by: Jack Burden
Of course this depends upon which technology we're referring to, so let's start with plasma.
Panasonic's VT25 Series is
their flagship 3D plasma
Over the past couple of years Panasonic and Samsung have taken differing tacts in plasma picture brightness and black levels. Panasonic has started producing a much brighter image, while Samsung has produced deeper black levels and depth. A 3D image is likely going to look brighter on the Panasonic and deeper on the Samsung. Pretty tough trade off.
However, one of the drawbacks of a TV with deep black levels is that the display is not bright enough for a room with lots of ambient light. 3D glasses and content may negate this negative in which case Samsung plasma will likely perform a little better. One factor we're not sure of here is whether screen glare will be a factor. Some of Samsung's plasma screens have a fantastic picture but there is not as much anti glare technology incorporated in the clearer screen.
Panasonic did have their 3D plasma TVs all set up and ready to show at CES 2010. I dont believe I saw a Samsung plasma set up for show, so Panasonic may have an edge in development.
Samsung's 9000 series LED TV
is their high end 3D TV
As far as LCD goes, Panasonic still is not a big player. The company has produced a 120Hz LCD TV now and they are producing larger LCD sizes, however I do not believe it will have a 3D TV compatible model for 2010. If I'm wrong and the 120Hz LCD is 3D compatible, consider that there are better Hz rates available from Samsung in 240Hz and with LED backlighting.
Now in a last knockout comparison what wins between a Panasonic 3D Plasma TV and a Samsung 3D LCD TV? Follow the link to our analysis of these two competing 3D TV technologies; Plasma 3D TV vs. LCD 3D TV.
Panasonic vs Samsung 3D Shootout
Recently we conducted a head to head review of the Samsung PN50C8000 and the Panasonic TC-P50VT25. Some highlights from this are below or you can click here to read te full comparison review.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs on the Panasonic TC-P50VT25.
3D TV Viewing: It was difficult to discern between the Samsung and Panasonic when viewing 3D Content. Whether this is because we haven't reviewed much 3D TV material or whether it is due to a very close picture between the two we are unsure. We noticed the flash from the glasses from both TVs when surrounding room light was present. I felt that I noticed more natural color information on the Samsung just as with other non-3D TV viewed content. I also believed that I noticed more out of focus picture elements near the left and right edges of the screen on the Panasonic. Whether any of that is actual or perceived, it's hard to say. I'm rather used to picking out defects in non-3D TV content after 12 years of doing so. I have my test discs to back up my thoughts as well. It's more difficult with brand new content and a new format with no test material. I will say that I felt both TVs showed a very satisfactory, detailed and 3 dimensional image. Who gets the nod? This goes to the Samsung PN50C8000 only because of the perceived out of focus edges recurrent on the Panasonic. The competition was close. Both sets of glasses worked equally as well. Both TVs pulled me further into the 3D content.
Same movie on the Samsung PN50C8000. Keep in mind that we are having to take the picture through one lense of the glasses. These picture do not accurately reflect the quality of the viewing image.
HD and Standard Definition Picture Quality: With both HD sources and standard definition content the Panasonic VT25 produced a very vibrant, colorful, vivid image even after being toned down during our calibration. The picture frequently tends toward over saturation of color information. Processing testing and content revealed motion artifacts and background noise as well as some flicker.
The Samsung PN50C8000 displays wonderfully balanced color information and uniformity. Images are presented in a clean and clear manner devoid of artifacts, with colors properly saturated. Colors may seem a little washed out and weak at first but further viewing reveals them to be accurate and realistic. This was the case with both up converted standard definition material and HD content.
Design and Appearance: Panasonic decided not to play ball in the aesthetics category presenting yesteryear's black gloss wide 2.25" bezel framing, 3.5 inch depth and a not so attractive dark teal green screen that contrasts poorly with the black frame. At least the stand is a new oval shape and swivels side to side 17 degrees. The Samsung PN50C8000 by contrast is a beautiful TV with less than a 2" frame and with many design elements including a clear neck on the chrome swiveling table top stand, a matte dark charcoal metallic finish on the bezel frame, sleek 1.4" depth, and a dark black/purple screen.