The Samsung PN58B860 is Samsung’s flagship plasma HDTV. Although its picture quality is not as impressive as the Panasonic TC-P58V10, it is still an excellent HDTV with many great features, proving that Plasmas are still in the running.

Design. The design of the Samsung PN58B860 alone is something to please. Contrary to the belief that LCD HDTVs are thinner than plasma TVs, the PN58B860 is as thin as its LED-lit counterparts, measuring just 1.2 inches thick at its deepest point. It has a sleek, glossy black frame without the hint of reddish that many Samsung HDTVs come with, making it suitable for all tastes, and it has a thin transparent edge that gives it just the right touch of sophistication. Its matching stand swivels from side to side.

Image quality. Image quality is one of the strengths of plasma equipment, so it is not surprising that the PN58B860 delivers stunning images on your screen, sharp and realistic images with deep blacks combined with highly accurate saturated colors thanks to its advanced Wide Color Enhancer. Reflections in bright environments are also minimal.

Motion resolution and video processing. Like other Plasmas, the PN58B860 creates excellent moving images with its 600Hz subfield unit and 100Hz Motion Plus dejudder processing system. In fact, it displays multiple sources correctly and prevents blur so you don’t get lost. no action.

Interactive functions. As expected from a flagship Plasma model, the PN58B860 offers several interactive features to justify its cost. These include Yahoo widgets to keep you up to date on news, weather, and stock market updates, and access to Twitter, Flickr photos, and YouTube videos. Network streaming is also provided, which means you can access the media files from your networked computers and enjoy them using your HDTV. There’s also a built-in library of fun content like recipes, kids’ activities, and exercise routines.

Image controls. For those who like to fiddle with their HDTV settings until the perfect images are achieved, numerous controls are provided, including four adjustable picture modes that are independent per input, five color temperature presets, and four aspect ratio selections. . There’s even a Day / Night mode, though it’s reserved for professional HDTV calibrators. For basic setup, anyone can access the on-screen menu, which is still very easy to use.

Energy efficiency. Although Plasma models are still lacking in this area, the PN58B860 does not consume as much power as some of its predecessors. Rather, it comes with three power saving modes and an Eco picture mode that has slightly less light output.

Connectivity The Samsung PN58B860 also offers great connectivity, highlighted by no less than four neat HDMI inputs on the rear panel, a component video input, and a VGA-style PC input. Like other models, component video can be converted to composite if you prefer. Even so, however, the options for analog connections remain limited. For convenient media sharing from portable devices, two USB ports are provided.

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