LG 50PW450 review

A keenly priced plasma that is fatally undermined by truly dreadful 3D performance

LG 50PW450
The 3D performance of this TV is one of the worst we have seen

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LG 50pw450

The 50PW450T's two chief assets are its active 3D playback and strikingly low price, but there are plenty of other things to get your teeth into.

For starters, the 50PW450T gives you a Freeview HD tuner where you might have only expected a standard-definition one. The screen also boasts 600Hz technology, delivered by a sub-field drive system that pulses each pixel repeatedly for each frame of the image in a bid to improve motion handling.

Heading into the 50PW450T's onscreen menus uncovers a surprising amount of picture adjustment potential, too. The options are sufficiently extensive to secure the endorsement of the Independent Imaging Science Foundation (ISF), denoting the set as flexible enough to be set up by an engineer, should you wish to pay for this professional-grade calibration service.

If you select one of the ISF-labelled picture presets you open up an Expert calibration menu that contains such high-spec tweaks as two and 20-point IRE colour temperature adjustments, with the facility to adjust the values of the contrast and brightness of the red, green and blue colour components. There's also a colour management system that enables you to adjust the saturation and tint of the red, green, blue, cyan, yellow and magenta colour elements.

Other features for helping you set up the TV's pictures include a noise reduction system, some basic gamma presets, a black level booster and an edge enhancer. Most of these adjustments should be treated with kid gloves, though, as they can have a detrimental effect in unskilled hands.

The adequate, rather than spectacular, connections include three v1.4 HDMIs, a single USB port for playing back video, audio and photo files and an RS-232 jack for integrating the 50PW450T into a home control system.

All connections bar the composite video input, one of the HDMIs and the USB face straight out of the TV's rear, which could be problematic if you're thinking of hanging the set on a wall.

Design wise, while the bezel around the screen certainly isn't fat, it is hardly thin by today's standards and there's a distinctly industrial edge to the set's matt black finish (offset by a glossier outer trim) and angular lines. The build quality is robust to say the least, though.

The screen's (non-full HD) 1,024 x 768-pixel resolution, meanwhile, is an odd piece of under-specification for a 50-inch TV capable of showing alternate-frame 3D.

John Archer
AV Technology Contributor

John has been writing about home entertainment technology for more than two decades - an especially impressive feat considering he still claims to only be 35 years old (yeah, right). In that time he’s reviewed hundreds if not thousands of TVs, projectors and speakers, and spent frankly far too long sitting by himself in a dark room.