Samsung PN50B860 Plasma HDTV HT Labs Measures
Full-On/Full-Off Contrast Ratio: 1,771:1
For a complete list of the picture settings used in this review, go to www.HomeTheaterMag.com. All of the measurements here were taken in the Movie mode, adjusted for the most accurate picture. The Cell Light was set to 8, Contrast to 90, Brightness to 52, and the Gamma to 0.
The full-on/full-off contrast ratio (sometimes referred to as the peak contrast ratio, the sequential contrast ratio, or the dynamic range) is adequate, but the blacks are rather high for a plasma. Adjustments in the Cell Light control, or even selecting the Darkest setting of the Black Tone control, did not alter the measured black level, which is apparently the lowest level the set can produce. In comparison, Samsung’s new UN55B7000 LED-backlit LCD HDTV (HT, August 2009) had a measured black level of 0.002 foot-lamberts—literally an order of magnitude better. It also had a similar peak white output when set up for the best image and a peak contrast ratio of 15,715:1.
The Color Tracking charts below show how well a display adheres to the D6500 standard white point; the tighter the overlap of the three primary colors, the nearer the result is to D6500. Both charts were taken in the Warm2 Color Tone setting.
The Before Calibration result is respectable, and the After Calibration chart shows a noticeable improvement.
The CIE chart above is for the Auto setting of the Color Space control. There’s nothing here to complain about, as the measured color gamut (the white triangle) nearly overlaps the black triangle that defines the Rec. 709 color standard. I tried to calibrate the Custom Color Space option, but the resulting improvement was marginal by measurement and insignificant to the eye. But do avoid the Natural setting, which produces a too-wide color gamut and vividly orange fleshtones. —TJN