LG 50PK790 review

LG's 2010 range kicks off in mostly fine fettle with this respectable 50" Freeview HD plasma TV

TODO alt text

lg 50pk790

At first glance, LG appears to have a definite winner on its hands with the 50PK790.

It's extremely easy on the eye, it's got more than enough connections to satisfy even a very sophisticated, extensive AV system, it's got lots of helpful features (including reams of multimedia support), and it produces what are for the most part seriously likeable pictures. All for a pretty reasonable price, too.

In fact, in the long term there's likely to be very little to stop you buying and loving a 50PK790. The problem lies in the short term, where the 50PK790's curious and outmoded susceptibility to plasma's once-common but now largely eliminated image retention issue can cause some really pretty distracting image artefacts.

As noted in the main review, we couldn't say for sure if there's a worry about this retention becoming permanent if you kept a bright, colourful image element 'frozen' in the same place on the screen for a really prolonged time.

Our suspicion is that the image retention probably would always fade over time. But it's a bit disappointing to even have to talk about this issue on a screen that's so cutting edge in other ways.

We liked:

Given what a large presence the 50-inch 50PK790 will be in your room, it's great to find it sporting a seriously pretty chassis design. It's got more than enough connections to cope with a modern, ambitious home cinema system too, and aside from a currently rather limited online service, it's on the money with its multimedia support too.

It's brilliantly easy to use, too, and best of all, its pictures frequently look quite superb.

We disliked:

The TV's rendition of dark scenes is certainly a step forward from previous LG TVs, but it still doesn't deliver black colours that are quite as rich as those of some rival plasma brands. A much bigger concern, though, is the amount of image retention, at least during the first few dozen hours of use.

It will be nice if the NetCast online service bags a few extra services sooner rather than later, too.


It's great to see LG still putting so much effort into the supposedly 'unsexy' plasma format, and achieving some extremely likeable results in the process. Provided you can put up with some image retention problems for what we presume will only be the first few days of the TV's life, then the 50PK790 is well worth checking out.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview


Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Product FamilyPK790
Brand NameLG
Screen Size127 cm (50")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Weight with Stand (Approximate)34.50 kg
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Operating Power Consumption181 W
Standby Power Consumption200 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio3,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
DLNA CertifiedYes
Height with Stand801 mm
Width with Stand1184 mm
Depth with Stand294.50 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Height738.5 mm
Width1184 mm
Depth52.4 mm
Brightness1500 cd/m²
Product SeriesPK790
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesPC Streaming, Web Content Access, Media Player
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product Model50PK790
Product Name50PK790 Plasma TV
Manufacturer Part Number50PK790
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Marketing Information

The LG PK790 Plasma TV series provides superb picture quality with a stunning single layer design. Convert your living room to a sports stadium or cinema with this large experience perfect for watching sport and movies in crystal clear picture quality. The PK7 is not only Full HD 1080p with LG 600Hz technology but also gives you access to your favourite internet content such as youtube with LG NetCast technology. Add freeview HD built in for 5 times picture quality improvement over standard definition freeview - the PK7 Series will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)29.90 kg