Also handled better than with any previous LG plasma is noise, be it general MPEG noise from a source, or technology-related noise such as fizzing over moving objects or grey dotting in dark areas of the picture. The 100Hz processing definitely plays a part in reducing stutter and flickering over motion-packed images, too.
You can cause a bit of grain in HD film images if you leave the TV set to its Sport or Game presets. But provided you use the nicely judged Cinema mode, you’ll get on just fine.
Black levels, meanwhile, are very good, giving dark ”Braveheart” scenes like the sacking of York a real sense of depth and credibility that leaves the vast majority of LCD-based rivals looking flat and grey by comparison.
Having just praised the 50PG6000’s black levels, though, I’m duty bound to say that both Panasonic and Pioneer are currently delivering slightly deeper blacks from their plasma screens. Though of course, you’ll have to pay considerably more for a Panasonic or Pioneer 50in plasma than you’re being asked for by the 50PG6000. Another issue with dark scenes is that they can suffer with image retention, where bright parts of a picture can leave a trace of themselves behind for a few seconds. We’d anticipate this issue diminishing over time, though.
The 50PG6000’s standard definition performance isn’t quite as accomplished as those of the best rival flat screens, containing one or two colour tone issues, slightly waxy skin tones at times, and marginally more evidence of MPEG noise than we’d ideally like. That said, standard definition sources are never less than eminently watchable, especially if they’re of a high quality in the first place. And again the performance level has to be considered way better than you’ve any right to expect for the 50PG6000’s money.
As for those invisible speakers, they again outperform expectations. For starters they can churn out some pretty prodigious volumes without, it seems, suffering any distortions of note, or overcrowding of vocals (especially if you call in a Clear Voice feature designed to bring vocals out of a dense mix more clearly).
There’s a pretty decent amount of bass around too, yet not so much that it dominates everything else. In fact, in terms of treble effects the 50PG6000 is again on the money, breathing plenty of life into a good film soundtrack.
The 50PG6000 is far and away LG’s finest flat TV to date, combining a striking and innovative design with some excellent performance standards, bags of features, and above all, a price that’s so reasonable it’s almost silly.