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Samsung PN58C8000

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 PN58C8000 is part of their C8000 series from 2010. The set is brushed metal-gray and at only 1.5 inches deep it doesn’t take up too much space. This 58-inch TV features 3D technology with 1080p HDTV resolution. The black levels are strong and the overall colors are accurate. The images in bright rooms are excellent for a plasma, with numerous picture controls and tweaks. A sleek, thin design (1 inch panel) and superb streaming and widget content in a well-integrated Apps platform. 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. The C8000 series offers internet access with Samsung’s 2010 Linkstick. With the internet comes Samsung’s Smart TV which allows users to get widgets accessing Youtube, Facebook, Blockbuster and Flickr among others. There are two high-speed USB ports and a Content Library to hold some pictures and video for playback. C8000 Televisions exceed Energy Star ratings by more than 40%, according to Samsung.

Features List:

– 58-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

Digital Trend’s TV Buying Tips:

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.

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 resolution do I need?

All consumer HDTVs break down into either 720p or 1080p resolution, which represents the number of horizontal lines in the display. More is obviously better here, but at small screen sizes – like 32 inches – many people find it hard to distinguish the benefit of 1080p resolution. As our guide to screen size points out, viewing distance can also play a factor: The closer you sit, the more you’ll appreciate higher resolution. In general, many people start to see an obvious difference between 1080p and 720p as screens sized 40 inches and up.

Also take into account that much of the content available today doesn’t take advantage of full 1080p resolution. Many shows still broadcast in 720p or 1080i. Technically only Blu-ray discs and digital, non-video sources (like a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or PC hooked up to the TV), really offer true 1080p content. This makes 1080p a no-brainer if you want to play Mass Effect 2 with the most detail and watch Star Trek on Blu-ray, but less essential if you just play to watch standard over-the-air broadcast material.

Do I need an ATSC tuner?

If you plan on watching, free, over-the-air programming, then yes. As of 2009, all over-the-air broadcasts use the ATSC standard. Pretty much all HDTVs manufactured over the past few years will include this feature.

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.

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