LG 50PM670T review

Active shutter 3D is rare in an LG

LG 50PM670T
The LG 50PM670T is great value for money

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Could the LG 50PM670T be part of plasma's last hurrah as a mass-market TV tech? Just one in 10 TVs sold are of the plasma flavour, but there's no denying that the original - and, some say, still the best - flatscreen tech delivers by far the best value in pure inches-per-pound.

This isn't, however, one of the finest examples of a plasma TV in terms of pure picture performance.

We liked

The user interface - particularly SmartShare networking - is peerless in the flat TV world, while the all-round treatment of disparate sources of video is a huge plus point.

The sheer versatility of the picture is admirable, especially since it's able to deliver crisp, clean images on a Full HD panel (itself unusual at this price) from standard definition video. And it's innate skill at moving resolution most noticeably sets it apart from LCD TVs.

We disliked

Average contrast and black levels are where the LG 50PM670T cuts corners - perhaps understandably at this price - and we're not too keen on the cluttered app store.

The TV's 3D picture is a tad dull, though we suppose it could be argued that the lack of 3D glasses in the LG 50PM670T's box means that its 3D performance isn't a crucial characteristic. In terms of ease of use, the lack of Wi-Fi is probably more detrimental to the LG 50PM670T's chances of wide popularity.

Final verdict

This 50-inch plasma TV is a great value all-rounder for a modern living room that can fire up BBC iPlayer, stream the odd movie, indulge in some home networking and generally handle anything thrown at it.

If we were being picky, LG's 50PM680T could be preferable, since it's roughly the same price as the LG 50PM670T, but includes built-in Wi-Fi. In all other regards the LG 50PM670T and LG 50PM680T use the same chassis and core spec; essentially they're the same TV.

Anyone after a big screen for a 3D home cinema ought to look away, since the LG 50PM670T doesn't claim class-leading contrast or the finest 3D performance around. But in terms of sheer value for money, this Full HD set could help put plasma back on the map - at least until LED-backlit TVs or Panasonic plasmas drop in price.

Also consider

Bigger and much more expensive, but evidence of what rivals are doing, is the 60-inch Samsung PS60E6500, which costs £1,899.99 (around $3,070).

Samsung also makes the Full HD-equipped 51-inch £999 (around $1,614) Samsung PS51E550D, and the HD-ready 51-inch £799.99 (around $1,292) Samsung PS51E490 and £679.99 (around $1,099) 51-inch Samsung PS51E450, the former packing two pairs of 3D specs, though no Wi-Fi.

Panasonic, though, is the go-to brand for the best in plasma pictures, with the TX-P50UT50B worth auditioning, being 3D-ready, having Full HD and better contrast and black levels, but slightly pricier, at £799 (around $1,292).

Panasonic also sells the TX-P50XT50B, which is 3D-ready, but also only HD-ready. Crucially, both choices floor the opposition in terms of the core picture quality, though certainly not in terms of their rather stuffy, dated user interface. Every LG wins-out on that count, including the LG 50PM670T.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),