Non-3D Plasma

I'm looking for a 50-to-55-inch non-3D plasma TV. My son actually gets headaches from the 3D experience, and I think it's a fad that will die off with 4K if not sooner. Which plasma do you prefer?

Mark Davis

Actually, I prefer plasmas with 3D capabilities, even if you never use that particular feature. Why? Because manufacturers typically include 3D capabilities in their higher-end models, which means they generally exhibit superior 2D performance. So I encourage you not to reject 3D models out of hand simply because they can do 3D—if you don't like it, you don't have to use it, and you will have a better 2D TV than most non-3D sets.

There are only three companies making plasmas these days—LG, Panasonic, and Samsung. Tom Norton recently reviewed the LG 50PX950 3D plasma (seen here) and found it to have great color and detail but poor blacks. The last Samsung plasma we reviewed was last year's PN58C7000, which Tom found to have great detail, accurate color, and solid blacks. We just got Samsung's current flagship D8000 plasma, so stay tuned for that in a few months.

Tom also reviewed the Panasonic VT30, GT30, and ST30 3D plasmas. If you have the dough, the top-of-the-line VT30 series is excellent, though last year's flagship VT25 is even a bit better if you can find one left over in a dealer's stock. If you need to spend less, the ST30 line is a great value. In our opinion, the mid-range GT30 is not worth the extra $400.

If you have an A/V question, please send it to askhometheater@gmail.com.

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