65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
GREAT TV for the price,
This review is from: LG 50PA6500 50-inch 1080p 600 Hz Plasma HDTV (2012 Model) (Electronics)
I won't get into too many technophile level details, but what I will try to do is break it down based on what most normal purchasers would care about shopping in this price range. First, before going into the review, I will say this, when you first buy this TV, it is very important that you turn off a from the factory preset. The problem with this TV in store models is usually, the demo model keeps the store setting which is "Energy Saver" mode. The tv has a light sensor on the top that adjusts the TV picture brightness based on the amount of light in the room. The problem is, even when it is pitch black in the room, the setting makes the TV too dim, not giving you the true rich picture it can achieve. TURN THIS SETTING OFF AS SOON AS YOU GET THE TV. It is a garbage novelty setting not worth using. If you want to tinker, choose one of the "Expert" tinker options. Otherwise, just choose "Standard" picture, and 99% of people will enjoy the picture. Also, bump up the brightness to 60% for most people. But above and beyond all else, turn off the "Energy Saver" mode.
Picture Quality / Clarity: The picture is very nice for this price range. It is truly 1080p HD quality that pops out with EXCELLENT frame rate (no motion blurs which is common with larger TVs and slow frame rates). This makes watching sports great. It is not the best I've seen, but pretty darn close.
Color: The colors on this are very nice, extremely rich and vibrant, assuming you followed my directions to turn off the Energy Saver mode from above. Even at Standard levels, HD movies will pop out to compare with much more expensive TV's. I find that this tv will give you about 99% of the color/picture ability of a similar sized "quality" LED TV, especially on movies like Disney and Pixar films. It falls short on more real life reproductions.
Blacks / Whites: This is in a separate category because this is where LED's often excel. The blacks can be adjusted on this TV to near pure black. This will get you about 90% of the black of an LED, and about 1000 times better than an LCD. However, whites fall short vs a good LED. You notice this on things like T-Mobile Commercials where most of the screen is bright white with a person in the middle in bright colors. The white just doesn't seem pure. With an LED tv, this would be bright white. Basically, the colors on this TV are brilliant, far superior to a 1080p LCD, but LEDs have just gotten better at producing these two spectrums.
Sound: The sound isn't great, but decent and about average for a thin flat panel. If you are an audiophile, you will be disappointed. Average customers might make due. It isn't as bad as some TV's though, most thin flat panels have horrible sound. You have to fit the speakers somewhere.
Thinness: This TV is thin. Very thin. Both the depth, and the bezel (front edge around screen). The front bezel isn't as thin as the Samsung smart TV series, but probably in the top three TV's I saw on display for bezel size. This is very nice and should be appreciated in a TV this size. Additionally, the TV is very thin in thickness. Also, the layered thickness means that when it hangs on the wall, it looks thinner than it is. While there are thinner LEDs out there, you get 90% of the thinness for 50% of the price. Honestly, for the price, you won't find thinner.
Plasma pros vs cons: I have had both LCD and Plasmas. My old Plasma had some burn in issues, although never bad ones, and usually , they disappear. The problem with this TV is, the picture is so huge, if you were to have burn in, it would be very noticeable (imagine a 10" ESPN symbol everytime you turned your TV on). However, so far, I haven't noticed any burn in. The manual says it is fine with being on a still image for up to 1 hour. So far, I believe them. Also, this TV has yet to get very hot, unlike my older Plasma. Honestly, most people assume the TV is an LED based on how bright the colors are and how thin the TV is. I haven't noticed any of the cons of old of Plasmas except that LEDs are marginally better in black/white reproductions as mentioned above. If you are coming from an LCD, however, this TV will blow your mind away.
Energy use: This TV will not get as good power ratings as an LED even though it advertises it will, because in order to get competitive pictures with an LED, you must turn off the "Energy Saver" mode. However, it still does better than older TVs. LEDs can just make brighter pictures with less power. But, you will never experience the price savings of energy consumption that you save in overall price of the TV, I promise you. This TV advertises EPA rating of $21/yr operating costs while most LED's in this price range is about $18/yr. With the Energy Saver off, I'm guessing $35/yr based on percentage increase the brightness bar went up, but again, this is a pure guestimate. Either way, even if it was $50/yr, it would take you over a decade to make up the difference with a similarly sized LED.
Price: Bottom line, you can't beat the picture quality of this TV and the size, thickness, etc. when compared to what you pay. I got this TV on sale at BJ's for $600. Yes, you read that right. The next closest LED with similar picture, thickness, and screen size was about $1200. I did find an LED from a lesser brand for only $800, but it was 46" and MUCH thicker. If you aren't a technophile, then buy this TV, it is money well spent.
*Update 1/7/14: TV still going strong, LOVE this TV. I have seen leftover stock at BJ's and Sears for $550. Buy it, still a great price. Loved this TV so much, I got the same exact model in 720p for a room that didn't need HD, and it still looks amazing!!!! That went for $450. Either way, if you can find this TV, get it. Samsung has a similar one for similar price, but slightly thicker. Most stores are getting rid of this TV altogether as they move away from Plasma, so good luck if you can find it. However, this far into the future, $700 is nolonger worth it as Amazon is pricing it since there are affordable namebrand LED's now for that range. However, if you can find it at $550 like I see occasionally, GET IT!!!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 7, 2014 10:38:00 AM PST
Amazon Customer says:
Still probably one of the best tech purchases I've ever made. It is now 2014, and this TV still holds its own in terms of color, clarity, picture, refresh rate, and form factor. Love the thin bezel and slim profile. And the price is still competitive! I literally shopped black friday this past year and couldn't find a TV that I thought was priced better without a no name brand behind it.. Hisense anyone?
Posted on Oct 13, 2014 8:07:36 AM PDT
Val H. says:
Thanks for the most informative review. Really helped me with my research into purchasing a plasma tv. Appreciated your update as well.
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