Top positive review
170 people found this helpful
why we bought this TV & first impressions
on April 7, 2011
we've had this TV for 4 days now, and we couldn't be happier! i've been writing a running commentary of our initial impressions which i'll now consolidate to make for easier reading. we really benefited from all the reviews and advice that other people took the time to write, so we wanted to "pay it forward"
first, some background:
CONTEXT & SKILL-SET: we're a 1 TV household, averaging around 20 hours a week. we use the set for TV and DVD's only; no gaming. we were replacing a wonderfully dependable but huge, 10 year-old samsung tube toad. we did a lot of research before buying the lg 50PZ950, but we're not particularly knowledgeable about A/V stuff in general. why tell you all this? because it's important to know any reviewer's knowledge base (low-middling in our case) and context (moving from a CRT to a flatscreen). our perspective may not be relevant to all readers.
WHY PLASMA: lack of motion blur for sports makes my husband happy, and the rich, immersive movie experience at night makes me happy. our only experience with LCD is our imac, and while watching movies on the mac is great (vivid and sharp) it doesn't provide the rich, deep, "pull you in" sense that plasma does. IMO, anyway.
WHY 3D: frankly, we didn't really care about 3D, but thought it might be fun once in a while, so why not?
WHY THE INFINIA: like a lot of people in our price range (~$1,600) we started out choosing between the panasonic & the samsung. based on consumerreports.org reviews for last year's models, we included the lg infinia as well. all three were highly rated; all within 1 point of each other. plus the advance word from the 2011 CES was very encouraging. we were pretty confident we wouldn't be making a mistake with any one of the 3 brands. in the end, it came down to 2 factors: looks & the user interface. the infinia looks beautiful: on or off. and the user interface is simple and straightforward.
WHY WE BOUGHT FROM AMAZON: we've always been very impressed with amazon, especially their customer service. and never more so than in this case. the first PZ950 we received was broken. fortunately, amazon uses special delivery service: they unpacked the TV for us so we were able to plug it in. the spiderweb break wasn't apparent until the set was on. they immediately took the set back and amazon arranged to get another one here pronto, in time for my husband's b'day. thank you amazon! and thank you home direct.
ok, now our impressions based on 4 days of loving this tv...
PICTURE: the picture quality is wonderful. even better than i'd hoped. deep blacks and lush, rich true-to-life colors. lots of depth. sometimes almost looks 3D when not in 3D. fabulous detail on HD... and obviously less so on SD (standard definition.)
DAYTIME VIEWING: we have the set in a very bright room (lots of south-facing windows). daytime glare was our initial worry, before buying the set. turns out, no problem. yes, the screen is reflective when off, but the reflections drop out when on. NOTE ADDED 3.17: viewed tv today for first time at max sunlight (noon-ish): saw reflections of myself and everything else in the room. not so bad that i couldn't comfortably watch the set, but wanted to let you know in case that's a deal-breaker for you. fyi, we have a large bank of 6' unshaded south-facing windows in this room which flood the entire room with direct sunlight mid-day. still adore this tv, and the reflections are not a problem for us, but wanted to let you know.
NIGHTTIME VIEWING: heavenly! totally immersive experience when watching movies at night.
AUDIO: the sound quality is excellent, and the clear voice II feature is particularly useful for those of us a little longer in the tooth thus harder of hearing. and the auto volume setting keeps commercials from jolting you out of your chair.
3D: well, i bought the wrong glasses so we haven't seen 3D yet. but based on consumerreport.org's ratings of last year's version (the 50PX950) and other reviews on this year's models, i know it's going to be great. fyi, you need the lg AGS250's -- not the AGS110's.
REMOTES: it comes with 2 remotes: one traditional (back-lit) and one magic wand thingee. i didn't think we'd use the wand, but we do; it's great. in addition to being an on-screen pointer, it's also distilled down to just the essential buttons: on/off, home, volume rocker, channel rocker, and select. easy, intuitive, and fun.
MEDIALINK: this is great! let's you wirelessly access all the photos on your computer, all the music & more on itunes. pictures look great -- better than when you view them on the picassa app. plus there's smart share (which we haven't used yet) which lets you import via USB thumb drive.
NOTE FOR MAC USERS: the TV comes with nero mediahome 4 esentials, but that only works with a PC. go to the plex website, click on the special lg section, download the mac software, et voila: medialink works perfectly.
APPS: we haven't used a lot of the 3rd party apps, except for google maps (which is terrific on the big screen) and picassa (which is fun for looking at pix from friends). the TV also comes with netflix, cinema now, vudu, napster, viewster, amazon, NBA, MLB, youtube, facebook, twitter, AP, V tuner, Iplay, fun spot, and accu weather. plus there's some lg apps which are a little dorky (no offense, lg); selection will doubtless improve over time.
CALIBRATION: we have not calibrated the TV. partly because we don't know how, but mainly because we've been so happy with it just the way it is. the blacks are deep, and the colors are lush but not loud. there's a nice feature which lets you create & save your own preferred mix of settings.
BREAK-IN PERIOD: we're being really careful for the first hundred hours. some debate on whether it's necessary, but why chance it? besides, it's no hardship to limit fixed image viewing or to take it easy on brightness and contrast to start. probably even better to run a break-in disk. fyi, easy to keep track of how many total hours you've viewed to date by going to: set up, support, product info... gives you a running total of hours on.
WEB BROWSER: a little pokey, but surprisingly useful every now and again.
LG SERVICE: we ran into a problem early on using the (included) dongle for wireless. put a call into lg (1-800-243-0000) turns out the problem was me: i didn't give the TV time to update the firmware. when the set says "don't turn me off", don't... or the update won't finish. when the update finishes, the TV turns itself off and then back on. thank you, leyza, at lg, for walking me through it.
WHAT ELSE... suggest you download the manual from the lg website before the TV arrives so you'll know how to handle (lift, carry, etc.), where to place, etc.
that's about it. if you buy this TV, i hope you love it as much as we do!