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PLASMA TV REVIEWS

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Ron Williams Posted: Oct 05, 2002 Published: Oct 06, 2002 0 comments
High-tech meets classical art.

In the home theater display realm, "some day" has finally arrived. As you've read in past issues of Home Theater, the world of technology is advancing, and we're all the better for it. We now reap the benefits of the microchip's evolution. Several audio DSP chips offer improved sound processing, and advanced video-processing chips have helped display technology take large steps forward.

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Ron Williams Posted: Jul 11, 2002 Published: Jul 12, 2002 0 comments
An all-in-one plasma television.

There's a new wave in consumer plasma panels, and Sony's KZ-42TS1 is riding it. What makes this model different from all of the other plasma panels we've reviewed? The KZ-42TS1 is a self-contained unit with a built-in NTSC tuner and two stereo speakers incorporated into the bottom of the frame. This HD-ready WEGA model has a 1,024-by-1,024 resolution, is mounted in a panel measuring 30.125 inches high by 41.625 inches wide by 5 inches thick, and is framed by a 2-inch brushed-silver border.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 19, 2002 0 comments

Remarkable things are happening in the plasma-display market. Just the other day I saw one for sale in Costco for under $6000. Costco! While one might ponder the cosmic significance of plasma televisions at a warehouse retailer, there's no denying that these displays attract a lot of attention. A big, flat screen hanging on the wall has universal appeal.

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William Finch Posted: Jan 03, 2002 Published: Jan 04, 2002 0 comments
The PL-61cx's 61-inch screen size and impressive features package put this panel in a class by itself.

Plasma, that sexy, newfangled display technology, is growing by leaps and bounds. Not long ago, 42-inch-diagonal, 16:9 panels were the only game in town. Then came the 50-inch HD-ready models from a small handful of manufacturers. Now, we're seeing a few behemoth models in the 60- and 61-inch categories from a few bold manufacturers like Marantz, Zenith, LG, and NEC. Runco has also jumped into the fray with the PlasmaWall PL-61cx, a 61-inch panel and the subject of today's review.

Filed under
Ron Williams Posted: Sep 30, 2001 Published: Oct 01, 2001 0 comments
Plasma technology is getting bigger, better, and cheaper.

Everything about flat-panel monitors is growing—from panel size to market size. A flat-panel display can utilize one of several different technologies, and Sony has chosen plasma technology for their newest flat panel, the PFM-42B1. Not too long ago, 16:9-shaped plasma displays measured only 38 inches and cost close to $18,000, but times are changing. Like all plasmas, the 42-inch PFM-42B1 is only a monitor—it has no built-in TV tuner. However, it does have one of the highest pixel counts of any plasma display on the market: 1,024 by 1,024. And, in order to get plasma technology into the home, Sony has priced this display at $7,999 for both the consumer and commercial markets.

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Kevin Miller Posted: Jul 31, 2001 Published: Aug 01, 2001 0 comments
Proof that plasma technology is evolving, Marantz's PD5010D plasma display is a solid HD monitor that's perfect for your wall.

In the last couple of years, plasma displays have become increasingly popular. The technology has also come a long way in terms of picture quality. Initially, plasma's biggest performance pitfalls were in the areas of black level and color accuracy. Thanks to recent technological advances, black-level performance has improved significantly, but it still has a long way to go. Another performance issue with plasmas is something called "false contouring," which manifests itself as crawling patches or blotches of noise.

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Mike Wood Posted: Aug 27, 2000 Published: Aug 28, 2000 0 comments
The Revox E-542 42-inch plasma monitor lets you custom-tailor your TV to your décor.

"WOW!" That was about the only word photographer Randy Cordero and I could muster as we took the bright-yellow-framed plasma set out of its shipping carton. Sure, we'd seen plasma monitors before, but none as striking as this one. We had specially ordered the E-542 in Ferrari yellow, for no other reason than because we could. Revox offers a number of different frames for the display to match your yacht, aircraft, or bedroom décor. It turns out that this isn't the only customizable option either.

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Joel Brinkley Posted: Jun 03, 1999 0 comments

The advance of plasma-display technology speeds on, and the Pioneer PDP-501MX is at the front of the line. This is the first plasma monitor on sale in the United States that is capable of displaying high-definition images, making it the world's most advanced, commercially available product of this type.Squeezing almost 1 million pixels into even a 50" display (measured diagonally) is quite an accomplishment. As soon as I pulled the unit out of the box and set it in its unobtrusive tabletop stand, I connected it to Panasonic's high-definition tuner box and fed the monitor an over-the-air HDTV signal. Without so much as a hiccup, the set accepted the 1920<I>x</I>1080i signal and displayed a bright, clear, sharp picture that made me smile. All this from a <I>big</I>-screen set less than 4" thick!

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Sep 18, 2012 0 comments

Every year Panasonic’s flagship plasmas up the performance bar another (albeit small) notch, and the bar is now set very high. Plus, the TCP55VT50 has all the bells and beeps you’d expect from a top-of-the-line HDTV in 2012, including 3D (in active guise), smart TV streaming, a Web browser, optional 96-Hz refresh, and even a fancy touchpad remote.

Al Griffin Posted: Sep 20, 2011 0 comments

While Panasonic plasmas traditionally excel on the picture-quality front, they’ve lagged a bit behind other flat-panel TVs when it comes to style. Take last year’s VT25 series. The picture on those sets was hard to fault (the 50-incher we reviewed won our 2010 Video Product of the Year award), but when positioned alongside new, ultra-slim plasmas from companies like Samsung, the Panasonic’s 3-inch panel depth and thick gloss-black bezel rendered it caveman-like by comparison.

Al Griffin Posted: Oct 16, 2012 0 comments

For a company whose supposed emphasis is LCD TV manufacturing, LG sure makes some good plasmas. Its 50PZ950, which we reviewed in the September 2011 issue, earned a Certified & Recommended stamp, both for its accurate, eminently tweakable picture and for its innovative Magic Motion remote-controlled “Smart” GUI. New for 2012 is the 50PM9700, which follows in its predecessor’s footsteps by being THX 3D-certified, Smart, and also Magic Motion remote-controlled. There are a number of other differences between the two models, but here’s one that immediately stands out: At $1,299, the 50PM9700 sells for about $300 less than the 50PZ950.

Al Griffin Posted: Jun 05, 2012 0 comments

One argument made by naysayers when 3D TV first arrived was that the feature would jack up prices for flat-panel sets. That did prove sort of true at first, but 3D was quickly folded into the general feature package for most TVs, leaving set prices to continue their downward trajectory. Case in point: Panasonic’s new TC-P55ST50. The first Panasonic 3D TV I reviewed 2 years back had a 50-inch screen and cost $2,600. But the company’s new P55ST50 3D plasma has a larger, 55-inch screen and costs around $1,600. Depending on how the rest of this review plays out, that could mean we have a serious bargain on our hands.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 03, 2013 0 comments

There’s an argument to be made that Panasonic’s ST50 Series plasma was the best TV to come out last year — not the company’s more expensive VT50 model, which was Sound & Vision’s Video Product

Al Griffin Posted: Aug 23, 2012 0 comments

There are two stories to tell about Samsung’s new E8000 line of plasma TVs. The first, and likely the more compelling one for S+V readers, is that the E8000 continues Samsung’s streak of putting out plasmas that meet videophile standards for color accuracy, contrast, and shadow detail. The second is that the E8000 is one of the company’s flagship “Smart TV” lines. This basically means that every Smart feature you can think of has been tossed in, including voice and gesture control, face recognition, Web browser, interactive fitness training — the list goes on.

Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Sep 20, 2011 0 comments

For a time, there was Kuro, and Kuro was king. Kuro made other TVs envious of its awesomeness. Then. . . there was no Kuro. TV reviewers wept; everyone else bought LCDs. Under-intelligenced “pundits” foretold the end of plasma TVs — but Panasonic, Samsung, and LG quietly coughed and politely said, “Umm, we still make plasmas.”

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