LG 50PX4D review

Cheap as chips, but what about performance?

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Our Verdict

An appealing big-screen plasma package that's packed with features

For

  • Great looks

    Good connectivity and features

    Good pictures and sound

Against

  • Noise via HDMI

    XD Engine can struggle with weaker sources

With a claimed contrast ratio of 10000:1, full HD Ready specification and a built-in digital tuner, this LG looks cheap as chips at £3,500. Provided its performance doesn't stink, of course...

LG's thinscreen TVs are consistently glamourous, and here the raised black bevel contrasts beautifully with some sturdy, silver, outer trim.

Integrated connectivity is good. The set incorporates both HDMI and component video inputs for digital and analogue HDTV duties respectively; along with a D-Sub PC connector; three Scarts; S-video and composite video support; a conditional access slot for adding Top Up TV to the digital tuner; and various slots for multimedia cards.

HD Ready status is confirmed by this LG's 1366 x 768 native resolution and 720p/1080i compatibility.

The digital tuner is supported by Freeview's 8-day EPG - though sadly you can neither search this by genre, nor set timer events from it.

Elsewhere, proceedings are dominated by LG's XD Engine II image processing, designed to boost image clarity, colour saturations/tone, contrast, brightness, colour gradation/greyscaling, and frame rate handling when watching movies.

This receives considerable support from Faroudja's DCDi de-interlacing IC for better scaling and smoother contours; PiP facilities; a specific skin tone colour adjustment; and MPEG noise reduction.

The 50PX4 pleases when it comes to black level. While real world contrast is limited to 300:1, black levels are deep enough to make dark scenes such as the Black Pearl's assault on the fort in Pirates of the Caribbean look threedimensional; scenes are packed with greyscale subtleties and shadow detail. Both high- and standard-definition feeds look sharp and textured.

Colours seem vibrant and the set can be calibrated close to the EBU 6500k standard. They suffer only very rarely from PDP's old-school tendency to portray what should be subtle colour gradations as bands. Fizzing noise over motion and dot crawl over darkness are handled well too.

I did note that for some reason HD footage can seem a bit flickery at times, and HDMI feeds sometimes look noisy (component often looks better). Also XD Engine II seems to struggle with poor-quality standard-definition fare, resulting in a muted colour palette and a slightly gritty finish.

This LG's sound performance is comparable to its pictures, in that it's generally good (thanks to solid bass delivery, plenty of treble detailing and a freedom from harshness and distortion).

With its combination of great looks, bright and accomplished pictures and an impressive roster of features, the 50PX4 is an appealing big-screen plasma package.