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LG 42PQ6000 plasma TV review

Affordable, but mediocre HD Ready 42-inch plasma

Our Verdict

The 42PQ6000 is certainly cheap, but its average pictures mean it's not as great value as some of LG's other TVs

For

  • Remarkably cheap
  • Looks slick
  • Plenty of set-up features

Against

  • Pictures lack brightness
  • Some strange colours
  • Image retention

Even by LG's usual high-value standards, the 42PQ6000 looks like a bargain.

For, despite boasting a screen that's beautifully adorned with a glossy black bezel and 'single sheet' glassy finish, the panel costs just £580. So what's had to give to make this possible?

Features

The cut corners start to materialise right away, as we notice the set only has three HDMIs and, what's more, its resolution is an HD Ready 1024 x 768 pixels, rather than full HD.

Panasonic remains the only brand offering full HD resolutions on 42in plasma TVs, but it's impossible to ignore the fact that full HD resolutions are routinely available on LCD TVs of comparable size.

In typical LG style, though, that's where the 42PQ6000 stops being a budget set. Its connections, for example, unexpectedly include a USB 2.0 port capable of playing DivX, MP3 and JPEG files in SD.

Then there's the set's 600Hz engine. This doesn't actually refresh the image 600 times per second, but instead uses processing to add enough extra image frames to create that effect. But despite the slightly fudged numbers, the 42PQ6000's 600Hz efforts should, hopefully, still deliver a boost to the image's stability and fluidity.

The 42PQ6000 even delivers an impressive array of picture tweaks, such as a wide colour gamut mode and an edge enhancement circuit. In fact, its adjustments are wide ranging enough for an Imaging Science Foundation expert to calibrate the TV professionally.

Ease of use

The remote, while a little lightweight, is really well laid out, and its onscreen menus combine big, clear graphics and text with a totally logical organisation.

The only tiny negative is that the text in the set's sub-menus looks a little 'low res'.

Picture

Sadly, the 42PQ6000 fails to impress when it comes to picture quality.

Particularly galling is the extent to which the screen suffers from that old plasma problem of image retention, where ghostly traces of some onscreen graphics linger on screen for a few seconds longer than required. Any sort of image retention is tough to accept now that rival brands seem to have pretty much eradicated it.

LG 42pq side

The 42PQ6000's colour response is also a letdown. For, as well as looking less dynamic and vibrant than most liquid crystal-based rivals, especially where standard definition video is concerned, the 42PQ6000's colour tones are all over the place.

Reds tend to appear orange or even slighty brown; people often look as if they've spent too long under a sun lamp, while whites are just plain murky. These problems are reduced during high-definition viewing, but never totally disappear.

The 42PQ6000 also falls short of some plasma television when it comes to black level response, especially when it comes to reproducing shadow detail in dark areas of the picture. The 42PQ6000's standard definition pictures, meanwhile, aren't just let down by the occasional, previously mentioned tonal issues.

For also, while they can look reasonably sharp on occasions, this clarity is patchy, and is often accompanied by excessive video noise. What's more, the 42PQ6000 also often demonstrates a pretty rough and ready approach to colour blending and this is especially noticeable during standard definition footage.

Finally in the negative column, the 600Hz engine didn't suppress judder as effectively as we'd hoped.

Thankfully, there are a few areas of good news that prevent the 42PQ6000's pictures from being an unmitigated disaster. It can, at least, show high-definition footage with an extreme degree of sharpness – though we'd warn you to steer clear of the set's Edge Enhancer, as this leaves images looking unpleasantly gritty.

Next, although its black levels look a bit hollow, they are still deeper during movie viewing than most standard liquid crystal TVs. The picture is also reasonably bright for a plasma screen provided you avoid the set's OTT Eco settings, and there's no loss of colour or contrast if you have to watch the TV from an oblique angle.

Sound

The 42PQ6000's large bezel helps it sound quite good. It delivers vocals with a nicely rounded tone, has plenty of clarity without sounding harsh, can open up successfully to accommodate an action scene and its soundstage doesn't fall apart when asked to produce some bass.

Value

We'd hoped to be giving the 42PQ6000 full marks for this section, but in the final analysis, its average picture quality means there are more attractive options to be had elsewhere without spending substantially more money.

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Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format720p
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG-4), DVB-T
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of SCART Interfaces2
Product FamilyPQ6000
Brand NameLG
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
USBYes
HDMIYes
Dynamic Contrast Ratio2,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
VGAYes
S-VideoYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand725.80 mm
Width with Stand1040.80 mm
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Height669.2 mm
Width1040.8 mm
Depth76.8 mm
Brightness1500 cd/m²
Sound SystemSurround Sound
Product SeriesPQ6000
Maximum Resolution1024 x 768
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product Model42PQ6000
Product Name42PQ6000 42" Plasma TV
Manufacturer Part Number42PQ6000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Marketing Information

This HD Ready, has everything you need for a truly amazing viewing experience. Better yet, the 42PQ6000 features an array of connectivity options, including 3x HDMI, and a USB port to connect to all your digital media.

SpeakersYes
Weight (Approximate)23.30 kg