Thomas J. Norton

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 17, 2007 0 comments
Big things are happening with LCD flat panel televisions. New developments like LCD motion lag compensation and LED backlighting, manufacturers are attacking some of the well-known shortcomings of that technology.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 03, 2007 0 comments

Big things are happening with LCD flat panel televisions. New developments like LCD motion lag compensation and LED backlighting, manufacturers are attacking some of the well-known shortcomings of that technology.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 17, 2009 0 comments
This review is part of a four-way Face Off. Read the introduction and conclusions of the Face Off here.

Two of the LCD sets in this Face Off, including the Samsung, produce black levels that were unheard of in LCD flat panels until recently. Like the Sony in this group, the Samsung LN55A950 uses clusters of multicolored LEDs as a backlight, together with local dimming of the individual clusters as required by the program material. The LN55A950 is the larger of Samsung’s second generation of LED local-dimming sets.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 24, 2008 0 comments
Price: $4,999 At A Glance: Exceptional black level and shadow detail• Accurate color & superb resolution • Superior video processing • Limited acceptable viewing angle

Light Me Up, Dim Me Down

Last year, Samsung launched its first generation of LCD flat-panel sets with LED backlighting, the 81 Series. These sets were exciting in a number of ways. LEDs offer potentially superior color performance compared with conventional fluorescent backlights and also provide lower energy consumption.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 07, 2008 Published: Aug 07, 2008 0 comments
The right size, the right price, the right controls.

Video experts and video reviewers can be a cantankerous bunch. We’re always engaged in a tug of war with manufacturers about what we’d like to see in new HDTVs. We aren’t often successful, not necessarily because the manufacturers are stubborn (OK, sometimes they are), but because they’re more concerned than we are about the realities of the wider marketplace. We couldn’t care less about floodlight-worthy light output, a remote that will also start your car, or a little jig the TV plays when you turn it on or off. But we’re sticklers for good blacks, natural-looking detail, and accurate color.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 14, 2009 0 comments
Price: $2,400 At A Glance: Excellent resolution and color • Full adjustability • Blacks could be better • Ultra-thin 1.2-inch profile

Plasma Soldiers On

LCD televisions are everywhere these days. They fill the back walls of Best Buys, are lined up like hedgerows near the entrance of Costco, and fly out the door at Walmart. Even at this moment, they’re undoubtedly being flogged out of the back of a fleet of white vans in parking lots across the land.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 21, 2012 1 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $1,200 At A Glance: Compelling color and resolution • Superb value • Middling black level

Psst, buddy. Wanna buy a cheap plasma?”

You don’t often hear this from your friendly neighborhood white-van salesmen; they’re more into selling cardboard speakers. $1,200 HDTVs, no matter how good, just aren’t their thing.

They aren’t always ours, either, but when Samsung offered us the chance to have a look at its $1,200, 51-inch (diagonal) PN51E550D1F plasma, we couldn’t resist. That may be a lot of green for a public that once considered $300 a fair price for a new television, but today it falls solidly in the lowmid price range for a namebrand flat-screen HDTV in this size category.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 27, 2010 0 comments
Price: $2,700 At A Glance: Superb resolution • Accurate color • 2D-to-3D conversion mode • Solid blacks and contrast

3D Gets Big

It’s been over a year since we last reviewed a Samsung plasma. That’s no surprise. LCD displays now dominate the HDTV market to the tune of over 90 percent. In general, our reviews have followed that trend.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 27, 2011 5 comments

2D Performance
3D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $3,000 At A Glance: Accurate color, excellent resolution • Exceptional control features • Good but relatively dim 3D

We’ve said it before: Plasmas are the sand-in-the-face-at-the-beach, wallflower, last-kid-picked members of the flat-panel team. LCDs clearly dominate today’s HDTV market. But plasmas are also the Cinderella stepsister whose beauty becomes obvious when you really look for it. And at least three major manufacturers, including Samsung, think enough of plasma sets that they continue to make and promote them.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 09, 2012 7 comments
3D Performance
2D Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
Price: $2,530 At A Glance: Crisp resolution and superb color • Full control and calibration features • White uniformity could be better

With all the talk about LCD this and LED that, and the buzz about upcoming OLED sets that are expected to set the video world on fire (a very pricey fire, at least to begin with), plasmas are still very much with us. Samsung remains one of the technology’s biggest supporters, although LCD sets remain its bread and butter.

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