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Samsung PN50C8000

We haven't had a chance to fully test this product yet, but we've assembled this helpful overview of relevant information on it.

Samsung’s PN50C8000 is part of their C8000 series from last year. They’re brushed-metal gray and only 1.5 inches deep, looking elegant without taking up too much space. This 50-inch TV features 3D technology with 1080p HDTV resolution. With the Clear Image Panel coating and 600Hz Subfield- Motion drive the C8000 ensures that images aren’t distorted and remain clear for viewing pleasure. This TV has 4 HDMI ports and two 10 watt speakers to offer full surround sound. The The C8000 series offers internet access with Samsung’s 2010 Linkstick, two high-speed USB ports and a Content Library to hold some pictures and video for playback. With the internet comes Samsung’s Smart TV which allows users to get widgets accessing Youtube, Facebook, Blockbuster and Flickr among others. C8000 Televisions exceed Energy Star ratings by more than 40%, according to Samsung.

Features List:

– 50-inch 3D Plasma TV

– 1080p HDTV resolution

– Clear Image Panel coating reduces blurriness

– 600Hz Subfield Motion

– 4 HDMI Ports

– 2 High-Speed USB Ports

– Samsung Smart TV internet access

– Exceeds Energy Star ratings

– Touch of Color gradiations in brushed metal gray

– 1.5 inches deep

– FilterBright anti-glare and Real Black Filter

Which other panel specs should I pay attention to?

In short: brightness, contrast, and refresh time.

Brightness is measured in Candelas per square meter, or cd/m2. A typical figure, for instance, might be 500 cd/m2. More is always better, especially if you plan to plant your TV in a bright room where the screen will have to overcome other light sources.

Contrast is measured as a ratio of the brightest white a TV can produce, over the darkest dark. For instance, Insignia’s NS-L42X-10A offers a 4,000:1 contrast ratio. More is also better, but beware of “dynamic contrast ratios,” which use unrealistic measurement conditions (the brightest white is measured with the backlight set to full, and the darkest dark with the backlight to minimum, even though those levels could never occur side by side on the same screen) to inflate the number to levels like 2,000,000:1.

Refresh time is measured in milliseconds, such as 5ms. Lower is always better, and will prevent the “ghosting” that can sometimes be seen in fast-motion video.

What are widgets?

Many of the top television manufacturers – including Sony, Sharp, Panasonic and Samsung – include Ethernet jacks on the back of their premium televisions for high-speed Internet connectivity (or in some cases, have integrated Wi-Fi for wireless connections). TV viewers will then use the remote to select “widgets,” graphicalicons on the screen that plays relevant (and customized) content ranging from YouTube videos and Flickr photo galleries to local weather, news, sports updates and stock quotes, usually delivered by Really Simple Syndication (RSS). Even more exciting is the partnership between Netflix and various TV companies, such as LG and Sony, allowingtelevision viewers to access tens of thousands of movies on-demand, many of which are in high-definition.

How large of a screen do I really need?

“Bigger is better” doesn’t make any more sense when choosing an HDTV for your living room than when choosing a couch for your living room. A lot of factors come into play. As a general rule, consider a TV 1.5 to 3.0 times the screen size. For instance, a 32-inch television might make sense for viewing distances as close as four feet away, and as far as eight feet away. Check out our guide to choosing the right size HDTV for more details, including a helpful chart.

What is a LED backlighting?

Traditionally, LCD TVs have used compact fluorescent (CFL) tubes placed behind an LCD panel to provide the backlighting that literally lights up the screen. More modern LED TVs replace these tubes with clusters of light emitting diodes – LEDs.

When LEDs are placed at the edges of the screen, as CFL tubes traditionally were, TVs can be made significantly thinner, and LEDs use less power than fluorescents. The most inexpensive LED-lit HDTVs take this approach.

However, the biggest advantage to using LEDs is realized when they light the screen in a grid from behind. Sophisticated electronics vary the intensity of every LED in accordance with action on the screen, making dark areas of the image darker, and bright areas brighter. This effectively increases the contrast ratio compared to uniform lighting. Although it also increases costs, many people believe this type of LCD is the first to truly rival plasma on black levels.

Read more about LED backlighting and the differences between both techniques in our guide to understanding LED backlighting.

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