|Samsung PPM63H3 63-inch Plasma Monitor|
|Home Theater Flat Panel HDTVs Plasma HDTVs|
|Written by Jerry Del Colliano|
|Sunday, 01 August 2004|
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As Americans, it is our God-given right to “bigger and better” everything. This is exactly what Samsung is counting on with their newest $17,999 plasma, the PPM63H3. At 63 inches, this “professional” plasma monitor is and certainly looks larger than the more standard 50-inch sets. With the waif-like thinness of a flat screen TV, it is now possible to get what is turning out to be a pretty damn large picture in your living room. Cost-wise, a 63-inch plasma is priced at around the same levels that 50-inch plasmas were a few years back, just below $20,000.
Samsung as a company has made some significant strides in recent years in competing with other more well-known Japanese electronics manufacturers (most notably Sony) by offering innovative technology in competitively priced audio/video products. The PPM63H3 is no exception. It features an exclusive technology called DNIe, which reportedly reduces noise and increases detail. The set has a contrast-enhancing feature that gets the blacks a little blacker and the whites whiter than past plasma sets. The unit also comes with Faroudja deinterlacing technology internally installed to deal with motion problems and make the images, especially for sporting events, look much more lifelike.
The specs on the PPM63H3 range from the obvious 63-inch diagonal 16:9 screen to a reported 1000:1 contrast ratio. The set is 59.2 inches wide by 35.2 inches tall by a mere 3.5 inches deep and weighs in at a whopping 152.1 pounds. It has all of the latest inputs one might expect, including DVI, component video and others. What is missing is HDMI, which is a new, universally adopted method of connecting HDTV devices digitally. (However, you can still interface HDTV devices through the component video, Y-Pb-Pr connectors.) At the time this set was designed and made, HDMI was not yet adopted. The resolution of the PPM63H3 is 1366x768 native, which can reproduce everything from 480i (most TV signals and DVDs) to 720p and 1080i HDTV. The Samsung PPM63H3 has a two-year parts and labor warranty, which is relatively long by industry standards.
Planning where to put a 63-inch plasma is likely the most critical decision you need to make when setting up a PPM63H3. At over 150 pounds, you need to make sure you have both the best mounting hardware to suit your project’s needs and the internal strength in the wall to be able to hold up such a heavy and expensive set. Another absolutely key detail in successfully setting up a plasma of this size is judging the light situation in your room. Under perfect circumstances, you would be installing your plasma in a room that you can make pitch black in the middle of the afternoon. Reality says that the reason why plasmas are so popular is the fact that they fit into places where other TVs can’t and make for a large video source in often less-than-perfect spaces. What you are looking to avoid in set-up is placing a set in a location where it will get strong reflections because the glass that makes up the plasma screen will really glare, resulting in a lousy-looking set. Part of the decision-making process that goes into buying a plasma has to be the understanding that the set is likely to look a little more washed-out during the day than when watching at night. If adding blackout drapes helps make your room darker and you plan to watch your set in the afternoon, this might be a worthy effort.
The physical hook-up of the set is actually pretty easy. The inputs on the back of the set are as easy as color-coded component video inputs or a simple DVI input. Plugging the set into the wall is a cakewalk and attaching the set to its hardware is only scary when you are securing it to the wall. One slip of the hand and the set can be irreparably destroyed. To say you need to be careful when installing a plasma is to understate the seriousness of the situation. At $17,999, I recommend you have a dealer (who happens to have insurance) to install and professionally calibrate your set. It isn’t rocket science, but it well worth the price difference between what it might cost to buy a PPM63H3 for on the Internet and buying one from a reputable dealer or CEDIA installer.