The king of televisions: Pioneer's KURO plasma vs Samsung's Series 8 LED TV

We pit the best LED TV on the market against the best plasma TV

Samsung's UA46B8000 boasts a claimed 3000000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.

Samsung's UA46B8000 boasts a claimed 3000000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.

Power

The Samsung LED TV is a clear winner here. In a variety of static scenes, we found the average power consumption of the Pioneer KURO PDP-LX509A to be 414W, while the Samsung recorded an average of only 143W. Despite similar screen sizes, the Pioneer consumes almost three times as much power. You will notice the difference in your power bills.

Angle viewing, reflectivity and daylight usage

Both screens have reflective coatings and glossy bezels. While the Samsung’s mirror-finish bezel is more distracting, the Pioneer’s glossier screen finish means that it picks up more external light sources. In a room with bright downward-facing lights, both screens can be annoying to watch if you’re sitting at the wrong angle.

In a room lit by daylight — we tested in an east-facing room several times throughout the day — the Samsung is the superior choice. Higher brightness levels make it easier to watch with the sun behind it, and its screen isn't as reflective as the Pioneer's.

If you’re viewing the television from an angle, though, the Pioneer comes out ahead. It’s one of the inescapable advantages of plasma screen technology — the pixels are closer to the front glass of the screen, allowing more extreme viewing angles. The difference is mostly academic, though — we’d say there’s less than 10 degrees difference between where the Samsung UA46B8000 gives up and where the Pioneer loses its picture.

And the winner is...

It is close, but on the merits of better motion control and a higher contrast ratio, we’re giving the crown to the Pioneer KURO PDP-LX509A. The Samsung UA46B800 may be a better complete package, with a superior design and an on-board content library, but when it comes movie-watching the Pioneer is the one to pick.

As usual we recommend that if you’re buying a TV this expensive you take the time go into a store and directly compare the two models to see what works for you.

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