LG 50pz850t

Sound quality

The 50PZ850 is incredibly heavy and robustly built for a modern TV. Obviously this is mostly down to its tough-finished, heavy-duty screen. But the build quality also raises hopes that the 50PZ850 might prove a cut above the flat TV norm with its audio power.

And to some extent it is. Certainly its sound isn't prone to the distortions and unwanted chassis vibrations so common in the skinny TV world. This is particularly helpful when it comes to handling deep male and shrill female vocals.

However, there's no great bass extension to be heard, and treble detailing is merely average.

Value

On the one hand, getting a reasonably well specified 50-inch, 3D-ready plasma TV for marginally under a grand doesn't seem like a bad deal.

However, it's disappointing that the 50PZ850T doesn't provide any Smart TV online functionality for its money, and it's impossible to avoid the fact that you must be paying at least something for the PenTouch functionality despite it being a feature it's hard to imagine anyone - at least in a domestic environment - using more than once.

Ease of use

LG's onscreen menus continue to be some of the best in terms of both their presentation and their ease of use.

The use of bold, large icons immediately puts you at ease when you first hit the menu button, and the way features are divided across the initial main menu headers is logical. The submenus all feature very clear text too, and best of all, navigating between and around them all feels logical and consistent.

It's also much appreciated that LG provides a picture wizard too that holds your hand through a basic but reasonably effective manual calibration process. And many people will like the way that the more in-depth calibration tools are only accessible if you first access the ISF Expert preset modes. This ensures that complex features only come into play for people actively looking for them, and so can't confuse more casual users.

The remote control is a good effort too. It's a little unassuming to look at, but the more you use it the more you start to appreciate its logical, ergonomic layout and tactile button response.