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 Post subject: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:33 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:00 pm 
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Here in Ontario, electricity is in overabundance. The only reason we are told to conserve is because the government is trying to convince us that it is good for the environment. The reality is, as I see it, is that Ontario is profiteering heavily off selling electricity to the US. If we were simply serving ourselves, all we would likely need is the clean, hydroelectric power that is generated by our water bodies.

That is why I see this electricity saving agenda as a farce. Perhaps it is not the same situation in other areas where coal is used for power generation, but realistically, even nuclear electricity generation is clean, which accounts for the majority of power generation.

Ontario says the push to fully eliminate coal electricity production is the reason for constantly rising power costs. However, coal already accounts for a small fraction of our power generation. If not for power profiteering, we would not need more power generation. Where this money is going is what I'm interested in. I'd like to see better health care, education, and welfare for Canadians.

Back to more TV's and less politics: the C650 is an LCD with many issues. I should know, I sell them. First off, you have to deal with the fact that there are 3 main versions of them. One uses an in-house Samsung panel, one is provided by BenQ's AU Optronics, and the other (the least desirable version) is provided by Chi Mei (CMO). I have seen all 3 versions, and find the off-axis viewing on all 3 suffer. The "Ultra Clear Panel" puts the unit in no man's land in my opinion. Sure, the lack of an anti-glare coating makes the picture more vibrant, but it also increases glare in bright environments, which is where the C650 is supposed to excel. Not to mention the cheap tricks this and many LCDs do to make better blacks... dynamically dimming the backlight when the scene is dark. This LCD will exhibit plenty of backlight bleed when a scene has light and dark sections at the same time.

Really, what it comes down to is we have lots of electricity and we are being told to save. And this energy hysteria has convinced the average consumer to choose electrical efficiency over performance.

The C6400/6500 plasma blows away the C650 LCD in my opinion. If you are not using the screen for gaming or PC purposes, and you don't have a very bright room, the 6400 is the way better choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:39 am 
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Location: Orange County
Quote:
...the pro-plasma videophile point of view is too dismissive of the environmental deprivations, conflicts, wars, and suffering caused by our collective insatiable hunger for energy. Our recommendation is to pass by this plasma.


So now we are going to blame Plasma TVs for all the worlds ills?
With this logic the only way to save ourselves is becoming Amish.
I love SPCR and have been following this website since it's infancy.
Sorry Mike, you need to leave your political opinions out of technical reviews.
BTW, all your worries would be more accurately laid at the feet of government.
And last time I checked, this website was about keeping computers silent.

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:51 am 
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The newest Samsung LED backlit LCD's with 240Hz refresh rates also have amazing dynamic contrast ratio and virtually 180 degree viewing angles. Their lifespan should be much longer than any other type of TV monitor. And they use less than half the power -- what's not to like? Why would you buy a plasma or higher power consumption LCD model?

Of course we need to conserve as much energy as we can -- and we certainly should not be soiling our planet. If you are going to be buying a new TV, then you should make the wisest choice you can, based on the facts.

Thank you for the review, Mike. I'm hoping to see a 32-42" LCD 1080P 240Hz with full LED back lighting, and ~4M:1 contrast ratio for under $1K... :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:25 am 
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Location: Rhode Island
As much as I agree that reduction of power consumption is something to strive for, I don't feel that advocating avoidance of this television set strictly due to hourly wattage use is a wise decision. I'm sure that you didn't mean it in such harsh terms, but a more public affairs friendly way of concluding such an article might be something more like:

"This set's all around silent performance is excellent in its given price point, however one main caveat is that the power consumption can be nearly three times as much as its LED cousin (typical of plasma televisions). When such a large gulf in power consumption exists in technologies that can produce nearly the same results, we can best recommend this plasma television to the slightly more than occasional movie watcher who is looking for great picture quality and silent operation; as opposed to an always on daily watcher of broadcast television content."

I'm not trying to tell you how to do your job, as it is always a treat to read articles by articles written by "Mike Chin" (Lawrence and Devon, I love your articles, too). I guess I was just expecting a more editorially neutral slant to what otherwise met expectations as a rather detailed and well written post that addressed things that some devoted home theater reviews don't normally cover. I especially enjoyed the bit regarding how the judder from an HTPC issue was addressed.

My personal opinion on the matter of power consumption is that it is more a matter of changing personal perspective, awareness and habits. Take for instance the impact of production and disposal, that can at times have a much larger impact on the environment than anything that the appliance can draw during its lifetime. And as stated in the article, these plasmas draw next to nothing when they are off. I am an occasional movie watcher and I've found that I love the picture on my plasma set more than anything else, but the majority of its life is spent off so the bigger consideration of power draw goes to my always on computer (to which I have to give great credit to this forum for being one of the few places that make real world power consumption part of the review).


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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:55 am 
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Thanks for the review. Sad that it doesn't have a standby mode. I wonder how many owners see the screen blank and then just leave the TV on all day...consuming 118W.

There are really only two reasons to get a quality plasma over a quality LCD:
- picture quality for HD content is still better than backlit LCD panels can provide. You just have to decide whether it's enough "better" to justify the power use. Individual choice (I opted for lower power).
- gaming -> low input lag. How about an input lag test, Mike?

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:27 am 
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OK, guys, it's possible I went a little too far with the last few statements in this review. But hey, now everyone knows exactly what's wrong with this TV, right? My opinion doesn't matter, as those who disagree will disagree, and those who agree thought that way to start with... so it hurts no one and nothing for me to get the satisfaction of saying this is a gas guzzler. I have hated all types of gas guzzlers for decades, and if I can't express that opinion in my on article in my own site... well, where's the fun in that? :roll: :shock: :lol:

And it might be due to the ideal dim viewing room we use, and my lack of "acclimatization" with plasma vs lcd (as suggested by one of the MissingRemote boys), but based on memory & experience, there is very little to differentiate this plasma from the c650 lcd last reviewed. Now, one who sells tvs sees them in a much wider range of conditions, and perhaps you are right in saying the video performance of this plasma is better than the lcd under different conditions. But neither do well in bright rooms, my instant reaction to the reflections off the glass (screen) with either of these tvs is to draw the curtains and turn down the light. I swear my first take on this tv immediately after the swap w/ the c650 was.... yuk! :o It looked terrible & took a lot of work at the beginning to get it displaying right.

Amish? Naw, not with half a dozen 365/24/7 PCs in the house -- and all the constant corrupting influences of tv, movies and the whole wide web on the screens.

As for the cheap electricity in Ontario, it is not so different in BC... but that's hardly a good reason to encourage big gas guzzlers everywhere. Ontario and BC account for maybe 2-3% of the audience. What about the folks in S. Cal. who import their electricity? What about the all the umpteen places in the world where coal is the primary generator of electricity? spcr readership is worldwide.

As for what silent pc review is and should be, it is what we all make it be. It was at first just a mod-mad site for silence obsessed techhead. It then expanded mostly into a noise-focused review site as we helped to develop the market for quiet components and complete PCs. But along the way, with the close relationship between noise, cooling and heat/power, we began examining and reporting power metrics -- years before other tech sites even thought about it. Maybe >6 yrs ago. Editorial focus on power and energy efficiency is old here... and most people love our reporting of it even at the micro levels of power draw when off.

Anyway, I just got a phone call from Samsung, where the bosses are also unhappy about the focus on power, as they think it should be compared only to other plasma TVs. I stand my ground with them. They are all TVs. Of course you should consider energy efficiency as one of your buying criteria! Regardless of the underlying technology. The one concession I make is this statement: "It is very possible that we'd be dishing out the same tough advice about any plasma TV of this size. Perhaps there are no plasmas with better energy efficiency; we cannot confirm until we test for ourselves."

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:41 am 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/news-2011-02-23.htm discusses power draw as studied by CEA (Consumer Electronics Association).
Quote:
* CEA Study finds dramatic increase in TV energy efficiency. The full report (PDF) is at ce.org

# LCD active power use fell 63 percent from 2003 to 2010.
# LCD standby power use dropped 87 percent from 2004 to 2010.
# Plasma TV active power use dropped 41 percent from 2008 to 2010.
# Plasma TV standby use fell 85 percent from 2008 to 2010.

# Figure 6 in the full report shows that even in the same model year there is a wide variation in power from one TV to another. The data for 2010 has a TV that draws 75W and a TV in the same category that draws 200W. Buyers will still have to put some effort in to be sure they are buying an efficient model. Power Density (W/in^2) should be below 0.20 to be considered above average efficiency. ENERGY STAR qualified TVs use about 40% less energy than standard units in all modes of operation (stand-by and active). Lists of Energy Star TVs are available in Excel and PDF formats. If you want the most efficient TV look for one introduced after May 1, 2010 using the Energy Start 4.1 certification method. Version 5.1 will become effective May 1, 2012.


Going by the 0.20 rule of thumb a 58" TV should use less than 287W (1436in^2). The actual 2010 Energy star rule is Pmax = 0.120 * A + 25, which for this case is 197W. In 2012 the Energy star rules will be tightened again and the limit for large TVs (>50") is Pmax = 108. Simple, no math involved you can't use more than 108W. If you have a smaller TV the rule will be Pmax = 0.084 * A + 18 which gives you a limit of 107W at 50" and 94W at 46".

Of course as you'll see below the numbers from the Energy star list and this review don't match. So you have to wonder what test image(s) they use at the Energy Star labs.

Pulling from the Energy Star list some competing TVs with low power are (multiple model numbers with nearly identical specs are common):

Panasonic TC-P54G20 Plasma 54" 159W 175W
TC-P54G25 Plasma 54" 159W 175W
TC-P54S2 Plasma 54" 159W 175W
TC-P54VT25 Plasma 54" 159W 175W

LG 55LV3500 LCD 55" 76W 178W
55LV5500 LCD 55" 77W 178W
55LE5300 LCD 55" 84W 178W
55LE530C LCD 55" 84W 178W
55LE7300 LCD 55" 84W 178W

Sony KDL-55EX620 LCD 55" 85W 178W
KDL-55EX621 LCD 55" 85W 178W
KDL-55EX720 LCD 55" 85W 178W
KDL-55EX723 LCD 55" 85W 178W
KDL-55EX710 LCD 55" 90W 178W
KDL-55EX711 LCD 55" 90W 178W
KDL-55EX713 LCD 55" 90W 178W

Now we hit the Samsungs clustered around the review (58" models)
Samsung PN58C540G3F Plasma 58" 157W 199W
PN58C550G1F Plasma 58" 158W 199W
PN58C590G2F Plasma 58" 159W 199W
PN58C590G4F Plasma 58" 159W 199W
PN58C680G5F Plasma 58" 183W 199W
PN58C7000YF Plasma 58" 184W 199W
PN58C8000YF Plasma 58" 184W 199W
PN58C6400TF Plasma 58" 186W 199W
PN58C6500TF Plasma 58" 186W 199W

PN58C6400TF was reviewed here and the question is what do you give up going from the PN58C6400TF to the PN58C590G4F which uses the same screen but has different settings, presumably less features, and possibly different electronics.

What will they change to drop to the nearly 80W to meet the 2012 standard?

Oh and if you think it's unfair to compare 55" to 58" lets add some 60" LCDs to the mix

Sharp LC-60LE810UN LCD 60" 102W 210W
LC-60LE820UN LCD 60" 103W 210W
LC-60LE920UN LCD 60" 106W 210W
LC-60LE925UN LCD 60" 107W 210W


Samsung UN60C6300SF LCD 60" 104W 210W
UN60C6400RF LCD 60" 104W 210W
UN60C6400SF LCD 60" 104W 210W

104W 60" LCD vs 186W 58" Plasma. To me there isn't a big reason to go plasma, I'll save the watts and use a LCD TV.

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:45 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
The newest Samsung LED backlit LCD's with 240Hz refresh rates also have amazing dynamic contrast ratio and virtually 180 degree viewing angles. Their lifespan should be much longer than any other type of TV monitor. And they use less than half the power -- what's not to like? Why would you buy a plasma or higher power consumption LCD model? ...


This is simply not true. Consumers have been led to believe LED TVs last longer. However, the LEDs in these TVs are rated at 30,000 hrs lamp life. I didn't make this number up. I have a contact at LG that told me that. LG was (and likely still is) supplying LED lamps to other TV manufacturers. These are specially binned blue LEDs; only the whitest blue LEDs make it. They are expensive to make, and they are very bright and thus do not last forever like a traditional LED. Furthermore, the most common cause for failure for a TV is control board (electronic) failure, which is common to both Plasma and LCD/LED, thus making panel life a moot point. Build quality matters more than the panel type itself when we are talking about longevity.

Samsung's LED lineup IS NOT back-lit. It is edge-lit. Testing in the past has shown that edge-lit LED sucks when compared to back-lit solutions. And the local dimming solution these edge lit panels employ do not perform nearly as well as a back-lit LED local dimming matrix would. The only reason edge-lit is around is because the average consumer is not a quality connoisseur and wants a thin TV. Dynamic contrast is a farce. TV's that rely on this technology usually have poor ANSI contrast (the only contrast that matters). And 240HZ frame interpolation is another LCD crutch to get the video quality plasma achieves at 60Hz. I for one hate the soap opera effect. Oh and viewing angle... Samsung's LCDs are all over the place with respect to that. Some are bad, some are horrible. And 90 percent of the time you don't even get a Samsung LCD in the TV. We have models that ran over 2000 dollars and still had Chi Mei panels in them. And an 800 dollar model that has a Sharp LCD panel in it. Go figure. It is too inconsistent to trust. Sometimes the box won't have the version and then you get to play the panel lottery.

Plasma is still the IQ king. Electricity consumption is one of the least of our environmental worries. Although I'd still go LCD if it was a gaming TV.

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:06 am 
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MikeC wrote:
OK, guys, it's possible I went a little too far with the last few statements in this review. But hey, now everyone knows exactly what's wrong with this TV, right? My opinion doesn't matter, as those who disagree will disagree, and those who agree thought that way to start with... so it hurts no one and nothing for me to get the satisfaction of saying this is a gas guzzler. I have hated all types of gas guzzlers for decades, and if I can't express that opinion in my on article in my own site... well, where's the fun in that? :roll: :shock: :lol:

IMO value per unit of consumption is a better metric. Translating the difference in power usage b/w the LCD and plasma compared in the review to $ (US) using the national average price per KWH nets to ~$40/year @ 4 hours per day (higher than my actual usage).

Personally, I think the gains in PQ are worth $40+ a year.

MikeC wrote:
Other videophiles claim that the performance strengths of plasma still make it the best HD TV option, that at a given price point it is better in almost every metric (black levels, contrast, color accuracy and pixel response) compared to LCD. If the power demand of this Samsung plasma TV is typical, the pro-plasma videophile point of view is too dismissive of the environmental deprivations, conflicts, wars, and suffering caused by our collective insatiable hunger for energy. Our recommendation is to pass by this plasma, perhaps any big plasma.

I think that "other videophile" was me :)

While I agree that finding balance as a consumer is an important part of being a good steward of the resources that are available to us, I think you are being unduly harsh on plasma tech. $40-$80/year isn't that big of an impact and there are other ways to make that back (i.e. putting your PC in standby, CFL, walking, public transportation v. driving, etc).

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:19 am 
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I didn't see it mentioned in the review, but one other thing you might want to check for in future plasma TVs is whether there are any problems with image retention/burn-in. This is something inherent with plasma technology and different manufacturers/models have different ways of dealing with it. HTPC users really need to watch out for it because your standard HTPC front-end has quite a few static parts.


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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:54 am 
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OK, Andy (babgvant), you could be right. I've softened the conclusions just a bit, and suggested readers to come look at this forum for counterpoints to my view.

And thanks, again, for your help back when judder was making me crazy. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:57 am 
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Hazelrah wrote:
I didn't see it mentioned in the review, but one other thing you might want to check for in future plasma TVs is whether there are any problems with image retention/burn-in. This is something inherent with plasma technology and different manufacturers/models have different ways of dealing with it. HTPC users really need to watch out for it because your standard HTPC front-end has quite a few static parts.


Modern plasmas shouldn't have issues with burn-in, but they are much more susceptible to image retention (IR) than LCDs. If the primary use case is as a PC monitor plasma is probably not the best choice; in normal home theater usage (TV, Movies, etc) neither should be a concern. If the display does experience IR, most TVs include a "wipe" feature that can be use to remove it.

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:15 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
OK, Andy (babgvant), you could be right. I've softened the conclusions just a bit, and suggested readers to come look at this forum for counterpoints to my view.

TBC, I agree that power consumption is an area where plasma needs to do better. I'd be surprised if local LED dimming LCD tech doesn't catch up in PQ within the next couple/three years; when that happens it will be very hard for it to compete if the power numbers don't look a lot better.

MikeC wrote:
And thanks, again, for your help back when judder was making me crazy. 8)

NP, happy to help. I've been using SPCR as a reference point for my HTPC builds for forever :)

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:04 pm 
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Mike,

I have no idea what your stance was before you softened it, but I appreciate your effort to raise the question. I have been following SPCR for years. At first just because I was looking for a way to quiet my PC (like everyone else I suppose) but since then I in part come back for the general quality of the reviews. One of the qualities I like is that you take testing seriously and empirically, but are not afraid to state a strongly held opinion.

I expect the feedback you are receiving here is largely from videophiles who are not taking kindly to feeling morally questioned about their choices, even if it is not your intent. I also think that these folks are partly right that there are many choices people can make that have greater or lesser impact. What has a really big impact though are the collective choices of many. If enough people are convinced by the videophile crowd that plasma is 'better', and move to TV's that consume 100W more on average, this could have a significant difference.

And for most people, they will never notice the difference (except on their electric bill). This is why videophiles (or silent PC enthusiasts for that matter) have to have their own little walled compounds on the internet. The vast majority simply can't tell or don't care about the difference.

So please continue with your efforts to point this out, because along with the 'plasma is better' meme that the videophiles help propagate, there is still the 'plasma is a power hog' meme that we don't want to disappear. Because the first is only likely to be noticed by the select few with Golden eyes, while the second will be noticed by the rest of us (and our children - think of the wee ones! ;))


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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:18 am 
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jubrany wrote:
the LEDs in these TVs are rated at 30,000 hrs lamp life.

This is interesting. I worked in the lighting field for a while, and the shortest life LED lamps we specified were 50,000 hour. I think most were actually 100,000 hour. Of course, this all depends on junction temperatures, and these things had massive heat sinks. And the manufacturers may have been fudging the numbers. Typically the numbers spewed by device manufacturers is actually the rated life of the LED assuming perfectly controlled operation with super amazing heat sinking. No one seems to be adjusting for the fact that you just crammed 5,000 LEDs into a 5'x3.5'x.5' box with no fan (disclaimer: my dimensions and quantities are totally uninformed).
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that for ALL LEDs, the rated life is the estimated time to half-brightness. This is true for the LED in your remote control, your television, your light fixture, etc. In fact, plasma screens also see this lifetime dimming effect. These are not time until an LED "burns out", they are times until they have lost half their intensity. LEDs only fail under catastrophic conditions (ie fatal manufacturing defects, extreme over-temperature, extreme over-voltage, etc).

As for the energy efficiency arguement, why doesn't energy cost more? If there is a real-world cost associated with it, why is this not passed on to the consumer? I agree that these costs exist, but we need an economic system which recognizes them, and prices accordingly. People will buy a more efficient TV for them when it makes economic sense, not because it is nice/neat/etc. This is human nature. (Granted, there is a nice/neat crowd, but sadly the nice/neat factor is incompatable with economic rationality.)

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:21 am 
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andymcca wrote:
jubrany wrote:
the LEDs in these TVs are rated at 30,000 hrs lamp life.

This is interesting. I worked in the lighting field for a while, and the shortest life LED lamps we specified were 50,000 hour. I think most were actually 100,000 hour. Of course, this all depends on junction temperatures, and these things had massive heat sinks. And the manufacturers may have been fudging the numbers. Typically the numbers spewed by device manufacturers is actually the rated life of the LED assuming perfectly controlled operation with super amazing heat sinking. No one seems to be adjusting for the fact that you just crammed 5,000 LEDs into a 5'x3.5'x.5' box with no fan (disclaimer: my dimensions and quantities are totally uninformed).

No question all of these lights dim over time. The dimming in my 4-year old Sony 40" LCD is fairly dramatic; whether LEDs last better....? I've seen claims that the latest plasma screens will go 100,000 hrs being 50% dimmer -- but this I have to witness to believe. [/quote]
Quote:
As for the energy efficiency arguement, why doesn't energy cost more? If there is a real-world cost associated with it, why is this not passed on to the consumer? I agree that these costs exist, but we need an economic system which recognizes them, and prices accordingly. People will buy a more efficient TV for them when it makes economic sense.

Agreed... not when it makes economic sense, but when it hurts not to buy efficiency. So often avoidance of pain seems more of a motivation in these kinds of scenarios. On the other hand, cars (and smooth paved roads for them) have been subsidized for as long as they've been around, for the benefit of corporations that make & sell cars, oil companies, etc. Their "real world cost" has never been paid at the dealers' showrooms -- and still isn't. (Note -- the price of gas at the pump is consistently the lowest in the US among all industrialized countries. The US price is currently lower than in a hundred other countries. http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_g ... ine-prices)

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:17 am 
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I wonder what this thing is called in Europe. PS58C6505 ? Why oh why can't they call them the same across regions..


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 Post subject: Re: Samsung PN58C6400 Plasma HDTV
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:24 am 
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Scoop wrote:
I wonder what this thing is called in Europe. PS58C6505 ? Why oh why can't they call them the same across regions..

Sounds about right. The extra 5 probably denotes some variant of Ac cord or voltage. According to jubrany (poster in this thread), the C6400/6500 are the same.

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