126 of 139 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2013
I learned reading reviews about TVs and trying to draw clear conclusions is like trying to find unobtainium. It also seems that in any ratings table, you may see about 5% to 15% of the ratings being 1 and 2 stars no matter what brand or model you are looking at. Then again, 67% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
Now here I am add adding one more to the many stories and opinions out there...
I paid the $649 price-tag on this TV and saved much $$$ over my initial choice of the Panasonic GT50 (and second choice a comparable new Samsung), and it turned out to be a good move. I already own a 42" Samsung 1080p plasma for a bedroom, and also have a 2007 42" Pioneer 720p plasma (remember those?) that still has a fantastic picture. I have this new LG TV for about a month now and it works flawlessly. I looked into this after coming across reviews of the LG PA6500 model. I used the calibration settings found on reviews here for the PA6500 and they worked well on the PN6500. I also bought the Disney WOW disk and that worked well too. The TV has a decent picture using factory pre-set Standard mode, but it was much improved by using the customizable Expert 1 (which also allows use of the built-in Picture Wizard) or Expert 2 modes. I actually used Expert 1 with PA6500 calibration settings and Expert 2 with Disney WOW created settings - couldn't really tell the difference in picture clarity, but there was a small difference in color.
I use the Panasonic DMP BDT220 Bluray player and it streams Netflix at 720p without any problems. It works so well I didn't need to use my Roku Netflix player anymore (now I have one less device cluttering up my TV area).
This TV shows Netflix HD at 720p really well. I sit 10ft away and the 50" seems the perfect size TV for me at this distance. Standard definition DVDs are upscaled well and the picture is sharp. Bluray shows a crisp picture. I watch mostly at night in a darkened room, but the TV shows well enough in the daytime with shades drawn closed.
Why did I consider this TV over the Samsung, Panasonic, or even a Sony (which I'm told makes Vizio too)?
1. Some reviews pointed out the panel lottery that Samsung and Panasonic (and some others) are engaged in. For example, you buy a Samsung and the panel may be made by Sharpe or some unfamiliar-named manufacturer. So reviews on Samsungs/Panasonics/Sonys are supposedly inconsistent because the corresponding panel is not identified. You can search out the other reviews for this info: the various manufacturer panel label codes have been identified. I was convinced enough not to want to chance getting a non-Samsung or non-Panasonic panel when I'm paying for one. Sony is supposed to be a nice set too but I think there is a large premium in the price due to name (like for Samsung and Pansonic too). It was stated LG does not play the panel lottery so all reviews are for the same LG panel - that makes the LG reviews more reliable to me.
2. Electronics engineers we've spoken with that are not affiliated with LG mentioned that LG has higher reliability than the other big names. In the store, I was checking out the LGs when the salesperson came over and steered me to the Panasonics saying how great they were, and the Panasonic he was showing me had severe pixel problems, which he stated was a good reason to buy the extended warrantees. How can a problem TV be a selling point for a 'great' TV?? So, I took a leap of faith that maybe the LG was of a more reliable quality.
3. I read reviews that my first choice Panasonic GT50 was really difficult to calibrate and that The Geek Squad has only a 50% success rate in dialing it in. I'm not paying hundreds of dollars for a coin-toss chance of having it calibrated properly. The Panasonic Viera TC-P50GT50 shown in Magnolia seemed dull and not that sharp of a picture for the money, and it was a dark room which is where plasma's are supposed to show best. Why go with a reportedly difficult to calibrate TV? And the reviews about Panasonic's burn-in problem? Those are plenty - no thanks.
4. If points # 1,2 and 3 above turn out to be bogus, I still have a great-picture and LG's 2 year panel warranty and 1 year parts-n-labor warranty to fall back on. Now that I see the picture quality is really nice, I could chance spending $649/yr for 2 or 3 years on replacement LGs and it would still be cost effective compared to the big name TVs. Do Samsung or Panasonic, or even Sony, really honor their warrantees? I read enough horror story reviews to be convinced they typically don't, or at least don't until after putting the really die-hard persistent 'valued-customers' through much hassle. And if LG is the same with warrantees, I'd rather be out $650 than $1800 or more. And there are enough bad reviews on Extended Warrantees to make those a gamble as well.
So far so good - I have a picture quality that I see is on par with the Samsung/Panasonic for about a third of the price. My Pioneer does show a great picture though, even for a 2007 720p model (used online calibration settings I got from CNET). Overall, the LG picture quality seems to be better than my Samsung plasma (I have a 40" Samsung 120Hz LCD in the basement, but I found I like plasmas the best because they show dark scenes better and also fast motion better). This is after calibrating both with Disney WOW, and even when using other online calibration settings for both the Samsung and LG the LG seems to show better.
Some (many?) reviews complain about the quality of LG and if my TV craps out or the pictures degrades anytime, I'll be back here for a humble update. And I will seek to get the TV fixed under warranty and if not successful I may even buy the same again to see if my luck changes. See, in the end this TV game is all about taking chances anyway, and for me the less costly chances are the better risk.
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2013
Bought it elsewhere because the price was lower than Amazon at the time (though now Amazon's prices have come down too). The professional reviews said this is pretty close to state of the art plasma for a super low price, and I agree. No hitches at all, adjusting picture settings was easy, and the picture is just incredibly gorgeous. Movies look the way they were intended to look -- the color is even more true than the typical movie theater projection system. Motion is handled really well -- no soap opera effect.
Here are some decision points to consider:
1) If you have a room with good light control, such as a basement den, this TV (plasma with a clear glass screen) is great. If you have an upstairs room with ambient light, this might not be your TV. You probably want LED for more brightness, and a non-glare screen.
2) If you want your colors super warm and vivid, then then LED is maybe a better choice. If you want natural, true, accurate color, this TV is about as good as you can find at any price.
3) If you want smart TV features or lots of HDMI ports (this model only has two), this is not your model. If you want pretty close to state of the art plasma picture quality for a great price, this is a super choice. We overcame the lack of HDMI ports with an inexpensive HDMI switch.
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
This LG TV was an upgrade from our 42" HDTV. It set up within minutes and requires minimal tinkering to begin enjoying your television. The size upgrade alone was obviously imposing, but the picture is amazing. Between you and me, I think I prefer this TV to the LED Cinema TV dominating our family room. This is probably a matter of taste, but the picture on this set is slightly sharper. I simply can't say enough about how real the images appear on anything I've chosen to watch. I will say, I won't be using the ECO-Friendly display. It is simply too dark to make viewing enjoyable. It's a wasted feature on this set where a vivid picture is the major draw.
I love the way this TV looks even when it is off. LG doesn't muddle the aesthetics with casing and framing. The result is a beautifully streamlined display which is 98% screen.
It doesn't come with the bells and whistles of other TVs, WIFI for example. With only 2 HDMI inputs and 2 gamers in the house, this can be inconvenient. This may not be a consideration for some. The remote is also pretty standard. The sound is near worthless without the use of additional speakers. Though the sound is clear and undistorted, it doesn't get loud or make much of an impact without assistance.
This TV is obviously designed for someone looking for a superior picture at a decent price point, and if that's you, I can recommend this TV whole-heartedly.
33 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2013
I've had this really awesome plasma tv set up for about 6 hours now and used it, so far, for Blu-Ray(watched Gangster Squad), played an hour of the PS3 game Dead Island: Riptide and have fiddled around with cable(mostly news channels). For a plasma this size and it being 1080p it's a lotta bang for the buck. It took some playing around with the various settings to get picture and sound where I want them. Once I got it where I want the picture is nothing short of amazing, especially Blu-Ray! Even cable looks really good. I don't have high-def cable, it's just standard stuff, but it is really crisp and clear. The sound on this LG model is very good, though some will still want an external sound system. Me, I'm fine with the sound. I cranked up Gangster Squad and it hurt my ears. Of course, this LG is in a 12x15 room, so I don't know how the sound would be in a massive room. I suspect it would still be quite audible.
The only drawbacks I've noticed was when I was playing Dead Island: Riptide on my Playstation 3 and the black levels(in general). The framerate of Dead Island dropped quite a bit at times and there was some juddering. However, I don't know whether this was a game issue or the tv. Most low-end plasmas are not the best option to play a video game on. The graphics though looks beautiful on Dead Island. As far as the black levels, this is just me being nit-picky. They are really just average and this is to be expected with cheaper plasmas. I was just hoping this year they would have deeper black levels on these models since LG really increased picture quality this year(actually over the last two years there's been a big increase in pic quality). Yes, some people will bemoan the fact that this isn't a 3D television and that it isn't a Smart TV, but that's really a non-issue for me. I rarely use Smart TV and 3D I use maybe once a month(I have a 47 inch 3D LG I bought in August 2011 for that purpose). The side viewing angles are just like other plasmas - perfect! You won't find that with LCD/LED tv's.
The bottom line is if you're in the market for a television and don't have a big budget, then this is defintely one that should be at the top of your list. Price, picture, sound, looks of the tv(it's a beauty), installing the stand, setup of the tv, and plenty of hdmi inputs all make this a serious contender this year in the plasma tv market. I suspect this one will be a hot seller! Again, if you're not into all the fancy features of the high-end models, and Smart TV and 3D aren't a necessity, then you've found yourself a great television. This tv came very well packed in the box, btw.... bravo LG!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2013
FedEx got it to me in one piece. Picture is awesome. Sound is best I have seen out of a flat TV. If you have roku or Apple TV and don't need smart TV, this is the way to go. The savings on shipping paid for half of my Prime membership...
37 of 49 people found the following review helpful
The first thing you'll probably notice about this TV is the price. At the time of this review, Amazon is selling it for $649.00 with free shipping. This is very competitively priced for a 50-inch, 1080p television, especially from a major brand like LG. Some other words you might notice are things like "Plasma" and "600 Hz" which I will try to help explain if you're not already familiar. Below is my FAQ and review, if you have any other questions, please post in the comments and I'll try to help out to be the best of my ability.
01. How is the picture quality?
Fantastic. Depending on which Blu Ray you pop in, you may feel like you're watching a movie in hyper reality. Like you're IN the movie. The characters flow across the screen in such perfect refresh rates that it truly trippy to behold. I don't think it's the absolute BEST image I've ever seen on an 1080p television, but I'm VERY impressed. Not even the snobbiest HD expert can give too harsh of a rating in regards to the picture quality.
02. Will I need to fiddle with any of the picture settings or will it look good right out of the box?
The default image setting is some kind of "eco-friendly" mode which is slightly darker than usual. Kinda like when you unplug your laptop and the screen dims a bit. So NO, out of the box the image isn't right. The good news is that they include some cool picture presets such as "Game" and "Cinema" which are much better. Right now I keep mine on "Cinema" which is very crisp and just about always looks right. You can also adjust every little individual setting (brightness, contrast, etc) if you desire.
03. OK, but I thought 3D and LED TVs were the new rage. Isn't PLASMA outdated?
Yes and no. PLASMA used to have issues with images being "burnt" into the screen, but those problems have been fixed. In fact, the evolution of Plasma has come along amazingly well. Some people even argue that it gives the most "natural" look. However, in my opinion, LED is definitely superior in regards to overall picture quality, especially when it comes to black levels. Still, not every LED TV is created equal. I've seen plenty whose picture was much better than this TV. I've also seen some that look much worse. LEDs do tend to last longer and are even thinner than Plasma, but right now I don't think they're necessarily superior by definition. It depends on the TV. 3D is also a format that is not going away, and if you're in to that, the lack-of-3D capability may be a disappointment in regards to this TV.
04. What about 4K TVs?
Sony will be rolling out its first wave of 4K televisions this year - here's one: Sony XBR-55X900A 55-Inch 1080p 120Hz 3D LED 4K Ultra HDTV - so I don't actually know how the picture quality will look since I haven't seen one yet. In theory, 4k televisions have some 4x the resolution of 1080p. Some say that the naked eye really can't tell the difference though, unless you have a HUGE screen (like 100 inches) or if you're sitting inches from the screen. I think that there will probably be a noticeable difference between 4K and 1080p, but it will most likely be another 5-10 years before the price of these TVs are reasonable. Still, the Blu Ray Disc Association already announced that it has plans on updating the Blu Ray disc format to support 4k resolution. 4K is definitely coming, but I wouldn't worry about it too much yet.
05. How difficult is setup? Will I need a professional to help me?
Set-up is a breeze so long as you're just sitting the TV on a table or something. I was able to do it by myself. If you're mounting it on a wall, however, I would definitely recommend having someone help you who knows what they're doing. It doesn't have to be a "professional" exactly, but you don't want to mess up your wall by doing it wrong.
06. I see I can plug my USB drive into this TV. That's cool. What all file formats can it play?
So far I've found that it can only play music files such as mp3s and picture files such a jpegs. Kinda cool I guess, but actually disappointing for me. I would like to play video files or music in a lossless format. Fortunately most Blu Ray players now play a wider variety of file formats so you can still play digital media on your TV.
07. How is the sound quality? Will I need to purchase surround sound speakers?
Although I would never recommend an HD television without surround sound, I can actually say that I'm very impressed with the television speakers themselves. There is absolutely no distortion, even at high bass levels, and voices are crisp and clear.
08. How is the glare?
The screen is very reflective so you'll want to position it away from windows if possible. Windows on the side or behind the TV shouldn't create much of a problem, and artificial lighting hasn't caused any issues for me. It all depends on placement though, because the screen does have a mirror-like reflection to it.
09. What's 600Hz mean? Will I be able to tell the difference between 60 Hz or 120Hz?
In theory, 600Hz is the "refresh rate" or number of times a still image is refreshed in one second. So, 60Hz = 60 times per second and 600Hz = 600 times per second. A pretty extraordinary difference as far as numbers are concerned, but even the really picky tend to agree that it's hard to discern between 120Hz and 600Hz, except maybe when it comes to sports when you do tend to see some motion blur. CNET calls the Hz rate a "spec to ignore" because the typical eye can't tell the difference between 60 and 600. I agree that you shouldn't buy a TV solely on the refresh rate, but I believe you can tell a difference, especially between 60 VS 600. The image seems much smoother to me on this TV than those with lower Hz. Probably not a major difference, but the fact that this TV has the highest Hz rate in the market is just another reason to love it.
10. I'm nervous about ordering expensive electronics online. What if it arrives damaged?
I'm not sure if Amazon ships all televisions the same way, but I was able to set-up an appointment for delivery with the delivery company and they were very professional and courteous. Everything arrived in perfect shape. In my experience with Amazon customer service, you can always buy confidently from them because they're very helpful.
11. Would YOU buy it?
Good question. It should be noted that I received this system to test via the Amazon.com VINE program so I didn't actually have to pay for it. Now that I've experienced all the pleasure and wonder of its picture quality, would I actually pay $700ish for it? It's hard to say.
I would be VERY tempted to go for an LED TV instead, because they are definitely the future format, but at the same time, I have absolutely no complaints about the picture quality of this Plasma screen - and it's very affordable. I'm also tempted by 3D TVs even though the 3D format doesn't excite me too much. There is definitely something cool about being able to watch a 3D movie right at home. Knowing me, I would most likely opt for the latest greatest (an LED 3D TV) but for the price, I can definitely back this TV up with a full-hearted recommendation. It doesn't have all the latest bells and whistles, but it is affordable and looks AMAZING. What more can you ask for?
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2013
Let me start by stating that overall I really love this TV. The picture is absolutely stunning. More on that later.
There are some minor (at least to me) things that I don't like so I will cover those first. During the initial setup the TV got stuck on trying to search channels on the coax connection even though I had nothing connected to it. It took me awhile to figure out that it was stuck. I had to break out of the setup and go about the menu to finish it. Since it seems to recognize the HDMI connections I would have expected it to know that nothing was connected to the coax input. Oh well. And it would be nice to have more than the 2 HDMI connections but it's not that big of a deal to get a switcher to add more inputs. My final critique is just a general issue with any plasma tv - any light source that is opposite the tv will reflect in the picture. In our case we have a huge picture window that reflects. Obviously you can move the tv elsewhere or like us we just bought some heavy curtains to block the outside light when watching during the day.
I love the ease of use of the settings on these tv. You get a nice menu with icons so there is no mistaking what to click on. There is also an input button which allows you to change the input source, however, it also recognizes if you put DVD in your player and will ask you if you want to change to it. Very nice. For picture modes, I have not tried to do anything custom even though you are allowed to do something. I haven't found any need to. The available settings works just fine for me. I generally leave it in "Standard" mode for tv, but my favorite is "Cinema", especially when playing Blu-ray DVD's. As I stated previously, the picture is stunning in all modes. I love the deep, deep blacks and movie action scenes are awesome. As with the picture, the audio settings are easy to use. I quickly made a custom one with the bass enhanced to sound good with my sound bar. I would characterize the internal speakers as adequate but I usually use the external sound bar. I have not tried the USB connector yet but it's at least available if I ever decide to copy a bunch of movies to my external hard drive.
I also wanted to comment on the slenderness of this tv. It's very, very slim for a plasma tv. I had not realized that it would be until we unpacked it and set it up. Very pleasing. And my wife loves the fact the housing itself is not very big either.
Really, overall this tv shines.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2013
I've had this tv for about a week and it is amazing. The picture quality is better than my bravia 1080p 120hz 46 inch (which has been moved to the bedroom). I have the lg in the corner of my living room and the side viewing angles on this plasma is as good as in front of the tv (downfall of a lcd/led tv). I would recommend this tv.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This is my first plasma TV and so far I am satisfied. Prior to this LG the only other flat screen TV's that I have had are LCD's by Sharp, Panasonic, and Samsung. To start off the review I will focus a little on the delivery by Amazon. The TV was delivered by Ceva and they did a good job. I did not have them setup the TV, though that is part of their service. The delivery company called to schedule the TV and gave me a four-hour window that they would deliver it within. That is kind of a wide window but I got lucky and I must have been first on the list as Ceva actually showed up 20 mins before the delivery window started. The delivery drivers brought the TV up to a spare bedroom on the 2nd floor, which was nice as the TV box is heavy.
For the 2nd part of the review I will focus in on the TV itself. Unboxing and setup was straightforward. It may take two people to lift the TV out of the box, depending on your lifting ability. Setting the TV up on the stand was easy and requires 2 screws to secure it to the stand and it feels steady after it was setup. I like the stand for the TV as it is sturdy and allows the TV to swivel. The TV itself is very nice looking, I like the thin black frame of the TV. The TV looks very good in a room on a TV stand. The TV is very thin and could easily be hooked up to a wall mount. The 50-inch is a good size for small to medium rooms.
Setup of the TV settings is easy and the user interface reminds me of my older Samsung. There are easy option settings for picture, audio, channel, and input. There are enough settings available to fine-tune the picture to your desire. Out of the box the picture is not that great and will require time to experiment with settings to get it to the way you will like it. The "eco" mode that is default picture settings is designed to save energy but it makes the picture too dark. I set mine to standard picture setting and modified some of the settings to get the picture to a look that meets my needs. Be patient with this process, for any TV, as it can take some time to find the right settings that work for you. I'm still adjusting mine to bring the picture to my preferred look. I am using this TV mostly for video gaming, Apple TV movies, and over the air digital TV. I don't have my satellite hooked up to this TV. The over the air digital TV looks good when on the HD channels, the non-HD channels look good enough. At the higher resolution hdmi inputs like Xbox, PlayStation, and Apple TV, the TV picture is very good. The picture is clear and colors are good (although black is sometimes a bit light for my tastes). For a gaming TV this plasma works well. The colors are rich and the speed of the TV makes the gaming smooth.
For the price of this TV and the size of the TV, it is a very good value. LG has put together a very nice TV at a very attractive price point and that combination make it a very compelling option. LCD's and LED's are much more expensive at this size screen. This TV does not come with all the bells and whistles as more expensive TV's but for the price who needs all that extra stuff.
1. Price- great price for this size TV from a well-known brand.
2. Picture- very good for price.
3. Size- good size for small and medium rooms.
4. Look of TV- very attractive looking and will compliment or enhance any room.
5. Sound- for a thin TV the sound is better than other brands I have had. The sound isn't stereo quality but for a thin TV the voice can be heard and that is a plus. Other flat screen TV's I have had it is difficult to hear the person talk so I had to buy a sound bar. For what I use this TV for I don't think a sound bar is needed. If this is your main TV additional sound might be needed but for every day use it is adequate.
1. Only two hdmi inputs- for the price maybe it is ok but 2 hdmi inputs is not enough on a modern TV. Just hook up your cable and one game machine and you are out of hdmi ports. If you have more than two hdmi connections you will have to purchase an hdmi switch/hub so that you can connect more than one. Keep this in mind as you evealuate this TV with other TV's as usually new TV's have at least 3 hdmi ports.
2. Reflection- compared to LCD/LED TV's there is a fair amount of reflection on the TV. If you have lamps or a lot of outdoor light coming in keep the reflection in mind. I believe this is typical of plasma TV's so nothing specific to this TV.
3. Black levels- compared to LCD/LED TV's the black level is sometimes a bit thin.
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2013
I bought this as a second TV for another room in our house. My main TV is a 58" Samsung Plasma That I purchased a few years ago for a lot more money than this one.
One of the things I wanted in a new TV was Wi-Fi, but I didn't want to pay a lot of money. Fortunately, I got some advice from a local dealer who said to pick a cheaper TV that had good picture quality, then buy a Blu-ray player with Wi-Fi and save yourself a ton of money.
I took his advice and found this TV. I have to say, after a few tweaks to the picture settings, this TV produces a very beautiful, crisp picture! I love it almost as much as my main TV and have spent quite a bit of time watching TV and movies on this over my other.
The only minor problem I have with this TV is that it has a glossy finish and not a matted finish. This is something I missed while searching for a TV, so I'm not taking points off of the review. Sadly, it's in a very sunny room, with lots of windows, so during the day, there's quite a bit of glare and reflection from the windows. The black levels also wash out a bit on really bright days. Still, in the evening and at night, or if you are planning to place this in a dark room, this TV is awesome, especially for the price!
One quick note is that it only has 2 HDMI slots, so if you have more than two HDMI devices to hook up to it, you might want to plan on getting a HDMI Switch Box. I planned ahead for this and just use one to switch between the Blu-ray player and the Xbox360 that's hooked up to it without any issues.
I would definitely recommend this TV to others!!