It might be true that plasmas are being shoved more and more into a niche market segment, due to the all pervading spread of the LCD, and now LED backed LCD HDTV, but there will always be a market that has informed and enthusiastic buyers. Not only does LG as a brand cater to both sides of LCD and Plasma TVs, they give equal marketing push to both. Thus today we have a brand new iteration of their flagship Plasma series, the LG 60 inch PK950, a behemoth that looks like it will eat you up once out of the box. Let’s see.
Form and Features
This is the big sixty, one of the larger screen sizes available in the market, though the design by LG is so good; it doesn’t feel bulky at all. The main reason for this though is the fluid edges and smooth surfaces on the bezel and the brilliant border less design for the panel. The front face entirely is made of one single slab, seamlessly integrating the bezel and screen. Even the LED on the far right corner looks exquisite. Overall great design, very well suited for plush living rooms.
The stand also is made of reflective glass. Shape-wise it’s a thick and sturdy rectangular block, with a circular stalk. The back side of the TV houses the connectors on it’s bottom right side, also some of the connectors are on the side panel. The complete list of connectors available are in list below.
The features these days in TVs are really interesting, and the LG too tries to impress in that regard. We have 2 USB ports, thus one is used for Wi-Fi Dongle, which opens the door to Netcast, which in turn offers internet services like Youtube and Picasa, but mind you the list is not too extensive. Another use of the wireless connectivity is DLNA, which supports wireless streaming of media files. We have Bluetooth connectivity for headphones and/or iPods. Besides all this, there are two THX modes in the menu, which seem really exciting for video enthusiasts.
We plugged in the giant to our test rig HTPC, and also Sony Blu ray player BDP S-370. The first thing we were impressed by is the professional choices available in calibration, we have advanced menus for the expert presets, containing ISFccc controls to tweak almost everything from individual RGB tints to edge enhancing and more. Calibration can be an intense and satisfying process.
We were using our DVE test disc and Displaymate, along with Terminator Salvation Blu-ray, for checking. The first thing that impressed us was the deep blacks, here we noticed a very low absolute level, which is great for contrast ratio. The shadow detailing was also good, meaning dark grey parts had good differentiation amongst them, although it was not spot on accurate. We had some merging of black and dark grey bars in our test pattern.
On the brighter side (literally) the whites were clean and bloom free, thus overall contrast was healthy. One can surely get a nice vivid picture after some calibration. Colors were slightly warmer in the THX modes; I guess this was done purposely to enhance skintones, but these are all controllable factors thanks to the advanced color menus. Another very good thing was minimal color banding. Color banding happens more often in plasmas, but here we had smooth color gradients, no complaints at all.
Plasmas have a problem of burn in, or image retention in the screen after long periods of static video, and this model too came with its head hanging regarding Burn in. There was noticeable problems of burn in, channel logos become a problem.
At a MOP of Rs. 1,48,791, one has to realize that this TV is reasonably priced, as 60 inch plasmas by Panasonic or Pioneer are way more. The good thing here is that the quality offered is not far behind, and it is a sure improvement from previous year’s Plasmas, thus we have to give this model a good overall rating. The only fault I felt was image burn in issues, which can be lesser in today’s plasma TV realm. THe features are great, and advanced menus to calibrate can really make a difference, thus any one who is really into deep blacks and vivid picture should check this large screen out, it can hold its own in front of similar sized LCDs.
Pane size: 50" widescreen (plasma)
Response time: Not mentioned
Contrast ratio: 5.000.000:1 (dynamic)
Brightness: Not mentioned
Signal processing: 8 bit, 16.7 million colors
Viewing angles (H/V): 178/178
Dimensions (HxWxD): 73.7cm x 119.1cm x 5.3cm (without stand)
Weight 30.2 kg