LG has also clearly worked wonders on reducing the video noise in its plasma pictures. As I noted, markedly less of the once-common fizzing over moving objects and grey dotting in dark areas is present. The 100Hz processing definitely plays a part in reducing stutter and flickering over motion-packed images, too, helping action scenes look sharp in a way practically all budget LCD TVs can only dream about.
The only noise issue I have with the picture, in fact, is that its colours can look a touch stripy in places, presumably because the set just doesn’t have enough processing power – or resolution – to render colour blends with perfect smoothness. I guess it’s true, too, that you can cause a bit of grain to materialise in HD film images if you leave the TV set to its Sport or Game presets. So don’t do it!
There are, however, issues with the 42PG6000’s pictures that you can’t avoid. The first is the ever-so-slightly soft look to HD images. They still look HD, but there’s no doubt that particularly detailed HD sequences, such as most of those set in Venice during ”Casino Royale”, look a touch softer than we know they can. Indeed, they looked sharper on this TV’s own 50in sibling, tested a few weeks back – though on the flipside I actually found the 42PG6000’s standard definition pictures slightly more agreeable than those of the 50PG6000, presumably thanks to a combination of the 42in model’s smaller (and thus more forgiving) screen, and lower (and thus closer to standard def) native resolution.
There’s more trouble in the form of image retention, where bright parts of a picture can leave a trace of themselves behind for a few seconds. This problem should start to wane over time as you ‘break the TV in’, but it’s something other plasma brands seemed to have conquered rather more successfully.
My final issue with the 42PG6000’s pictures is that if you study edges closely, especially the edges of white objects such as onscreen credits or the whites of the players at Wimbledon, they show definite signs of a slight red bleed. Odd.
Pumping up the volume during ”Casino Royale’s” long free-running sequence, meanwhile, reveals that while the 42PG6000’s speakers might not be seen, they certainly can be heard. They attain some pretty prodigious volumes without distorting, even during particularly dense soundstage passages, plus there’s also a surprisingly rich wealth of bass to underpin everything. Vocals, too, seldom if ever seem crowded, and even if they do there’s always the Clear Voice feature to help out.
The 42PG6000 is undoubtedly a likeable TV given extra appeal by its remarkably low price. But before we get too carried away, we’re duty bound to point out that Panasonic’s similarly specified but slightly better-performing TH-42PX80 can also be had for around the same money these days.