Samsung Plasma TV Problems

By Marcas Grant

When it comes to home entertainment, flat screen televisions have gained greatly in popularity. Consumers in the market for a new TV have many options to consider - digital versus HD, screen size, and resolution. But perhaps the biggest decision is the choice of LCD versus plasma. While on average, the plasma screen costs more, there are noticeable advantages in picture quality. Among plasmas, the Samsung line has become one of the most popular. However, there are some downsides to the series. Here are a few items consumers should consider before making a decision.

Black Levels

A key component of evaluating the performance of a plasma television is the depth of the blacks in the display. Samsung's line of plasma televisions are adequate in that respect, but don't quite stand up to the standard set by the Panasonic series. Samsung TVs produce lighter blacks, particularly noticeable when watching letterbox edition movies and comparing it to other displays. Despite not having the deepest blacks in its display, the TVs still struggle with definition in dark scenes. In dark rooms, background objects and even background actions fail to stand out.

Color Accuracy

The lighter blacks spill over to affect Samsung's color accuracy. Because the depth of blacks is lacking, it affects deep colors--for instance, lush forest scenes and nighttime skies are not quite as saturated as they would be on other televisions. It also leads to uneven grayscale imaging. Shadows tend to look bluish and unnatural while skin tones often trend toward red. To their credit, Samsung televisions perform very well when it comes to lighter, brighter colors. Overall, however, it is better suited to rooms that do not have lots of outside light.


For people who are causal television watchers, the speakers on a Samsung plasma television are adequate. But for people who use their televisions primarily for gaming or watching movies, they will find the sound quality from the standard speakers lacking. The set's Tru Surround Technology has a tinny sound and does not have much bass.

Energy Efficiency

While the Samsung is not alone when it comes to performing poorly in the energy efficiency category, it is an issue worth considering. Plasma televisions as a whole have come under fire for using excessive power consumption, to the point that there have been discussions about banning plasma televisions (to this point no action has been taken and none appears imminent). If you are thinking about making the switch to a plasma television, it bears keeping in mind that it may cost between $25-100 more per year in electricity costs.

Video Processing

The Samsung screen is noisy, in more ways than one. Despite settings to reduce screen noise, there are still definite problems resolving video at times. At the same time, the screen emits an audible buzz that tends to get louder when the screen gets brighter.

References & Resources