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Best Plasma TVs 2009

1. Pioneer Kuro PDP-5020FD (or PDP-6020FD)

Pros: Pretty much the same as the Elite (which is the absolute best TV available), superb contrast, blacks, color (after calibration), no IR, great build quality, connectivity, 50” available at a great price.

Cons: Not very adjustable out-of-the-box.

The company that first brought us the plasma TV still makes ‘em the best. It’s really sad to hear that Pioneer will no longer make TVs, because the Kuro was the TV that kept the others honest. Everything is compared to the Kuro, both first-generation and second, and there is still nothing that can beat the black level and contrast of even the first-generation Kuro (not even the new 2009 Panasonic plasmas, which have a black level of around 0.011 ft-L). This second-gen Kuro will just floor you with its awesome picture quality, made up of the highest contrast ratio available on a TV today, and its stellar blacks, which really give everything a three-dimensional look. They don’t have the most accurate colors out of the box, but now, can be fully calibrated via ControlCal, leaving no difference between this set and the Kuro Elites (at least with HD material). Plus, at the price the PDP-5020FD is available for nowadays, there is really nothing else to consider!

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2. Panasonic TH-50PZ85U

Pros: Good contrast, blacks and colors, great value, cheaper than the 800U.

Cons: Not as good as its Pioneer competitor, 72 Hz mode unacceptable.

Unsurprisingly, Panasonic makes one of the best plasmas out there. With very decent black levels, great contrast and natural colors making up a picture that will remind you of your CRT, Panasonic shows us why plasma isn’t going anywhere.

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3. Samsung A650 Plasma

Pros: Very good color accuracy, natural look to image, great adjustability, great value even on the 58” model.

Cons: Blacks are significantly worse than No. 2 and No. 1, has far more IR than both as well.

Samsung makes an A650 version of both plasma and LCD, and both are great. The A650 plasma has great, natural-looking colors as well as the quick pixel response and motion resolution that only plasma can deliver. We looked at the PN58A650, a 58” version that with its size, contrast and color really did justice to 1080p material. With incredibly aggressive pricing, these Samsung plasmas may well represent one of the best values available today!

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