No, sorry, we just don’t get it. We’d got this clearly bizarre notion in our heads that all the main TV brands were almost scarily heavily invested in making 3D a ‘must have’ technology for 2011 and beyond. Yet here, in the shape of LG’s 50PW450T, we have a 3D TV that does just about everything in its power to make 3D look as enjoyable, immersive and desirable as a cow pat. Weird.
Here’s the deal. The 50PW450T is a 50in TV using plasma technology. Furthermore, it’s a 50in plasma TV that delivers 3D while costing the almost infeasibly small amount of £599 - a price which remarkably includes a pair of active shutter glasses. So on paper the 50PW450T has got ‘uber-bargain’ slapped all over its big, hardened screen, and has the potential to be one of the most popular 3D TVs ever. Indeed, it’s so cheap that it could just be the TV that finally sees 3D in the home go mainstream.
The only problem with the 50PW450T’s potentially revolutionary status is that its 3D pictures set new standards of awfulness, at least so far as plasma technology is concerned. Honestly, 3D images of all types suffer with more crosstalk ghosting noise than we’d actually thought plasma screen technology was capable of producing - so much so that we honestly don’t even feel that we can fairly call the 50PW450T a 3D TV any more.
We tried 3D disc after 3D disc with the 50PW450T, but with every one the TV struggled to show even a single scene that didn’t suffer with blindingly obvious crosstalk issues.
This could take the form of strong double ghosting echoes of key objects in the frame, especially if they’re in the mid to far distance, or it can affect detailed backgrounds, turning them from crisp, layered 3D backdrops into fuzzy, out of focus messes.
The crosstalk is relentlessly consistent too, appearing equally potently over bright and dark content, so that your eyes seldom if ever get a momentary respite from the headache-inducing mess they’re trying to resolve. To be fair, the crosstalk problems do reduce when watching side by side Sky 3D broadcasts, at least where foreground objects are concerned. But it's still clearly obvious over backgrounds.
This is all painfully reminiscent, of course, of the disastrous 3D efforts of Sony’s EX723 series. But what’s really got us scratching our heads about the 50PW450T is that we’re seeing so many problems on a plasma TV. Our assumption has always been that plasma, with its faster response time, just couldn’t suffer as badly with crosstalk as LCD. But it’s now obvious that, to paraphrase the great Mitch Henessey, when me made that assumption, we made an ass out of ‘u’ and ‘umption’.
Other aspects of the 50PW450T’s 3D pictures aren’t too bad for such a cheap plasma screen. Colours can look decently rich despite the dulling effect of LG’s pretty comfortable 3D glasses, and dark scenes manage to retain at least some shadow detail. But these positives are rendered null and void by the crosstalk.