Best cheap 1080p plasma with 3D and Smart TV: Samsung PNE550 series | CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)
The good: The Samsung PNE550 plasma TV is an excellent value for this level of performance and features. Its picture quality is anchored by solid black levels, accurate color, and perfect off-angle viewing and uniformity. It boasts the industry's most capable Smart TV platform featuring exclusive access to HBO Go. Samsung includes two pairs of 3D glasses. The bad: The image of the Samsung PNE550 washes out significantly in normal room lighting. It can't match the black-level performance of the best like-priced plasmas. Its 3D performance is mediocre and the glasses feel cheap. The PNE550 also uses significantly more power than a like-sized LCD or LED TV. The cost: $847.99 to $948 The bottom line: While not quite the best in its class, the Samsung PNE550 plasma still merits a look with its very good picture quality, sophisticated Smart TV platform, and attractive price.
If you're looking for a cheap TV 42 inches or larger, there are a lot of advantages to buying a plasma instead of an LCD. The biggest is picture quality: an LCD is typically not able to reproduce the black levels and contrast of an equivalently priced plasma, and plasma always trounces LCD for viewing angle and uniformity. We recently reviewed a bunch of entry- and mid-level plasma TVs, and our...
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