Usability

The way the LG 50PM670T's user interface operates is identical to all flavours of TV in LG's 2012 lineup - and perhaps the finest example in the flatscreen TV market.

Influenced by mobile phones, the main dashboard is divided into tabs - a thumbnail of live TV, and grids of Premium apps, LG's Smart World app store, 3D World content and SmartShare (networking) sources - on a carousel.

Along the bottom is My Apps, a row of icons for frequently used TV features, such as an Inputs changer, web browser and access to settings, as well as a digital user guide.

LG 50PM670T review

The Premium grid of apps (which opens up into a full-blown page) is fine, with BBC iPlayer joined by four movie streaming servies (Lovefilm, Netflix, KnowHow and Acetrax) alongside Picasa, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

It also includes lesser-known apps such as ITN News, Blinkbox and Box Office 365. You can download Skype from the cluttered app store, too, though you will need to add LG's AN-VC400 smart TV camera/mic. It sells for £149.99 (around $240), though we found it online for just under £100 (around $160).

LG 50PM670T review

We do love LG's SmartShare interface; we managed to source digital files from a docked USB stick, and networked products including an iMac and a Samsung netbook. For attached media and a PC the support is stunning, with key video file formats such as AVI, MKV, MOV, MP4, MPEG and WMV all supported, and even graced by thumbnail icons.

It's not quite as polished from an iMac running TwonkyMedia, but the core file support remains. Incidentally, both WMA and MP3 music is supported, though the key aspect about SmartShare is that it's just so, so easy to use and treats every source in an identically polished manner.

LG 50PM670T review

The LG 50PM670T also has Wi-Fi Direct for talking to smartphones.

Tweakers will love the extensive colour management system in the 'Expert' section, as well as two ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) options, though as usual it was the excellent THX Cinema preset picture mode that proved spot-on in our tests. There's also a Picture Wizard for easy initial image set up.

Sound

The audio emanating from the LG 50PM670T's 10W stereo speakers is reasonably good, if lacking in width and depth. The Virtual Surround doesn't expand its horizons, and nor does the Clear Voice mode change things to any great extent, but we're reasonably happy with the sound for day-to-day use.

Value

Buying Guide
best tv
Best TV 2012

With a full price of £749.99 (around $1,214) and having been spotted online for a mere £599 (around $968), it's hard to argue anything other than that the 50 inches of screen real estate offered by the LG 50PM670T is good value.

The use of wired LAN detracts from that impression, as does the lack of any 3D specs in the box, but the awesome user interface and networking dimensions alongside Freeview HD, a Full HD resolution and those smart TV apps shouldn't be sniffed at.

Other plasmas by Samsung, LG and even arguably the leading manufacturer of plasmas, Panasonic, are to be had at similar prices. But it's the networking-friendly and altogether modern-looking user interface employed by LG across all of its TVs that should nudge the LG 50PM670T onto shopping lists.