Excellent Picture & Price!
Among the very best HDTVs that I've had the pleasure of working on this year are these two plasma televisions.
The wall mount is the Sanus VLF320-B1 that provides full-motion including swivel, tilt, and extension - a terrific mount that can be operated with fingertip pressure.
The Panasonic VT50's luscious-looking imagery is assisted by professional calibration controls that proved effective at achieving accurate, faithful video reproduction. I also appreciated Panasonic's clean menu interface and updated selection of apps that includes Amazon Instant Video. However, Panasonic continues to bury its overscan picture control in the TV's setup menu - this should really be a button on the remote control.
The Samsung E8000 plasma is the company's flagship model and it features a seamlessly integrated camera and microphones centered along the TV's upper bezel. Pair this with Samsung's ever-expanding selection of apps, built-in Bluetooth and WiFi, and it wont be long before premium HDTVs also double as very usable family room computers. Compared to older Samsung plasmas like my beloved C8000, the E8000's 96Hz mode (24p frames repeated 4x) doesn't sacrifice black level (picture contrast) when enabled.
Both HDTVs include a premium compact touch pad remote that's useful with menu navigation and app usage. Samsung's touch-enabled remote also integrates a microphone for voice control capabilities - handy if you are not close enough to the TV's integrated mics. Samsung also pushes the functionality envelope by adding a Soft AP feature to the E8000 that can turn its WiFi into an access point that nearby devices can utilize.
Terrific picture quality and compelling integrated features are making this a great year for HDTVs and we still have a few months go to before the 2013 CES in Las Vegas arrives with previews of what's to come next year.