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LG 50PX990 review

John Archer



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LG 50PX990
  • LG 50PX990
  • LG 50PX990
  • LG 50PX990
  • LG 50PX990
  • LG 50PX990
  • LG 50PX990
  • INFINIA 50PX990 127 cm 50" 3D Plasma TV (DVB-T MPEG4 - HDTV 1080p - 16:9 - 1920 x 1080 - 1080p - 600 Hz)


Our Score:


Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that Panasonic is not the only brand still making plasma TVs. Samsung and LG both still ship reasonably fulsome plasma ranges too. But unlike Panasonic, the Korean brands focus their marketing attentions almost exclusively on their LCD and especially LED-lit sets.

In our opinion, this is a mistake, for plasma technology still has a great deal to offer - especially, it’s turned out, in the new 3D age. Panasonic and Samsung have both delivered 3D pictures from plasma screens that have been markedly superior - at least in terms of the dreaded crosstalk noise - to anything witnessed from an LCD TV. And now, as we’re about to discover, LG is continuing this theme with its first 3D plasma TV, the 50PX990.

The 50PX990 gets off to an eye-catching start with a very fetching design. It sits right at the top of LG’s plasma tree, and so enjoys LG’s premium Infinia design complete with a glass top-sheet to give the TV a single-layer finish.

The black bezel is strikingly minimalistic and glossy too, as well as being distinguished by a touch of blue in its extremities. This blue extends into the lovely transparent neck of the TV’s exceptionally good-looking desktop stand too, with finishing touches coming from the set’s impressive slenderness for a plasma TV and the tastefully illuminated logo and buttons along the bottom edge.

The 50PX990’s uncompromising status is also evident in its connections. For a healthy four-strong HDMI count is joined by fulsome multimedia support from a D-Sub PC input, an Ethernet port and USB ports. What’s more, the Ethernet port delivers a full suite of functions, from supporting a built-in Freeview HD tuner through to streaming files from a DLNA PC and accessing LG’s NetCast online platform.

The USBs can play back JPEG, MP3 and even DivX HD video files, as well as making the TV Wi-Fi capable via a dongle. A dongle which is included with the TV as standard, rather than only being an optional extra.

Another key ‘accessory’ found in the 50PX990’s box is a single pair of LG’s active shutter 3D glasses. Obviously only getting one pair runs counter to the supposedly more social nature of 3D viewing - and it’s impossible to ignore the fact that some other brands now give you two pairs of 3D glasses with their 3D TVs. But there you go. Guess you’ll just have to factor in £100 for each pair of further glasses you need - something that’s not actually that nightmarish given that we’ve found the 50PX990 going for under a grand.

While we’re on the subject of 3D, it’s high time we pointed out that the 50PX990 is the first 3D TV we’ve seen that’s had its 3D performance officially endorsed by independent quality assurance group, THX. In deciding if a TV hits the mark in 3D terms, the THX labs assess brightness, colour saturations and, most significantly of all, crosstalk noise.

Nikola Runev

December 9, 2010, 6:33 pm

This TV has quite a few more programs in the NetCast menu. You just need to upgrade the firmware. It is automatic if the TV is on the net.


December 9, 2010, 7:51 pm

Why is it that "2D Picture Quality" are often lower than 3D?

Why oh why do manufactures consistently produce tvs with high scores for picture quality but with sound quality scores just above average? Is the sound technology soooo difficult to master? In this day an age it should easily be 9/10 scores.

Good price point given the scores. 50inch 3D tv is equivalent to 40inch tv - in my humble opinion. So well done to LG.


December 9, 2010, 11:54 pm

Well done on quoting input lag figures, guys. In my admittedly limited gaming experience, you may be understating the problem at 60ms and IMHO, ideally you don't really wanna go past 40ms for any FPS, but especially for a music game. I assume that was with a gaming mode turned on which is pretty bad, so how much worse was it with it left off, and all the processing bells and whistles slowing it down?


December 10, 2010, 4:14 pm

How come this TV is the only one accredited with THX cerification where one of the criteria is the crosstalk issue and at the same time you find that the issue of crosstalk of other uncertified products is much less than this TV.

Are there different standards for different reviewers?


December 11, 2010, 1:42 am

wohoo input lag figures ! I bought my Samsung 120hz 2233 because of low input lag. Nearly 40 and still doing well on twitch gaming - kept my old Sony CRT Trinitron exclusively for that reason alone


December 11, 2010, 5:34 am

Furthermore, why even bother with two puny speakers for 46inch and larger tvs?

"Traditional stereo speakers setups have one shortcoming above all others: to hear the left and right channels in the correct balance you have to sit in a rather particular position, or sweet spot. Stray too far left or right and the spatiality is lost. Not so with the Orbitsound T12 v2 Soundbar; using a nifty technology it dubs 'spatial stereo' the Orbitsound T12 v2 radiates stereo sound the full stereo effect of which is experienced no matter where you place yourself in relation to it." from here http://www.trustedreviews.c...

Why not leave out the speakers and start supplying as standard a sound bar instead? This is the 21st century! It's even more imperative with 3D tvs.

I bet a decent sound bar doesn't cost any more or much more than the standard stereo speakers.

Geoff Richards

December 11, 2010, 3:35 pm

@Enigma: I know what you mean, but I can't see it ever happening en mass, for several reasons.

Primarily, cost. With soundbars retailing for £150-300, I can't see how that would be comparable to a couple of small in-built TV which are surely included for £20.

The counter argument is that these are "premium" models so you could absorb the extra cost of the soundbar. Fair point, but sadly one of the modern marketing-led sales point is "slimness" and having a 50" hanging unobtrusively on the wall above the fireplace is the appeal for some. Having an external soundbar adds bulk and additional cabling.

I'm sure enthusiasts would love a super-slim bezel by ditching the on-board speakers that all of us never use because we run beefy 7.1 Onkyo receivers but I can also see that some people would say "I'm spending £1,000 on a flatscreen - what's all this other crap? I don't want this mess - why can't they just build it in?"

Tell you what - I'll see if I can get some official comments from manufacturers on this very topic in a couple of weeks when we're at CES reporting on all the 2011 models :)


December 11, 2010, 10:06 pm


I quite like Enigma's suggestion about manufacturers essentially offering a TV/soundbar bundle, but it's still very depressing to me that the consensus seems to be for TVs to just give up on the sound component of the experience. I've commented here many times before that televisions should be delivering on the promise of one complete aural-visual experience given how much of that experience is down to sound, in everything we consume - drama, gaming, even the rapturous cheering during the footy. Just turning TVs into over-sized computer monitors, and telling us to sod off and sort the audio side our properly ourselves, sort of breaks the contract with the consumer (or at least this consumer).

Having said that, the tide doesn't seem to be turning, what with the gimmicks of thinness and 3D ruling the roost, so I'd very much like for you to get round to reviewing that Yamaha virtual 7.1 TV stand solution, featured in your news items not that long ago. Seems to perfectly deal with the dreaded mess you refer to, and while it'll never rival an actual speaker and sub setup, I have high hopes for it's sound quality given Yamaha's pedigree.


December 12, 2010, 2:29 am

@Geoff - Thanks for you comments.

The thing is if the retail price of a bar is £150-300 then I bet the factory-gate price is about £20-50!!!

It would be interesting to ask what the factory price of the 46-52inch 3D tvs.

""slimness" and having a 50" hanging unobtrusively on the wall above the fireplace is the appeal for some. Having an external soundbar adds bulk and additional cabling."

Anyone buying a large tv is most likely to ALSO want a sound system. In any case what about wireless soundbars?

I look forward to your reports.

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