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Best Plasma TVs

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Plasma television is finally a viable, and affordable, alternative to those bulky tube and projection sets as prices are coming down and a variety of screen sizes are available. It may be that the idea hanging the TV on the wall and regaining all that wasted floor space definitely offers more pleasing aesthetics over staring at a "box". Check out some of my Plasma TV favorites.

NOTE: The product entries for Plasma TVs are updated on a continuous basis with new units and reviews to keep them current.

NOTE: As of December 31, 2013 Panasonic is discontinuing the production of its Plasma TV product line, with the supply line to retailers expected to end by March 2014. This will leave LG and Samsung as the remaining sources for new Plasma TVs, until otherwise indicated. Panasonic Plasma TVs will continue to be included on this list as long as they are available via online retailers and major secondary market sources.

NOTE: If 3D is an important option for you, even though there are some 3D TVs on this listing, I have additional 3D TV suggestions in my 3D LCD and Plasma TV list.

1. Panansonic ZT60 Series THX-Certified 3D Plasma TVs

Panasonic ZT60 Series Plasma TVs - CES 2013
Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
If you desire a high-end TV that is designed to provide the best possible image quality and cutting edge features, the Panasonic ZT60 series Plasma TVs might have what you are looking for.

 

First off, the ZT60 series can be purchased in either the 60 and 65-inch screen size. They are THX Certified for both 2D and 3D performance. In addition, to meak it easier and more precise to get the best video performance possible, this series also incorporates ISFccc calibration modes.

The ZT60 series also compatible with all major 3D content sources, including 3D Blu-ray Discs, cable/satellite, broadcast, and internet streaming (when available). These sets also perform 2D-to-3D conversion, if desired. However, even if you don't partake in 3D, these sets display top-end quality 1080p 2D images with the excellent motion and black level response that Plasma technology provides.

Access to internet content, such as Netflix and Vudu, as well as media content stored on your PC or network connected device (DLNA certified) is also provided. You can also push content back-and-forth between the TV and compatible wireless portable devices via the Swipe and Share feature. Voice and touchpad control for both TV menu settings and internet access and navigation is also provided. The sets even include Touch Pen compatibility, which allows you to write directly on the screen with a special pen-like stylus (optional purchase).

For more details on the Panasonic ZT60 Series sets, read my previous report that goes into more detail on features and performance.

TC-P60ZT60 (60-inches) - Official Product Page

TC-P65ZT60 (65-inches) - Official Product Page

2. Samsung PN64F8500 3D Plasma TV with Web Browser

The PN64F8500 is a very stylish, thin bezel, top-of-the-line 64-inch Plasma TV from Samsung. The PN64F8500 displays high contrast, full 1080p resolution images, in 2D or 3D (4 pairs of 3D glasses are included). This set incorporates Quad Core Processing (just like a PC) , 600Hz subfield drive for smooth motion response, ATSC/QAM tuners for reception of over-the-air and non-scrambled HD cable signals, 4 HDMI inputs (one of which is also MHL compatible), and 3 USB ports for still image and video playback.

This set also incorporates a full web browser and both internet and network streaming capability (via built-in WiFi or wired Ethernet connection), in conjunction with Samsung's Smart Hub, including access to Netflix, HuluPlus, Pandora and hundreds of apps.

A built-in pop-up camera allows you to make Skype video phone calls. The camera also provides facial recognition which allows the TV to be controlled by physical gestures. Also included is a Smart Touch remote the allows for voice control.

If you are looking for a flat panel TV with lots of flexibility and great performance (Since this is a Plasma set, it has better black levels and is priced less than many equivalent-sized high-end LCD TVs - it is also less expensive that Panasonic's ZT60 series Plasma sets), consider the Samsung PN64F8500.
Compare Prices

NOTE: Also available in two smaller screen sizes, the 60-inch PN60F8500 - (Compare Prices) and the 51-inch PN51F8500 (Compare Prices). If 3D is an important factor, consider the larger screen sizes for a more immersive 3D viewing experience.

3. Panasonic Viera TC-P50ST60 Plasma TV

If you are looking for Plasma TV that delivers great performance and value, I give you the 50-inch Panasonic Viera TC-P50ST60.

This set offers great 2D and 3D image quality (two pairs of glasses included) with its 1080p native screen display resolution, supported by a wide contrast ratio, enchanced black level performance, and excellent motion response. For audio, 2.1 channel speaker system mounted behind the screen, but I always suggest adding an external audio system.

ATSC/QAM tuners for receiving HDTV broadcast and unscrambled cable are also included, as is four HDMI inputs, and an SD card slot for digital photo playback. Built-in WiFi allows wireless internet access to a host of TV and movie streaming services, as well as other web content. You can also make Skype video phone calls with the addition of an optional webcam. The TC-P50ST60 can also access media content stored on your PC or media server.

However, 3D and Internet Streaming isn't all this set has to offer. Additional features include Voice Guidance (reads and verbalizes text that is displayed on the screen), My Home Screen (allows each member of the family to have their own distinct menu page), and Swipe and Share (allows the transferring of video content between the TV and compatible iOS and Android devices). In addition, this set is also compatible with the Panasonic Touch Pen.

If you are looking for a new TV, and haven't considered a Plasma set, this is definitely one to check out.
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4. LG 50PM6700 3D Smart Plasma TV

LG is well known for their cell phones and appliances, but they are also a prominent manufacturer of LCD and Plasma Televisions. The 50PM6700 plasma TV features a 50-inch, 16x9 aspect ratio screen, native pixel resolution of 1920 x 1080 (1080p), almost unlimited contrast ratio, NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners, 4 HDMI inputs along with a VGA PC monitor input. The LG 50PM6700 also has built-in 2D and 3D display capability, with the added bonus of both 2D-to-3D or 3D-to-2D conversion. In addition, this set is also a fully-equipped Smart TV that can connect to the internet to access online audio/video content via Ethernet or WiFi connection (USB dongle provided), as well as the ability to access media from USB flash drives or your home network. The 50PM6700 is also Intel Widi compatible.

If you are PC gamer, you can also use the 50PM6700 as a giant PC monitor for game play, or multimedia presentations. Overall, this unit provides a very satisfying viewing experience. The LG 50PM6700 can be a great addition to a family's home theater experience.
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NOTE: Also available in a larger 60-inch screen size (60PM6700 - Compare Prices).

5. LG 50PA6500 50-inch Plasma TV

If you are looking a Plasma TV that has great performance, but you aren't interested in 3D, or using the TV to access internet streaming content, then consider the LG 50PA6500 50-inch Plasma TV. This set features 1920x1080 (1080p) pixel resolution, excellent contrast ratio, ISF picture mode calibration settings, and 600Hz Sub-Field Drive which results in great image quality.

On the connectivity site, the LG 50PA6500 features ATSC/QAM tuners for receiving HDTV broadcast and unscrambled cable programs, 3 HDMI inputs, and a USB port for playback of digital photos stored on USB flash drives.
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If 50-inches is too small for you, check out its bigger brother, the 60-inch 60PA6500 (compare prices).

6. Samsung PN51F5300AF 51-inch Plasma TV

If you are looking for really inexpensive Plasma TV and don't need 3D capability or internet connectivity, the 51-inch Samsung PN51F5300  is worth checking out. This set has a native 1080p resolution ATSC and QAM tuners, 2 HDMI inputs, a shared component/composite video input, and a USB port for accessing music or photo files stored on flash drives. Also, this set displays an exceptionally bright image, features an almost unlimited contrast ratio, and very fast motion response, supported by a 600Hz Subfield Drive. In addition, if you don't have a separate home theater audio system, the PN51F5300AF also packs in a built-in a 10 watts x 2 stereo amplifier with DTS Studio Sound processing. Check out the great images on the Samsung PN51F5300AF
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Also available in a 60-inch screen size (PN60F5300AF - Compare prices) and 64-inch screen size (PN64F5300AF - Compare Prices)

7. Panasonic TC-P50X60 - No Frills Plasma TV

OK, so you are looking for a large screen TV, but don't want a lot of frills, such as 3D or internet connectivity, but you still want great picture quality at a great price. If so, then check out the Panasonic TC-P50X60 50-inch Plasma TV. This set features 720p display resolution, 600Hz Sub Field Drive, ATSC/QAM tuners, two HDMI inputs and USB port for access to images, music, and video stored on USB flash drives. Also, there is a Game Mode that reduces the response time between game consoles and screen action. This set is not only perfect for those on a budget, but may also be a great choice those that already have a higher-end TV in the main viewing area, but are looking for a large screen set to place in a secondary room.
Compare Prices

Also available in a smaller 42-inch screen size - Compare Prices for the Panasonic TC-P42X60

8. Panasonic TH-103VX200U 103-inch Plasma TV

If you are looking at the ultimate Plasma Television, and price is no object, then the TH-103VX200U may be for you. Coming in at $65,000, this set boasts a 103-inch screen, full 1080p resolution, 3D display capability (active shutter glasses required), slots for boards that can be customized to accommodate any video input configuration. I have seen this set at several trade shows and it is impressive, and not just because it is big - the displayed images are excellent, whether in 2D or 3D. You have to see it to believe it. Although most consumers can't afford it, the TH-103VX200U is perfect for the ultimate large room home theater or some institutional/business settings.
Official Product Page

Also available in a smaller 85-inch screen size for $40,000 (TH-85VX200U - Official Product Page)

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