LG 50pw450

Sound

The 50PW450T puts its ultra-robust chassis to decent use where audio is concerned. Voices are believable and well rounded, the all-important mid-range is open and dynamic and trebles are handled cleanly and without harshness - until, at least, you get up to some serious volume levels.

Bass levels don't achieve much rumble, but the mid-range is wide enough to hide this shortcoming.

Value

Had the 50PW450T been a halfway decent 3D performer, its £900 price would have been a serious bargain. After all, Samsung's PS51D6900 51-inch 3D plasma, for instance, costs the best part of £400 more.

Unfortunately, its 3D pictures are unwatchably bad, which makes it merely a fair-to-middling 50-inch 2D TV that compares unfavourably to Panasonic's excellent and only £150 more expensive P50G30.

Ease of use

The 50PW450T enjoys one of the best operating systems you'll ever find on a budget TV. Particularly outstanding are its onscreen menus, which make exceptional use of big, colourful (but never gratuitous) graphics, exceptionally legible text and a generally logical organisation to make using the 50PW450T more or less foolproof.

The remote control is excellent for such an affordable TV too, combining a slender, comfortable, well-balanced shape with sensibly organised buttons. These provide direct, single-press access to plenty of key features, and emphasise the most important buttons so that they fall to hand easily.

The way the set's most complex set-up tools only open up if you first choose one of the screen's ISF picture presets, as noted earlier, further illustrates the 50PW450T's ability to match different levels of sophistication to the right level of technical ability.

The only major gripe we've got with the 50PW450T when it comes to ease of use concerns its instructions manual. For a start this arrives on CD rather than in paper form, meaning it's inconvenient to use unless you've got a laptop or happen to have a PC that sits near the TV. We're all in favour of trying to cut down on paper, but this feels like a step too far.

Much worse than the lack of a paper manual, though, is the fact that the manual is one of those 'one manual suits all' generic affairs that covers a number of models rather than just focusing on the series you've actually just bought. This means that you can spend more time trying to figure out which parts of the manual are relevant to the 50PW450T than just getting straight down to learning your way round your new screen.