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72 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2009
Pros: Rich, vibrant colors; full complement of inputs; extensive color calibration and menu system; inky plasma blacks

Cons: Ineffective anti-reflective coating; basic remote; jerky motion on panning

Summary: This year's bargain plasmas - the Samsung 50PNB450, Panasonic TC-P50X1, and the LG 50PQ30 here - can all be found for around the same price. Each set has its strengths and weaknesses, but in my opinion this LG set comes out the strongest of the pack to be the best big-screen value in 2009.

This set looks great. The swivel stand is a gentle oval in front but tapered in the back to allow you to push it close to a wall - thoughtful. All the inputs are well labeled and easy to find, and LG includes a full batch of cable ties and routes for your convenience - thoughtful. There's also a handy microfiber cloth to polish the shiny bezel - thoughtful. Out of the box, it's a great experience.

Once plugged in to an HD source (I have a Scientific Atlanta HD cable box, a XBox 360, and a Samsung BD-P1600 Blu Ray player), the colors in Standard mode are much better than on the Panasonic plasma I also own. LG generously included two "expert" modes which allow full tuning of each color channel as well as adjustments for greyscale, gamma, etc - this set easily bests the competition from Panasonic and Samsung, with the added bonus that 95% of viewers will plug it in, think it looks great, and never touch any of that stuff. There are energy saving modes which dim the set according to prevailing light conditions as well, and the set automatically turns off if there's no signal.

I will add that this set does not buzz, or at least buzzes much less than my Panasonic plasma. I can hear the Panasonic from my seating position of 10 feet away, but only if I rest my head on the LG do I hear anything. This feels like a better constructed all-around package than this year's Panasonics.

The speakers are nicely hidden underneath the set, and LG includes several sound enhancement modes, two of which - the ClearVoice and auto-volume - are actually useful. It's more than enough for late-night viewing when we let the receiver rest and relax.

There is very little sign of image retention on this set. The only time I've seen it is from the bright white and red menus of the Netflix interface via Samsung's blu-ray player. It went away after a quick white wash. The set has a pixel orbiter which should mean no worries whatsoever with regards to burn in as long as you don't leave a DVD menu up all day.

As for the reflections, I think it's a combination of a coating less effective than Panasonic's as well as this just being one humongous piece of glass. It's easy to live with as long as you make sure there are no lights or windows within the same line of sight of you and the set (the swivel base is very helpful in minimizing reflections as well).

Once the movies get rolling, it's clear you've made a good decision. The set's pixel grid and screen-door effect are, of course, visible within 3 feet, but once you sit back 5 or more feet it disappears and you're left with a sharp, lifelike, colorful window onto the world. It's a marvelous set, the best I've ever seen in my house and I've paid over $2000 (34" CRT HDTV) for TVs before. Blacks are black, whites are white, and everything else is right.

It's hard to go wrong at this price with any of this year's sets, but the LG is the most stylish and best-priced of the lot. Given its natural color, solid build quality, full feature set, and fantastic image quality, the set recommends itself. Buy with confidence.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2009
For a 50" TV at this price point you cannot find a better one. The colors pop out at you. I went to Sears to compare this set with Panasonic and Samsung and this TV provides the best picture out of the 3. It has a lot of features and settings found on more expensive sets. Don't spend more money because a set has 1080p if you cannot tell the difference. I cannot tell that my TV is 720p at the distance I watch it, so why pay for it. This set has lush colors and good brightness and contrast. The skin tones are remarkable not orange or red like my 42" LCD. I watch TV and not specs. Do yourself a favor and go to Sears or another retailer and check this set out and then order it online if you can find a lower price.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2009
After getting burn 3x with our Toshiba 62HM95 DLP(has a class lawsuit for the defected light bulbs that only last 6 month), we thought is time to give up the DLP and shop for a new set. With tight budget, we set our target to under 2K, 52' Plasma or LCD, while we debating between a Vizio 55"120Hz 1080dpi 550XVT1A or Samsung 52" 120Hz 1080dpi VP550XVT1A...we spot this LG 50" plasma..$799 @ Costco right next to them. We stood in front of this 3 sets for 15~20 min. seriously couldnt see any big difference, the color is more vivid than the Vizio, but has almost the same contrast than the Samsung..yet..price tag is +$1k difference!!...bought it home, rushed and set up with my Toshiba upscaling DVD player with HDMI..wallah!!.....plays the movie beautifully, black has so much detail on it, we have a very bright living room ( long windows from all side, plus high ceiling) this TV still does great job..if you dont want to pay for arm & leg for TV, this is a great choice..!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2009
Pros: Nice Clear Picture, good sound, 600hz, low price
Overall the picture quality is great in HD and SD content on this tv. My seating distance is at 8 feet which is about as close to this tv as you can get, any closer and you will need a 1080p or probably a smaller tv. No burn in or image retention issues as far as I can tell after playing video games on the tv(set on orbital. The swivel stand is nice and the design looks pretty good with the glossy black although I am not a fan of the bottom grey stripe. Sound on this tv is nice and clear. HD content looks great and after watching some hd dvd movies(sorry no blu ray player yet) I am impressed with the picure on this set. The amount of extra features on this entry level tv is impressive and will allow you to customize to your hearts content. I especially like the intelligent sensor because if I am watching tv in the dark at night the tv does not blind me with brightness. The tv also supports 24fps for movies. Xbox 360 games look amazing on this tv such as COD4. The tv's instatanious response time means no more lag and things are where they should be i.e. Guitar hero, and online gaming. Fast motion is handled well by the 600hz. SD tv looks good and most stations are pretty clear. Lots of imputs and monitor imput means a 50inch computer screen is possible. Also supports usb so you can play pics or music easily over the tv.
Cons: a few minor things, remote is not the greatest or easiest to use, black levels are good but not as good as a panasonic, 4:3 HD content cannot be stretched to fill the screen
Overall great tv for a great price with lots of features
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I bought this, and had a Y-controller go out within three weeks - the top half of my screen went black, while bottom half and sound worked fine. Called customer service and was told part is on backorder - and now have been two weeks without a TV (scheduled for fixing 3 weeks after part broke). So I guess I would say it is a great picture when it works, which hasn't been often for me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2009
Saw it next to a similar Panansonic and picture looked much better on LG. Got a great deal at HHGregg ($800). Hooked it to my dish HD-DVR with HDMI cable and picture looks greater than ever. Audio is also much better than that similar Panasonic. I hope this lasts as my last plasma tv though(Hitachi over 5yr now and still running good). Having a 50" screen is great, 42" Hitachi looks like a small screen now. PC and USB Inputs are good to have features. I am just too happy with this tv purchase. I would recommend it to anyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2009
Verified Purchase
I bought this for our bedroom and did not want to spend a fortune. When I received the tv, we loved it so much I bought 2 more. One for the kids playroom and one for our second family room. Last year we spent several thousand on a custom installed top of the line Panasonic plasma tv in our family room and we prefer the picture and sound on this much less expensive LG.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2009
I went to Sears to purchase a Samsung LED LCD tv for $2300. Sitting right next to the one I went to buy was this LG plasma for $799. The picture looked as good or better and the price difference was considerable. I went home and researched this tv on the internet and could find no reason not to buy it. I had a few problems with Sears delivery and service and wound up getting discounts from them which eventually brought my tv down to $601. I couldn't be happier. The only caveat is that the previous poster was correct that you need to upgrade your sources to make this tv perform it's best. I had to get HD service from DirecTv. The difference in picture quality is significant. I find the best picture of all is strangely enough off an antenna. My local channels come in strong and are digital, their pictures are incredible. I hooked my laptop up using a HDMI cable (my laptop has a HDMI port) and it is pretty amazing to have a crystal clear 50 inch monitor. I was initially under the impression this tv would stream Netflix without a computer. I was wrong and am now going to buy a LG BD390 bluray player which will perform this function as well as play blurays and upconvert standard dvds. I think the menu system on this tv is excellent. I had no trouble at all in setting up every feature I attempted. My son just bought a 1080 Sony LCD 40" for almost $900 and I think my picture is as good or better than his. His Sony menus are a mess and hard to work with. He has to scan all channels before his tv will let him watch one by simply punching in a number, the LG just goes there and gives you whatever you find. As far as the glare issue is concerned, it can be a problem but I just keep direct sunlight off the tv and use the swivel stand to change the angle and the problem is non-existent. I watch football games on this tv and see no motion blurring at all. It is amazing to see individual blades of grass on the field, the dimples on the ball, and real faces in the bleachers. This is probably the best present I ever bought myself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2010
Wife bought me a wonderful "Christmas Gift". She found it in my wish list. I had researched online and narrowed it down to two. I feel this tv is a great bargain. Picture is clear, easy to hook up and 50" is plenty big. Mounted it easily on the wall and it looks great. Just a hair over 3" deep. Delivery from Amazon was a snap. I am very happy with the way it performs. I hear alot about 1080p but unless you are a fanatic I do not know that there is much difference. I am sure on some level their is but for the price 720p works great for me. I do not have any trouble with glare and the sound is surprisingly GOOD. I have it hooked to a HD converter box with HDMI cable 25'. Colors are deep and crisp. If you are looking to buy a big screen I would recommend you give this one a look.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2009
Verified Purchase
I have only had this TV for three weeks, but so far it's great. Factory default color setting was VIVID, and I have not touched it. It has great whites and true blacks, and blu ray movies are crystal clear. Don't waste your money on 1080p unless you plan on sitting within 5 ft of the set. You cannot tell the difference. This TV handles fast moving action just like the higher priced LCD's. TRANSFORMERS movie was no problem at all for this baby. The factory speakers are better than what I expected, and are more than adequate for casual viewing. You can adjust their base and treble. As of now, I highly recommend this television.
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