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I know what you’re thinking: we made a mistake in our headline. After all, we said that the 32PG6000 is a plasma TV when everybody knows that plasma TVs don’t come smaller than 37in these days.
But actually, we’re not wrong at all. For in a striking move that frankly none of us saw coming, LG has decided to fly in the face of established ‘wisdom’ by expanding its plasma TV range to include a 32in model. The question is, is this decision completely bonkers or totally inspired?!
Aside from the fact that it’s pretty heavy compared with most 32in flat TVs we see these days, there’s nothing particularly obvious about the 32PG6000’s exterior that provides proof of its plasma heart. It just appears to be another attractive glossy black rectangle given added panache by a neat half moon power light in the bottom right corner.
However, look a little closer and you’ll notice that the TV’s front comprises a single-layer, rather than a bezel that stands proud from the screen as you’d normally see. This distinctive – and very attractive – design trait is familiar from the 42in 42PG6000 and 50in 50PG6000 LG models we’ve tested previously, so here, I guess, lies at least a small exterior hint of the set’s plasma rather than LCD core.
Connectivity is excellent for such a small and, at just £452, extremely affordable 32in TV. The provision of four HDMIs – all built to the v1.3 standard - where even many premium TVs only give you three is particularly welcome, as is a USB 2.0 port able to play JPEG and MP3 files. There’s a D-Sub port for PC connection too, so you can double the TV up as a computer monitor – a feature one or two other budget models skip in their cost-cutting exploits.
Given plasma technology’s well-documented problems with making its cells small enough to fit 1920x1080 of them into even a 42in screen, it should come as little surprise that the 32PG6000 does not feature a Full HD resolution. Rather it carries an HD Ready pixel count of 1024x768. But we don’t see this as a massive problem, particularly if the 32PG6000 counters its slight loss of resolution versus some of today’s 32in LCD models by delivering such traditional plasma strengths as deep black levels and crisper motion handling.
Regarding black levels, the 32PG6000’s quoted contrast ratio of 30,000:1 looks very promising – especially since this is a ‘native’ figure not dependent on the vagaries of dynamic backlight systems like those employed by the vast majority of LCD TVs.