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Even if you’re lucky enough to only find one of these noise types occurring at any one time the picture still looks distractingly ‘alive’, so you can imagine how unpleasant things get when all three culprits appear simultaneously.
Tragically, if you put your rose-tinted glasses on and try to see beyond the depressing duo of problems we’ve just reported, the 50PC1D actually has a lot to offer. It’s one of the best black level performers in the flat TV world for instance, effortlessly portraying even the darkest corners of Sam Fisher’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent adventures without a trace of the tell-tale greyness that afflicts so many flat TV rivals – budget priced or otherwise.
HD pictures also look pretty sharp, as the set does a solid job of picking out the endless fine detail in, say, shots of the New York skyline from the HD DVD of King Kong. And although beset by fizzing noise, motion is at least portrayed smoothly, without judder.
The 50PC1D is a perfectly credible audio performer too, using its sheer size to good effect to produce a soundstage that’s loud, widely dispersed, and fleshed out by at least passable amounts of bass. There’s not sufficient clarity in the treble spectrum or quite enough openness to bass lines to make it a truly classic audio performer, but the sound is certainly potent enough to do the scale of the 50in images justice. And you can’t really ask for much more than that from a 50in TV that costs under £1,300.
We desperately wanted to love the 50PC1D, as with its £1,280 price tag it really does have the potential to revolutionise the UK TV environment, opening the big-screen door to a whole new section of wannabe home cinema fans. But ultimately the flaws with its pictures make it a disappointing case of quantity over quality.