LG 42PQ6000 42in Plasma TV - LG 42PQ6000

John Archer

By John Archer


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Review Price free/subscription

While all the issues make it hard to recommend the 42PQ6000, even when it costs so little, the TV isn't devoid of charms. It's got a nice way of bringing out the detail and 'snap' of HD sources, for instance - despite only having a native resolution of 1,024 x 768.

Also, it's worth making it clear that while dark scenes look a bit hollow, they do also enjoy deeper black levels than pretty much any straight LCD technology TV.

Having mentioned LCD, I was relieved to find that thanks to its plasma technology, I could watch the 42PQ6000 from pretty much any angle I pleased without it suffering any serious drop off in colour saturation or contrast.

The 42PQ6000's pictures are quite bright for a cheap plasma model too (if you avoid the eco settings), and finally, the set puts the fact that it's quite fat by flat TV standards to good use with its audio reproduction. Explosions, gun fire, vocals and a pumping score can all co-exist through the TV's speakers without suffering distortion or sounding too compressed.


Arch bargain hunters that we are, we really wanted to love the 42PQ6000. But while in typical LG fashion it delivers more than enough goods on paper, the reality of its pictures is actually very disappointing.

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November 3, 2009, 3:07 pm

I was always under the impression that the 600hz claimed by many plasma manufacturers was to with something called sub field driving and was more to stop flicker and increase brightness than actual motion processing. In that i can understand how 100hz and 200hz work with regard to producing independant frames but how could LG actually make a true 600hz processor and sell it so cheap!!


November 4, 2009, 3:38 am

Dissapointing review guys, there are a few points which I think should be either justified with information (like picture settings) or corrected, I'll give a few examples.

Firstly, the 600Hz is a subfield drive, which you seem to observe at first, but you criticise it for not smoothing judder, which isn't what it's there to do, it's being marketed, especially by Panasonic, as helping to reduce motion blur, but it doesn't do that, it's related to things such as colour dithering and is simply a refinement of how plasma technology has always worked. In fact, it's clever that it reduces judder 'marginally' as you say it did!

I'm also incredubly suprised that you're sceptical on the ISF controls, not everyone will use them, but a lot of people will, in fact there are a lot of people on an internet forum I regularly visit who own the PQ6000 and have calibrated the TV themselves, a pro is needed to get the best out of it, but not to use them, and a lot of people do use them, surely you should be praising LG for including it even low down in their range?!

I'm curious about what you say on colour as well, are these comments based on calibrated settings or a preset? Another reviewer (who is ISF certified) commented on how, despite lacking some luminance in greens, the colours are actually pretty accurate out of the box, and even better once calibrated.

To be honest, while I usually trust your judgement for most TVs I don't agree with this review for the most part, and more evidence needs to be provided for what you're saying.

Paul 16

November 4, 2009, 5:40 am

i think that the 6 that John gave to this tv for it's picture performance is totally ridiculous, he seriously needs his eyes to be checked by an ophthalmologist as soon as possible

my friend have this tv and i can tell that what John writes to his review have nothing to do the reality, this tv's picture is simply excellent especially for the money it costs and i find it really funny that this model got really good reviews from all other sites that reviewed it but Jonh buried it

by Trustedreviews standards the 42PQ6000 should definetely have an 8 for it's picture


November 4, 2009, 12:35 pm

John, I really cannot work out this review at all. This TV while not being perfect in no way deserves a final score of 6/10.

Can you explain why you gave this TVs previous incarnation the 2008 Model 9/10??


yet this updated version albeit only being 42" and losing an HDMI socket is half the price of that 50" Plasma you reviewed in 2008??

Are you saying other competitors in Plasma and LCD has moved THAT MUCH forward in that short time ... because quite frankly I don't see that.

Panasonics 2009 Range have largely been hit and miss with the exception of their top of the range Neo PDP Models (and even then owners claim that SD performance is worse on than their 2008 models). The X10 is to all intents and purposes a rebadged X80B as is the S10 to Z80.

Samsung have released very view Plasmas and even their top of the range models have come to market with serious flaws and questionable build quality and audio.

So even if LG have stood still in 2009 that leaves a massive puzzle to this review.

So I suppose the question should be have LCD's moved ahead of this sub £500 Plasma to warrant you giving it such a low score??

Well anyway I have this TV and would score it as follows:

Design: 9/10 (brilliant one sheet design for a sub £500 tv)

Features 9/10 (amount of tweaking and options/inputs rarely seen at this level)

Image Quality 8/10 (I agree that unless you are feeding it pristine SD the set can be hit or miss and still introduces noticeable artefacts into HD viewing)

Sound Quality 9/10 (The best I have had in a Flat Screen TV)

A quick glance round the net from both reviewers and owners alike seem to back up my scores and leave me wondering why you have scored it so low ...

John Archer

November 4, 2009, 7:06 pm

Hi all

Sorry to hear that I'm not in everyone's good books today! And I have to preface my response by saying that I no longer have a 42PQ6000 in my possession that I could use to offer up the detailed level of response some of you would like.

However, the TV is fresh enough in my mind to allow me to totally stand by my picture mark of 6.

First, regarding other positive reviews of the TV elsewhere on the Net (some of which I was aware of before I actually tested the TV myself), I don't see my disagreeing with these as a big issue at all. Sometimes people just plain don't see things the same way - as these comments prove! - and it would be a grey old world if they did. But without wishing to disparage any other reviewers or sound cocky or superior in any way (honest!), I have to point out that I've seen many, many hundreds, possibly thousands of TVs in my 10-year career as a technology reviewer - more, I suspect, than any other reviewer around at the moment, so I trust implicitly my ability to draw comparative opinions between TVs.

And as some of you have been kind enough to say, you usually trust my judgment too!

The simple facts are that for me the 42PQ6000's pictures contain significant and distracting problems, no matter how much time you spend calibrating them.

And as I actually stress in the review, I really did spend a lot of time calibrating the 42PQ6000 - as I do with every TV I review. In fact, due to the largely dismal presets the TV ships with (this in itself is annoying, if hardly rare), I spent far longer calibrating the 42PQ6000 to get the best picture I could than I normally would expect to.

Yet no matter what I tried, I was unable to stop pictures from disappointing the heck out of me.

Black levels, for instance, are never a match for any other brand of plasma TV around right now. In fact, crucially, I also found the screen's presentation of black level to be inferior or more forced than Samsung's equally cheap 40B550 LCD TV. The point about relatively weak black levels, I note this morning, was mentioned in the AVforums review of the TV, if you really must have a second opinion on what I've said.

Colours, too, never seemed to totally escape from those common plasma flaws of orangey skin tones and green bias, no matter how much I worked on them, and achieving a decent clean white was impossible - a point raised, I also note this morning, by the What Hi-Fi review of the TV, to give second opinion wanters another reference point.

I acknowledge that the previously mentioned AVForums review reckons you can get colours looking pretty accurate, but I just don't agree that the 42PQ6000's colours are consistently satisfying, no matter what any mindless measuring machine might say. And of course, it has to be said that colour meters do not easily pick up on the patchy rather than smooth reproduction of colour tones that I mention in the review.

Then there's the issue of image retention, which was incredibly obvious on my 42PQ6000 review sample, as it has been on numerous other LG plasmas I've seen in recent times. This issue alone - which was also picked up by AVforums! God I'm actually starting to sound defensive - is enough to really crush the spirit of someone who still loves TV after all these years and hates to be distracted from what they're watching by such an obvious flaw.

It's possible this issue diminishes over time - and I'm happy, of course, for 42PQ6000 owners who I've offended with my review to report on this here - but it really shouldn't be there at all when it isn't present (to anything like the same extent, anyway) on any other brands of plasma TV today.

Now, getting a bit more specific. Paul, while I'm very happy that you love your friend's 42PQ6000, I can assure you that I had my eyes tested last month and they came back as 20/20. Also, I wonder how large a frame of reference you're drawing your aggressively expressed opinions from? Have you seen literally hundreds of TVs to compare with, like I have? Have you looked at a 42PQ6000 in the context of having a new TV in a test room every two days like I do? Presumably from your 'by Trusted Reviews standards' comment you've actually seen every other TV I've reviewed and agreed with my marks, otherwise that comment is completely meaningless. But hey - at least you seem to agree with my other marks!

As for Paul's point about other reviews, as well as referring him to the point about this I raised earlier, I'm also bound to say that while there are indeed some reviews that really like the 42PQ6000, I noted in researching this reply that What Hi-Fi had issues with it (especially its colour), and avforums describes it merely as a 'decent display' that's bettered by at least one similarly priced rival. So it seems I really am not some lone, visually-impaired rogue spirit here, after all.

Taken in isolation, as most people experience TVs, the 42PQ6000 can of course look very good - especially if considered against the LCD TVs of a couple of years ago that many households may have. But considered against the best the current LCD and plasma worlds have to offer, it just isn't 'up there'. Sorry.

As for the much more valid point raised by DavidCrofter about how I could like the 50PG6000 so much and this so little, I would simply say that 1) the value aspect last year of the 50PG6000 was more pronounced than that of the 42PQ6000 this year (in other words, the 50PG6000 didn't have as many decent rivals - especially at its size level - as the 42PQ6000 does this ear) and 2) I really do believe that the amount of progress made by LCD and LED this year, in particular, has shifted the comparative performance goalposts massively. So the fact that LG hasn't progressed as far as I'd have liked with the 42PQ6000 actually is key - especially as it hasn't addressed its key black level and image retention flaws.

I'd also like to pick up on your 9/10 Sound score, David, if you don't mind. For when you say 'the best I have had in a flat screen TV', I have to wonder how many flat screen TVs you've had? Have you had any of the Philips models with the separate tweeter/woofer arrangements, for instance?

Next, I have definite sympathy with the two writers who raise the point about the 600Hz system not being directly intended to handle motion. In trying to stay succinct on that issue in my copy - I thought people might find it a tad boring, ironically! - I agree that I've not really described the import of 600Hz sub-field systems as well as I should. It's just that I tend to believe that the relative benefits of different manufacturers' 600Hz (and similar) engines tend to reveal themselves most obviously during the reproduction of motion. I shall try to be clearer about this in future, though.

Next, I take on board the comment disagreeing with me that many people will actually go to the trouble of getting an ISF engineer to calibrate their 42PQ6000. I still somehow doubt that if you did a poll of everyone who bought a 42PQ6000 you'd find that more than a tiny percentage of them had actually called an ISF expert in. But I accept that the readers of this website will probably be more knowledgeable and dedicated to AV than your average Comet punter, and so really might go the extra (and definitely worthwhile) ISF mile.

Ultimately, though, I really am intrigued by the amount of love for this TV being shown in this comment thread so far. Especially as I note this morning a 'user rating' of just 7.0 on the CNET review! I guess part of it may have to do with the fact that this TV has been around a little longer than most of the TVs I review, so more of you own one and thus feel indignant and defensive that I'm not particularly enamoured of your TV.

But maybe part of it is also to do with the fact that the 42PQ6000's plasma heritage together with its admittedly excellent level of set-up flexibility appeals unusually heavily to the more serious minded AV buyer likely to take the trouble to post a comment on Trusted Reviews. But if this is the case, all I can say is that just having plasma tech and lots of setup tweaks no longer makes a TV automatically great.

In fact, to sum all of this up, it's my honest, considered, post-calibration opinion that the 42PQ6000 has easily enough problems with its picture to render it merely average. And last time I checked, 6 out of 10 seemed a pretty good definition of average.

John Archer


November 4, 2009, 10:22 pm

Thanks for taking the time to reply, but I think you're trying to avoid the problem by saying that the black levels are bettered by the Samsung B550 LCD, this is a Samsung LCD which, provided you didn't get a 'cost cutting one', has some of the best black levels you can get on an LCD (and I would expect the review samply to be one with the superior panel). The black levels of the Samsung plasmas even rival, and arguably better the black levels on the Panasonic X10 plasma. I appreciate you saying that the black levels on the PQ6000 do beat most of the LCD world in the review, but using a Samsung LCD as an example of black levels being poor isn't quite fair. I'll back you up on saying that the black levels aren't the best you can get for the money, the X10 is superior in this regard, but after I tested a calibrated PQ6000 next to a calibrated X10, in the suitable conditions, the black level differences weren't hugely different in real world viewing, with only the dark scenes really showing it up.

While it's good to point out various flaws in the review, you seem to stress the flaws far too much and seem not to say anything much positive. Processing for example is very good, a little excess of PWM noise (which shouldn't be visible from suitable viewing distances), but otherwise scaling and deinterlacing is very good, which can't really be said for the Panasonics. Colour accuracy is good once calibrated, you observe inaccuracies, but if the equipment says that it's accurate then surely the mistake is in the broadcast, it's displaying what it's being told. Motion resolution is also superior to any LCD, and it isn't prone to the minimal, but still existant plasma problem of phosphor trailing/lag.


November 30, 2009, 10:07 am

I swear my 42PQ6000 plasma TV has BACKLIGHT issues?!

Perhaps the first batch of these TVs were different... Mine doesn't even do black - just charcoal grey, even with all the gizmos turned off/low and brightness/contrast at ZERO!!

I'm wondering if mine is faulty because I'm not sure if you can return a TV just because you think it's a bit crap.

I wish this review was available when I consulted your site before purchase 3 months ago :-(

COULD SOMEONE ELSE PLEASE TRY THIS on their 42PQ6000 in a darkened room, which is how I always watch telly:

When first turned on with no other source switched on or connected to AV1 (the set still defaults to AV1 even with no connection or signal) the whole panel lights up bright grey-white for a couple of minutes before settling down to dark grey. This initial milky over-brightness is noticeable when viewing programmes

Even after the TV has settled down, the small rectangular "No Signal" flashing moving warning sign when nothing is connected to an AV input literally lights up the whole screen. I expect it to light up the area immediately around it, but the ENTIRE screen lights up uniformly as if a full-screen backlight was providing the illumination. For the half second between flashes, the screen reverts to the kind of "black" you would expect to achieve in dark scenes while watching TV or DVD (instead of the trouser-grey that results if there is any other illumination anywhere else on the panel...)

I thought this was only a characteristic of LCD TVs, hence my purchase of a previously well-rated plasma. Is mine (and possibly John Archer's review model) from a rogue batch, and if so how do I convince Richer Sounds?

Andy 24

December 16, 2009, 5:12 am

I'm at a complete loss - you refer to 'all' the other brands of plasmas, but as far as I can see there is only one Panasonic and two Samsungs to compare this model to. My take on hours and hours of looking at these TVs is that regardless of cost, all of the Panasonics have muted colours, limited brightness and fuzzy and muddy looking images; the Samsungs have awful black levels and way over-sharpened images; and the LGs don't hide the dithering in the intermediate tones very well. I can't see a clear winner here, and certainly *don't* rate the LG as significantly worse than the others.


March 2, 2010, 10:10 pm

i purchased lg 42pq6000 4 months ago and has developed a red snow / haze on peoples faces ,, becoming very annoying ,, is this a fault ?? ,, im not very impressed with pic quality but thought at £580.00 a price worth paying ,, now not so sure ,, esp with constant red snow ,, anybody help ?


August 23, 2010, 8:07 am

Ok, so I just brought this Plasma on July 31, 2010, exactly 22 days ago and the picture and sound, just went out.

I called the LG Customer Information Center, (( I was surprised I did get to talk to a live person at 10:45 pm on a Sunday night, points for that )) and went through some items they wanted me to do to see if the unit needed service.

I was asked to unplug the unit and wait for the red light on the front to go out, then press and hold the on\off switch for 20 seconds.

Then I was asked to plug the unit back in and turn the unit back on.

Still no joy.

So the rep told me that the plasma did need service and he then proceeded to set me up with a date and time for a service guy to come out to my house and look at the set.

I would have to have it down off of the wall and ready for him to work on it.

I will say this is my First LG and if this is any indication of the quality of their products, I will never be buying another one.

And I will be spreading the word far and wide about, the brand new LG Plasma that I just brought that did not work for even a month before it needed service. I should have followed my first instincts and got the Samsung.

Again if you are reading this , I would not recommend this 42 in LG plasma, even with the service coming to my house in 3 days ,

I would think the TV should last longer than that before needing service.

Do not buy this TV

Geoff Richards

August 23, 2010, 11:00 am

@daystrom: without wanting to specifically defend LG, I just wanted to offer a general comment about electronics these days. Products don't "require service" or maintenance like a car. They either work or they don't.

If a product has a manufacturing fault out of the factory, this will often manifest itself within the first month or so (or perhaps 4 months in Mushy's case above). Consumer electronics these days are very complex devices and this is why items are covered by a minimum 12 months warranty.

More often than not, if someone survives the first few months, there is little reason why it won't continue to work for years.

Clearly there was something wrong with your TV out of the factory, and from the sound of it LG has done a very good job of responding to this issue, sending an engineer to your house within 72 hours!

If he isn't able to resolve the issue, I expect they will replace it with a brand new one.

Sometimes one reads of people having a complete nightmare, with a product being repaired / replaced many times over, after which is it fair to criticise quality. But I encourage you to judge LG not on the fact that it failed after 22 days of use, but how they respond to that failure, and the longevity of the solution.

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