while watching The Preakness horse race, so I decided to focus on the quality of Samsung, and what I believe some most competitive pricing on their part.
Inititally, I was attracted to the Samsung 51" D7000 plasma at my local Fry's Electronics at a price of $1499. The color was bright, without being unrealistic and I really liked the stylish (darker) graphite frame. Sure, the Panasonic's seem to be the "darlings" of Mr. Katzmaier and the "Gold Standard" for Plasmas, but the frames on the Panasonic are downright revolting and give their TV's a 90's look to them. Yes, I did watch a BluRay concert on one of the top of the line Panasonic VT's and it certainly was amazing. However, they are also incredibly EXPENSIVE with virtually no wiggle room for discounts!
I continued to do my homework and was also drawn to the Samsung 51" D8000 Series. However, at the time it was still several hundred dollars more than the D7000 that I liked so much. True, its specs indicate that there is a big difference in contrast ratio between the two sets ( 25 million vs 15 million to 1 ), but I got the feeling that I was splitting hairs given that the color and inky blacks of the D7000 were really really good!
It wasn't more than a couple of weeks later that I noticed that Fry's had lowered their price on the 51" D8000 series to just $1599. Suffice to say, I found the $100 difference to be negligible for the added contrast ratio and the ability to access the web via a full web-browswer. Best Buy price-matched and I wound-up qualifying for their 36 month no interest financing plan. I took out a 4-year warranty for $299 and I completed my purchase.
The first thing that I noticed when I got home and turned on the TV was just how GOOD the AUDIO was. I had read numerous complaints of large flat-screen TV's succumbing to poor sound, but this was certainly not the case when I tuned into an HDNET channel that was featuring the jazzy blues of Wynton Marsalis, Wille Nelson, and Nora Jones. I was really blown away by just how good the sound was. And to a previous reviewer's complaint about a "slow" volume control, I have not found that to be true at all.
Although I have not taken the time to set-up my 3D player and do some 3D viewing with the Free Glasses and BluRay DVD Starter Kit that was included FREE ( $15.00) with my purchase at Best Buy, nor have I taken the time to stream any online content, or surf the web using my Samsung PN51-D8000 . . . I can say that I have watched a lot of standard and HDTV and been thoroughly pleased with my purchase. I'm a big sports fan and have really enjoyed watching various motorsports racing on my Samsung, including an Indy Car race from Toronto this past weekend that really playede into the fast paced action that Plasma's do so well with. I've also been following the Tour de France and the color is simply incredible! From the colorfull rider's decked out in their jersey's and gear to the beautiful French countryside (complete with 12th century castles with moats) . . . the Samsung's ability to reproduce accurate color and deep blacks and lifelike grays is simply outstanding!
At the end of the day, for $1599 this Plasma HDTV is a "no-brainer".
You won't be disappointed!