The Samsung PN58C7000 is a 58-inch 3D plasma HDTV with excellent picture quality, both 2D and 3D, and it allows you to tweak the image settings to your heart's desire. There's also Internet connectivity with lots of applications to enhance your experience. However Samsung decided to leave out something that most others include: a pair of 3D glasses.
Samsung's PN58C7000 is relatively inexpensive when you compare it to other plasma HDTVs with 3D capabilities, which will please those that are watching their budget. Plasma TV offer some advantages over LCD TVs, including better black levels and a more consistent image across the entire screen.
The Samsung PN58C7000 measures 54.6 x 1.4 x 33.4-inches (wdh) and weighs about 73 pounds. The 1.4-inch thickness is quite thin for a plasma TV, which is always a pleasing look aesthetically. The deep gray bezel has a matte finish as opposed to a glossy one, which we also like, and it goes well with the brushed metal design of the stand. The stand is very minimal, which will certainly please those design-lovers out there. The lower right side of the TV on the outer bezel houses the touch-sensitive buttons, that include a source and menu button as well as channel, volume and power.
The remote control included with this TV has raised buttons, which work and feel quite well. All of the keys are backlit except for just a few, which is a big plus for using it in a dark home theater environment. The on-screen menus are very simplistic and use an attractive transparent blue color scheme. Almost all of the options are presented with a text explanation at the bottom of the screen. Samsung's menu design is definitely one of the best out there and it's worth a mention.
Because of the thin panel, the input ports on the back are rather cramped along a small edge on the side. The inputs run parallel to the body, which allows you to plug in things even with the TV flush against a wall. In total, there are four HDMI ports, 1 digital audio optical port, 1 composite, 1 component, 1 audio in, RF coaxial in, 2 USB ports and Ethernet in. Lacking on the Samsung PN58C7000 are analog ports, which might be an issue for some. The second USB port is to be used with an optional Wi-Fi dongle.
We said earlier that this TV is Internet-enabled and it is, but it is not wireless, which is a downside. You'll have to connect it to via Ethernet cable, which might pose an issue for some home theater setups. The applications that Samsung includes are Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Blockbuster, Dailymotion, Pandora, Vudu and some others. Video applications are definitely well-covered, but audio applications are lacking (Pandora is the only one). Samsung also includes Yahoo! Widgets (19 to be exact) and they include basic things like news and weather, but also more advanced applications like access to Flickr, Facebook and Twitter.
Samsung includes lots of preset picture modes, but also provides a 10-point color temperature system to tweak many aspects of the picture. There are built-in test patters to help tweak colors to their limit. Many settings are also available for the 3D images, including perspective and depth adjustments. You can also adjust the settings for the conversion of 2D content to 3D content, which is available on this TV, but don't expect the best results.
The Samsung PN58C7000's screen is antireflective, which is nice to have because it cuts down on glare. The backlighting is very good and seemed quite bright to a good extent. There's also an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust the backlighting depending on the room's ambient light.
2D images on this 1080p HDTV were fantastic, but it does lack 1080p/24 processing. The black levels on this plasma TV are very black, which is great. The black levels are uniformly black across the whole screen from edge to edge. In subjective testing, colors were very accurate and quite vibrant.
Samsung, unfortunately, did not include any 3D glasses with this TV, which is rather unfortunate. However, when using the 3D glasses made for this unit, the picture seemed quite vivid and good looking. We did notice some slight ghosting on some images when in 3D mode, but it wasn't anything too distracting. Subjectively, the Samsung PN58C7000 has very good 3D quality images.