Chocolate is one of our favourite things. We can’t get enough of the stuff and we really don’t like its name to be taken in vain. So our relationship with LG’s ‘Chocolate’ 50PB65 50in plasma TV gets off to a decidedly rocky start when biting enthusiastically into a corner of it gives us nothing but toothache for our trouble. Hmm.
Turns out that what LG means by the ‘Chocolate’ theme is that the 50PB65’s design is inspired by the brand’s iconic – well, that’s how LG describes them, anyway – Chocolate mobile phones. Ah. Silly us. But then to be fair to ourselves, the supposed Chocolate phone aesthetic inspiration is, in our humble opinion, hardly blindingly obvious. Yes, OK, there’s a tiny bit of the Chocolate phone design in the TV’s use of small red and green LEDs around the TV’s edges and the overall styling is reasonably comely. But ultimately it just looks like yet another glossy black TV rather than anything truly haut couture. In fact, it’s rather bigger and fatter than many of its rivals and that certainly doesn’t follow the Chocolate mobile styling.
In other words, the whole Chocolate thing seems more of a marketing notion than anything particularly ‘real’, so let’s leave it firmly behind and focus on what the TV actually DOES offer – hoping as we do so, that the Chocolate marketeering hasn’t been created as a smoke screen to hide a performance deficiency or two.
Connections are reasonably plentiful for a 50in TV available for as little as £1,102 (a figure that wouldn’t look out of place on a 42in screen, never mind a 50in one). Two HDMIs and a component jack do HD video duties, plus there’s a D-Sub interface for analogue PC hook up, a pair of SCARTs, a CI slot that immediately alerts us to the presence of a built-in digital tuner and last but not least a digital audio output that lets you pipe out to an AV receiver digital audio tracks taken in via the HDMI inputs.
The HDMIs have a couple more tricks up their sleeves too, namely an ability to let you operate compatible LG source gear such as a DVD player via the TV’s remote; and compatibility with the 1080p/24fps HD image format that’s become such a hot topic since film studios started using it to encode movies onto HD discs.