We’re not going to announce a winner — you can make up your mind from the information presented here. We highly recommend you read each review — of both the Panasonic VT30 and the Samsung Series 8 D8000 — before you go any further, to better understand each TV’s features and performance. We will say that the Samsung is a little cheaper in any given screen size but with TV prices so low across the market this shouldn’t be too much of a deciding factor.
Vital stats: Panasonic VT30
What’s hot: Good 3D and 2D Full HD performance, surprisingly reasonable price tag
What’s not: Free to air TV doesn't look great, black performance isn't perfect
The final word: Panasonic's latest and greatest and largest 3D plasma TV is excellent when paired with a high quality Blu-ray player, for both 2D and 3D movies. It's not even especially expensive given its huge screen size. Its internal digital TV tuner isn't very good though, so we'd recommend pairing it up with a TiVo or other high quality PVR. In addition, a few other questionable video quality changes since last year's VT20 mean that the VT30 isn't better in every way. Chassis thickness and bland bezel aside, the VT30 is a television that we're generally impressed with.
Vital stats: Samsung Series 8 D8000
What’s hot: Excellent picture quality, great design, impressive sound quality from a thin TV
What’s not: The Series 6 might be slightly better value, EPG is slow to load and navigate
The final word: The 2011 edition of Samsung's Series 8 plasma is, as we'd expected, an impressive piece of technology. Its sound and visuals are great, and the inclusion of various 'Smart TV' features makes the Series 8 a useful multimedia device as well as a traditional TV. The built-in Web browser isn't perfect and we'd definitely prefer a notebook if one was close to hand, and some of the features are a little imperfect, but the Series is is nonetheless a big step forward from the featureless TVs of a couple of years ago.
Do you disagree with our findings? Let us know in the comments below.