Best Plasma TV

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When it comes to picture quality, the best plasma TVs offer deeper black levels, superior screen uniformity, and much better off-angle viewing than comparable LCDs, making them the preferred choice of many videophiles. Though they are still much less efficient than LCD TVs, the newer plasmas consume much less power than previous generations. Plasma TVs are best suited for home theater applications due to their excellent performance and ability to handle a variety of sources.

Best Plasma TV Overall:

Plasma TVs once ruled the roost in terms of picture quality for the money, but several major manufacturers have exited the market entirely in recent years. Even so, the market is still supported by quality TVs from Samsung and LG, both of whom have inherited the market thanks to Panasonic's withdrawal.

Picture quality is often one of the strengths associated with plasma TV technology. These best plasma  TVs overall are known for their ability to display deep black levels, and the manner in which each pixel is created allows outstanding contrast and detail. Whereas LCD TVs still struggle with motion when not equipped with picture quality tricks such as 240Hz refresh rates, these plasma TVs are naturally talented at displaying fast-moving images without missing a beat. Better still, plasma TVs represent better value inch-for-inch due to the technology being cheaper to produce compared to LED LCD TVs.

Even given these inherent advantages, this technology is disappearing quickly from shelves due to their decreasing popularity and the ubiquity of LCD-based TVs.

Samsung PN60F8500 60" 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV

Samsung's PN60F8500 combines top-tier picture quality with just about every feature in the book, making it the obvious choice for gadget enthusiasts. Bright room performance is at the top of the class, and the myriad of apps and content sources will help keep users entertained. Read Full Review

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    Samsung PN60F8500 60" 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV

    LG Electronics 60PB6900 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Plasma TV

    With the lack of new plasma models to choose from in 2014, the LG 60PB6900 stands out for its combination of features, performance, and price. This is the highest plasma from LG this year, and it offers 3D capability (3D glasses not included), a good Smart TV interface, and some of the best picture quality we've seen from an LG plasma. Read Full Review

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      LG Electronics 60PB6900 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Plasma TV

      Samsung PN64F5500 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV

      Although the PN64F5500 suffers in bright rooms, this midrange model plasma TV that has been carried over from 2013 offers excellent overall performance and a generous feature set. Considering the picture quality and large screen offered by the PN64F5500, the price is downright affordable. Read Full Review

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        Samsung PN64F5500 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV

        Samsung PN64H5000 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV

        Samsung's single new plasma TV for 2014 might not be suited for videophiles thanks to its use of a Pentile display, but most people will find the picture quality and performance of this reasonably-priced TV to be perfectly adequate. The PN64H5000 offers 64 inches for under $1,500, while leaving out Smart TV and other features that push up the price. Read Full Review

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          Samsung PN64H5000 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV

          Samsung PN51F5300 51" 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV

          While Panasonic used to monopolize the plasma TV market, their exit has left Samsung in the lead. The PN51F5300 is a 2013 model that has been carried over into 2014, and offers some of the best overall value currently available. Read Full Review

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            Samsung PN51F5300 51" 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV

            Best 65" Plasma TV:

            These TVs truly define big screen television, and their massive panels are incredibly unforgiving towards bad picture quality. All of our picks best 65-inch plasma TV represent the best-performing models offered by their respective manufacturer without regard to price.

            Excellent black levels and accurate color reproduction are both to be expected in this category, but we've placed less emphasis on built-in features in favor of prioritizing screen size. Though some of our top picks offer Smart TV capabilities, we’ve looked primarily for large screen sizes paired with outstanding performance.

            Panasonic's withdrawal from the market precludes any 65-inch models from being included here, but Samsung's 64-inch models merit consideration. Also, LG's largest plasma model currently available in included here, despite measuring only 60 inches.

            Samsung PN64F8500 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV

            As far as picture quality goes, the Samsung PN64F8500 has very few real competitors currently on the market. Combined with a long list of features throwing in everything Samsung has to offer, the PN64F8500 stands out on its own. The only drawback is the high price of over $3,000. Read Full Review

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              Samsung PN64F8500 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV

              Samsung PN64F5500 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV

              The Samsung PN64F5500 is Samsung's midrange plasma TV for 2013. The 64-inch size is the largest offered on this series, and prices remain reasonable despite the large screen size. The PN64F5500 provides stand-out picture quality and versatile features, making it a high-value choice for anyone shopping for a large plasma TV. Read Full Review

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                Samsung PN64F5500 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV

                Samsung PN64F5300 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV

                Samsung's PN64F5300 offers a good way to get a high-quality plasma panel, while not having to pay for extra features you likely won't use. Picture quality is excellent, making this a great choice for those looking to get a large plasma TV on a budget..and don't mind giving up Smart TV and 3D in the process. Read Full Review

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                  Samsung PN64F5300 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV

                  Samsung PN64H5000 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV

                  The Pentile display of the PN64H5000 might be of concern to some potential buyers, but most people will find it to be perfectly suitable for regular use. Although the PN64H5000 is a basic TV, lacking in Smart TV capability or other features, it offers lots of screen size for under $1,500. Read Full Review

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                    Samsung PN64H5000 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV

                    LG Electronics 60PB6900 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Plasma TV

                    The lack of plasma TV options this year has forced us to place a smaller-sized TV onto this list. Although it is only 60 inches, the LG 60PB6900 still has a very large screen, while being the best plasma that LG has to offer for 2014. Read Full Review

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                      LG Electronics 60PB6900 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Plasma TV

                      Best Budget Plasma TV:

                      One of the biggest draws of plasma display panels is they cost less per every inch of screen size than comparable LCD TVs. Given that, not everyone is willing or able to spend over $2,000 on a high-end flagship model.

                      We looked for the best budget plasma TVs that can be picked up for the least amount of money possible before having to sacrifice on performance or screen size. All of our picks are at least 50-inches in size, while offering top-notch picture quality including deep black levels and accurate colors. The following selections are proof you don't need to spend several thousands of dollars on a flagship TV in order to get a satisfying and immersive viewing experience at home.

                      Since we focused primarily on the aforementioned screen size and performance, most of the following picks offer only basic Smart TV capability at best. A notable exception however, is the LG 60PB6900, which is also 3D ready.


                      Samsung PN51F5500 51-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV

                      Samsung's midrange PN51F5500 represents a near-perfect balance of style, performance, features, and value. This 3D plasma TV can be found for well under $900 online, which is an absolute steal considering its capabilities. Read Full Review

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                        Samsung PN51F5500 51-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV

                        Samsung PN51F5300 51" 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV

                        For some buyers, all that's needed is a "dumb monitor" prioritizing picture quality over all else. The Samsung PN51F5300 fits that label perfectly as this 1080p plasma TV offers competitive picture quality against TVs costing hundreds of dollars more. This model dispenses with online streaming and 3D capabilities to avoid driving the price higher. Read Full Review

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                          Samsung PN51F5300 51" 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV

                          LG Electronics 60PB6900 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Plasma TV

                          LG's top plasma model this year, the 60PB6900, offers a good balance of features, performance, and price. While picture quality won't be quite as good as what we've come to expect from Panasonic and Samsung, this is a solid overall choice. Read Full Review

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                            LG Electronics 60PB6900 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Plasma TV

                            Samsung PN64H5000 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV

                            If screen size trumps features for you, the Samsung PN64H5000 offers an impressive 64 inches for well under $1,500. Picture quality is excellent, making this plasma a great choice for those who prefer performance and size over features. Read Full Review

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                              Samsung PN64H5000 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV

                              LG 50PB6600 1080P Plasma Smart HDTV

                              A minimalist Smart TV interface and solid picture quality make this plasma television a good choice for those who want a basic overall package for an affordable price. Although the LG 50PB6600 lacks features such as 3D, it would be a good choice for someone who doesn't want to pay for a laundry list of bells and whistles. Read Full Review

                              LG 50PB6600 1080P Plasma Smart HDTV
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                              14 comments
                              • niamhreilly niamhreilly

                              The Panasonic VIERA TC-P65ST50 3D Plasma TV is highly recommended. I just love this TV. Great reviews on the web.Read more: istumbledupon.com/panasonic-viera-tc-p65st50-65-inch-1080p-600hz-full-hd-3d-plasma-tv/

                              Posted on 11/10/2012 2:31 pm | Reply
                              • nikki nikki

                              I just bought a plasma TV someone told me I cant hook up a xbox to it cause it will ghost my TV Can someone help me

                              Posted on 7/18/2012 1:56 pm | Reply
                              • chyrall chyrall

                              this is a question I have a 50 inch LG plasma. The televison was cut off and when I tried to cut it back on it makes a hissing sound and cuts back off. Could someone please help me to figure out this problem.

                              Posted on 10/1/2011 7:54 am | Reply
                              • RacerX RacerX

                              I just picked up an LG PZ950 60" and for the money think you can't beat it. THX, 3D, plenty of inputs, tons of online options, nice looking, low energy usage, etc.The floating blacks on the Pannys concerned me--even with the new models. And the Samsung--while the pic on the 8000 was stunning, the buzzing and cost were crazy high.

                              Posted on 8/5/2011 5:48 am | Reply
                              • michaelfl michaelfl

                              Jeff...Would you go with the new Samsung 64 inch 8000 model or wait for the 65inch Panasonic GT or VT 30? I think comparable price will be the GT30...which do you think would be better..?

                              Posted on 4/11/2011 8:13 pm | Reply
                              • Karl.Hasz Karl.Hasz

                              Jeff,At CES Panasonic was showing a 65VT35 as their top line 3D TV. Now it seem they are just releasing the 65VT30. What happened to the 35??Karl

                              Posted on 2/5/2011 7:40 pm | Reply
                              • RacerX RacerX

                              Does your reviewing take into account the black level problem with the Panasonics? I am/was literally ready to purchase the 54" G25 until I read more into it. The 60" LG is a great value but the buzzing issue plagues those TVs. Is there anything that's high-quality?

                              Posted on 7/24/2010 6:49 pm | Reply

                              This list does take into account the black level issues that plagued the G10 and V10 Panasonic plasmas, and we will be following the G25 for the next several months to keep track of any reports of degrading black levels.

                              Posted on 7/28/2010 6:27 pm. In reply to RacerX | Reply

                              People tend to confuse terminology with regards to television let's take for example the ?plasma television?. Well technically there is no such thing as a plasma television what you are actually referring to is the display and actually a plasma display panel (PDP) is only one of several types of flat panel displays now commonly used for large TV sets or displays.

                              Posted on 3/24/2009 1:44 am | Reply

                              Technically, a plasma TV is the well-known integration of a PDP, tuner, power supply and the commonly requisite input ports such as HDMI, and are rated as class a or class b devices for use.  So, technically, you're misinformed.I agree with your main point - people are often confused by terminology. It probably explains why your post even remains when you've somehow seen fit to name yourself "premature ejaculation," just not in English.Weak.

                              Posted on 6/13/2009 8:21 am. In reply to ejaculare precoce | Reply

                              Very nice articles thank you...

                              Posted on 1/12/2009 5:16 am | Reply
                              • Vinnie Frascatore Vinnie Frascatore

                              I have seen this TV at a friend's home. It has a good picture but it is vastly overpriced. You don't need to buy a Panasonic at that price to get a great picture.It is obvious that your ratings and web site are "Panasonic related".

                              Posted on 9/1/2008 2:45 am | Reply

                              Thanks for the feedback. You can definitely get a great picture from lower priced plasmas. The Panasonic PX80U series and Samsung A450 series both have great picture quality and can be purchased for around $1000 for the 50" and $700 for the 42". The Vizio 720p models have a very tough time competing because they simply don't perform as well and sell for around the same price.If you do a side-by-side comparison between the Panasonic TH-50PZ800U and other plasmas, you'll see it is not only superior to lesser expensive units, but comes very close to the more expensive Pioneer Kuro, which is considered to be the best plasma TV money can buy. Its THX mode is also a major advantage because it allows you to achieve a professional-level calibration (color temp very close to 6500K, accurate primary colors, correct brigthness and contrast settings) without hiring a professional or messing around with complicated settings.The new Vizio XVT-series plasma that will sell for $1600 looks like it will be a serious contender, and I'm looking forward to judging its picture quality and overall performance in person.

                              Posted on 12/26/2008 1:02 am. In reply to Vinnie Frascatore | Reply
                              • carter69 carter69

                              For the money, this is a very good TV. The picture is great, works well with ps3 for bluray.

                              Posted on 12/24/2008 3:27 pm | Reply