Samsung PN60E7000 3D Plasma HDTV

Published On: December 12, 2012
Last Updated on: October 31, 2020
We May Earn From Purchases Via Links

Samsung PN60E7000 3D Plasma HDTV

Samsung's PN60E7000 plasma HDTV is packed with an impressive set of features. Adrienne Maxwell took on the PN60E7000 for review and to put that set of features to the test.

Samsung PN60E7000 3D Plasma HDTV

  • Adrienne Maxwell is the former Managing Editor of, Home Theater Magazine, and Adrienne has also written for Wirecutter, Home Entertainment Magazine,,, and other top specialty audio/video publications. She is an ISF Level II-certified video calibrator who specializes in reviews of flat-panel HDTVs, front video projectors, video screens, video servers, and video source devices, both disc- and streaming-based.

Samsung-PN60E7000-plasma-HDTV-review-3D-Car-small.jpgLCD may be the bread and butter of Samsung's TV business, but the company has come on strong in the plasma realm in recent years. Early this year, Displaybank reported that Samsung solidified its standing as the number one shipper of plasmas, surpassing Panasonic as the king of PDP. But hey, sales are one thing; performance is another. How does Samsung's 2012 plasma line compete in performance? I wanted to find out, so I requested a review sample of the PN60E7000.

Additional Resources
• Read more flat HDTV reviews from's staff.
• Get the most out of the PN60E7000 by exploring our Blu-ray Player Review section.
• Explore more reivews in our Soundbar Review section.

The PNE7000 Series is one of the higher-end lines in Samsung's 2012 plasma group, sitting just below the top-shelf PNE8000. The two series have identical performance specs, but the PNE7000 saves you some money by omitting features found in the PNE8000 - including the integrated camera, voice/motion control, and Smart Touch Bluetooth remote control. Both series use Samsung's Real Black Pro panel, Wide Color Enhancer Plus, and 600Hz Subfield Motion technology. They offer built-in wifi, the Smart Hub Web platform, a full Web browser, DLNA media streaming, and the new trio of Signature Services: Family Story, Fitness, and Kids. The PN60E7000 is an active 3DTV, and Samsung includes two pairs of active-shutter glasses in the package.

The PNE7000 Series comes in screen sizes of 51, 60, and 64 inches. The 60-inch PN60E7000 carries an MSRP of $2,420 and an average street price under $2,000.

Setup and Features
The PN60E7000 isn't quite as thin and stylish as some of the LED-based LCDs we've seen, but it's still a very nice-looking TV. The screen has about one inch of bezel around the top and sides, with a glossy brushed-charcoal finish and a clear acrylic border all the way around the frame. The TV itself looks quite similar to the Panasonic TC-P55ST50 I previously reviewed, but the Samsung model carries a more stylish, X-shaped silver stand that swivels (the Panasonic stand has a more traditional square shape). The PN60E7000 weighs about 62 pounds without the stand and measures 1.9 inches deep - not quite as thin as the Panasonic, especially near the bottom, where the Samsung's down-firing speakers add more depth than does Panasonic's 8-Train speaker design.

Samsung-PN60E7000-plasma-HDTV-review-angled-left.jpgThe PN60E7000 comes with Samsung's traditional IR remote, which offers amber backlighting and has a clean, logical layout. The higher-end PNE8000 also comes with the Bluetooth-based Smart Touch remote, a more minimalist design that uses fewer buttons and adds a touchpad (you can get my impressions of the Smart Touch remote in my review of the Samsung UN55ES8000 LCD). Samsung does include on the PN60E7000 a helpful onscreen universal-remote setup wizard that allows you to easily program the IR remote to control a cable/satellite box. Samsung also offers the free "Samsung Remote" app for Android and iOS devices, which features a touchpad, a game-control layout, and a virtual keyboard for easier text input. (The PN60E7000 also supports the addition of a Bluetooth keyboard for easier Web navigation.) Samsung's remote app worked reliably for me in both its iOS and Android forms, and its virtual keyboard is generally intuitive to use, although, like others I've tested, it does not work within many desirable apps like Netflix, YouTube, and Vudu. The current app does not include the ability to flick Web/media content to the TV, as you can do with the latest Panasonic/Sony apps I've tested. However, this Samsung TV supports the free third-party SwipeIt Remote app to flick personal content from your mobile device to the TV.

The PN60E7000's input panel includes three HDMI ports (all side-facing), one shared component/composite set, and an RF input to access the internal ATSC and ClearQAM tuners. Many competing higher-end panels now offer four HDMI inputs and a PC input. An Ethernet port is available for a wired network connection, and two USB ports are included for media playback and the addition of USB peripherals. This TV model is compatible with Samsung's Smart Evolution Kit, which gives you the option to upgrade the PN60E7000's features via an expansion slot on the back panel. Samsung says that the Smart Evolution Kit will accommodate hardware-based upgrades for the next four years. Finally, a mini-plug IR jack (called EX-Link) supports RS-232 for integration into an advanced control system.

Samsung's setup menu boasts all of the advanced picture controls you would need to calibrate the image, including RGB gain/offset, 10-point white balance, flesh-tone adjustment, advanced color management, seven gamma presets, and digital/MPEG noise reduction. Of the four picture modes offered, I consider the Movie mode to be the only viable choice. The Dynamic mode is unbearably exaggerated, the Standard mode is way too dim, and the Relax mode has color issues. (This TV lacks the THX and ISF picture modes you'll find in some plasma models from Panasonic and LG, but a professional calibrator can configure Cal-Day and Cal-Night modes if you desire.) The PN60E7000's Cell Light control allows you to adjust the phosphor brightness in 20 steps, kind of like the backlight adjustment you get on the LCD side. Samsung includes a Cinema Smooth option to display 24p film sources at 96Hz (or 4:4 pulldown), showing each frame four times to produce slightly smoother motion than the traditional 3:2 process; this TV does not offer any type of "smooth" mode that uses frame interpolation to produce the overly smooth "soap opera" effect that can occur with film sources.

Samsung-PN60E7000-plasma-HDTV-review-profile.jpgThe PN60E7000 is an active 3DTV. Samsung is competing more aggressively with the passive-3D manufacturers than some of the other active-3D supporters, choosing to include two pairs of active 3D glasses in the package and offering additional glasses for as little as $20. My review sample came with the SSG-4100GB glasses, which are light and comfortable, but not particularly stylish. The TV is set by default to automatically detect a 3D signal and will switch to a new set of 3D-specific picture modes. Within these modes, you can access most of the picture adjustments I described above, and the dedicated 3D setup menu offers the ability to adjust 3D perspective and L/R swap, and to enable 2D-to-3D conversion with depth adjustment.

In other setup news, the PN60E7000's Sound menu includes five preset sound modes, plus Virtual Surround, Dialog Clarity, a five-band Equalizer, and the ability to adjust the format and set delays for SPDIF output. Samsung's Eco menu includes an Energy Saving tool that lets you cut brightness in several steps to reduce power consumption, or you can turn on the Eco Sensor to automatically tailor light output to the room's brightness. Samsung is one of the few manufacturers that still offer picture-in-picture options, and the setup menu includes Screen Burn Protection tools to help prevent/counteract image retention.

Finally, we get to Smart Hub. Samsung's Web platform includes access to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, CinemaNow, Pandora, Facebook, Skype, and many other services that you can download through the Samsung Apps store (some are free, others are not). The big VOD omission is Amazon Instant Video. [Update: Samsung has now added Amazon Instant Video to its 2012 Smart TV line.] Samsung's AllShare tool is on board, so you can stream media content from a tablet, computer, or DLNA server. The AllShare function worked reliably with both my Samsung tablet and the Plex software on my MacBook Pro. WiFi Direct allows you to wirelessly connect compatible devices directly to the Samsung without going through your home network, and the inclusion of Intel WiDi lets you wirelessly display your WiDi-enabled computer screen on the TV. The PN60E7000 also includes a Soft AP mode to turn the TV into a WiFi access point. The Smart Hub Web browser supports Flash and loads pages very quickly, thanks to the inclusion of a dual-core processor that also allows for multitasking. Samsung's new trio of Signature Services includes a Kids section, which offers interactive children's stories, the Family Story platform, which serves as a private social network where you can share photos and notes with invited guests, and the Fitness platform, which allows you to cue up exercise videos, track your fitness goals, and even attach a USB scale. Since the PN60E7000 does not include the integrated camera found in the top-shelf PNE8000, you will need to add a camera via USB to take advantage of Skype video conferencing and the Virtual Mirror tool within the Fitness service. To get more details and observations about Samsung's 2012 Smart Hub platform, check out my separate review.

Throughout the course of my review, I compared the PN60E7000 with my reference 2012 plasma, the Panasonic TC-P55ST50. The PN60E7000's MSRP is a few hundred dollars higher than the 60-inch ST50, although the street prices are closer.

Read more about the performance of the Samsung PN60E7000 on Page 2.

Samsung-PN60E7000-plasma-HDTV-review-angled-right.jpgPlasma's strongest performance attribute is its ability to produce deeper blacks and better overall image contrast than an LCD, especially in a darker room. In my usual demo scenes from The Bourne Supremacy (Universal), Flags of Our Fathers (Paramount), and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Buena Vista), the Samsung TV delivered very deep-looking blacks and a wonderfully saturated image. By my eye, the Panasonic ST50 had a slight advantage in these areas, but the PN60E7000's dark-room performance was still excellent - much better than the various LCDs that have passed through my doors lately. With both film and HDTV content in a dark or dim room, the PN60E7000 presented a rich-looking image with excellent depth and good black detail. One of my new reference discs is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Buena Vista), which is loaded with dark, complexly-lit scenes. The Samsung did a great job recreating all of the subtle shades and nuances.

As expected with a plasma, the PN60E7000's viewing angle is wide, and screen uniformity is not an issue. I did find it interesting that, during all-black scene transitions, the screen goes completely dark. This is something we often see in the LED world to disguise poor black levels and screen-uniformity problems, but it's not really necessary in the plasma realm. The PN60E7000's Cell Light control allows you to adjust the TV's overall light output; setting it at the minimum level can provide a small improvement in black level, but it does so at the expense of overall image brightness. I preferred to leave the Cell Light at a high level to enjoy the excellent combination of black level and image brightness.

The higher Cell Light setting is a necessity when watching the PN60E7000 in a brighter environment. Of course, plasma can't compete with LCD when it comes to overall light output, but the PN60E7000 offers respectable brightness for a plasma - enough to enjoy a vibrant image in a moderately-lit room, but not ideal for a really bright, sunlit room. Even compared with the Panasonic plasma, the Samsung image did not have as much contrast in a bright room, primarily because its screen did not do as good a job of rejecting ambient light to make the black level look darker. Brighter scenes were comparable in contrast between the two displays, but the Panasonic had a clear advantage with darker scenes in a bright room.

In the areas of color, detail, and processing, the PN60E7000 excels. The picture looks very good right out of the box without much tweaking, beyond switching to the Movie mode. The color points look natural and accurate, and the color temperature appears to be very close to the 6,500-Kelvin reference across the board. Whereas Panasonic plasmas have a green emphasis out of the box, I found this Samsung TV to look more natural, with a truer white. Skin tones were generally neutral, although they occasionally had a bit more red than on the Panasonic. Calibration is not a necessity with the PN60E7000, but all of the tools are available to improve the image quality even further, should you wish to do so.

The PN60E7000 serves up an excellent level of detail with HD sources. The 60-inch image actually looked sharper and more detailed than that of the 55-inch Panasonic. The Samsung also offers good up-conversion of 480i sources: Apparent detail is excellent, and the TV passed the processing tests on both the HQV Benchmark DVD and the Coliseum flyover in Chapter 12 of Gladiator (DreamWorks, still one of the best real-world tests for jaggies and moiré). With 1080i content, it's worth noting that the TV needed to be set in the Auto1 film mode to correctly detect the 3:2 film cadence on the HD HQV Benchmark BD. One of my performance concerns with the Panasonic ST50 is that the picture is a little noisy. The Samsung performs better in this respect, serving up cleaner backgrounds and smoother light-to-dark transitions. In Chapter Five of Flags of Our Fathers, as the soldiers sit on a foggy deck at night, the Samsung exhibited no color shifting in the mid-grey backgrounds.

The PN60E7000 also offers excellent performance in the 3D realm. 3D images had great depth and detail: The active 3D technology served up a razor-sharp image, free of the line structure and jagged diagonals you can sometimes see with passive 3D. The Samsung 3D image had very good overall contrast and a solid amount of light output for a moderately bright room. Crosstalk was not a huge concern. I saw a little ghosting in my favorite 3D demo scene, Chapter 14 of Monsters vs. Aliens (DreamWorks). When I enabled the TV's 96Hz Cinema Smooth mode, that ghosting disappeared. I watched about half of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in 3D and saw only the rare hint of crosstalk. (I still turned off the 3D halfway through the film because, frankly, 3D makes my brain hurt, but that's just me.) While the Cinema Smooth mode can reduce crosstalk, it can also make flicker more obvious, especially in a brighter room.

The Downside
One potential issue with the PN60E7000 involves buzzing. My review sample produced a fairly obvious buzz. At first, I figured it was an altitude issue (I live at about 5,000 feet), but I've seen a number of comments online from people who have experienced the same problem. It would appear that some PN60E7000 samples buzz more and louder than others. While the buzz was obvious each time I powered on the TV, I hardly noticed it once the source audio was playing, and I wouldn't consider it a deal-breaker. Still, if you're as much an audiophile as you are a videophile or you simply have really sensitive hearing, the buzz could prove to be too much of a distraction.

As I mentioned above, the Samsung's bright-room performance was not as good as recent LCDs I've tested or the Panasonic ST50, which did a better job of rejecting ambient light to improve contrast. The Samsung screen isn't as reflective as others I've tested, but you can still see some room reflections in the screen, particularly when watching darker content.

Smart Hub is one of the more fully-featured Web platforms on the market, but it does not currently include Amazon Instant Video. The Web browser is laborious to navigate with the supplied Samsung remote and with the Samsung Remote app. If you have a Bluetooth keyboard, I'd recommend you use it. Otherwise, you're better off sticking with a tablet, smartphone, or laptop to browse the Web.

Competition and Comparison
Compare the Samsung PN60E7000 to its competition by reading our reviews of the Panasonic TC-P55ST50 plasma, the LG 55LM6700, and the Samsung UN55ES8000. You can get more information about all of the HDTVs we've reviewed here.

The Samsung PN60E7000 is an impressive performer with a great set of features. If you're shopping for a TV that will sit in a bright living room and see a lot of daytime use, then this isn't the ideal choice. If, on the other hand, you're like me and do most of your TV/movie watching at night in a moderate to dark room, then the PN60E7000 can deliver outstanding performance with HD, SD, and 3D sources.

The PN60E7000 is a solid value for a large-screen panel with its feature set, but let me also direct your attention to Samsung's step-down PN60E6500 plasma. The PNE6500 omits the dual-core processor found in the PNE7000 and has a less attractive form factor with a basic gloss-black frame and a slightly thicker, heavier cabinet. Beyond that, the PNE7000 and PNE6500 are almost identical in specs and features. Both use the Real Black Pro panel and should offer similar contrast and black levels, yet the PN60E6500 is about $400 cheaper. If you want the best performance-to-value ratio, the PN60E6500 might be the better place to start, but the PN60E7000 still earns my strong recommendation.

Additional Resources
• Read more flat HDTV reviews from's staff.
• Get the most out of the PN60E7000 by exploring our Blu-ray Player Review section.
• Explore more reivews in our Soundbar Review section.

Subscribe To Home Theater Review

Get the latest weekly home theater news, sweepstakes and special offers delivered right to your inbox
Email Subscribe
HomeTheaterReview Rating
Overall Rating: 
© JRW Publishing Company, 2023
As an Amazon Associate we may earn from qualifying purchases.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram
Share to...