LG 50pk990

A full HD resolution is backed-up by four HDMI inputs, including one on a side panel that also stores two USB 2.0 slots.

On the rear is an Ethernet port that allows the LG 50PK990 to make use of your broadband home network on two fronts; DLNA networking to stream files from a PC, and LG's own Netcast TV portal, which for the moment includes access to YouTube, Accu Weather, and the Picasa photo storage site.

Place the TV some way from a broadband router and you've got a problem, so LG supplies a USB Wi-Fi dongle – hence that second USB port – though LG's concentration on convenience elsewhere should really mean a built-in Wi-Fi module.

Away from this online frippery there's the serious business of picture quality, and it seems LG has made some progress.

Its TruBlack filter claims to achieve 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio – a high figure indeed – by preventing ambient light from entering the panel, while its 600Hz ability should prevent any blur, though high-end plasmas haven't suffered from that problem for yonks.

The icing on the cake is Bluetooth; forget the opportunity to send pictures from a phone – the chance to use wireless headphones is, we think, a genuinely good idea. Few big-screen TVs even have a standard headphones jack.

There's really only one feature lacking on the 50PK990, and that's 3D compatibility – for that, check out LG's 47-inch 47LX9900 or 55-inch 55LX9900, both full LED sets, which have an otherwise identical feature count.

LG 50pk990

Lastly, it's worth mentioning that the 50PK990 has two remote controls. One is a sleek, gloss black remote that contains over-sized buttons and the usual 'clickwheel' design for whizzing through menus.

It's actually too long; it's impossible to reach the top buttons with your thumb if you're holding it comfortably. Despite that, the remote is backlit – very useful given the 50PK990's suitability for a home cinema – and the buttons are clearly signposted, and soft to the touch.

More basic controls are available on a second remote. About half the size, it contains volume controls, channel hoppers, an input swapper and a few menu shortcuts.