LG 50PG30: 1080p plasma for less

CNET editors review the LG 50PG30, the company's least-expensive 1080p plasma.

CNET reviews LG's entry-level 50-inch 1080p plasma, the 50PG30. CNET

When we first checked out LG's entry-level 50-inch plasma with 1080p resolution, model 50PG30, we thought it looked pretty good, especially for less than $2,000. The classy gloss-black styling and long list of features, including plenty of picture controls, boded well for this model's chances on paper. We'd also had positive experiences with two other 50-inch LG plasmas we reviewed earlier, the THX-certified 50PG60 and the entry-level 50PG20, a 720p display that's enough of a bargain to occupy second place on our Best budget HDTVs list.

In person, however, the 50PG30 was a bit less impressive. Our main gripe has to do with color accuracy; despite a plethora of adjustments, including a full color management system that allows tweaking of primary and secondary colors, we couldn't get color to look quite right. Just-average black levels didn't help, and while video processing was solid, it couldn't make up the gap between the LG and other entry-level 1080p plasmas.

For the complete scoop check out our full review of the LG 50PG30.

One more note: Longtime readers of my reviews have come to expect them to be accompanied by picture settings that enable viewers to set up their TVs as I did for the review. Unfortunately, a (hopefully temporary) glitch prevents the publication of settings for the 50PG30 I reviewed. So, I'm including my picture settings below instead, and hopefully we'll get that glitch cleared up soon.


Below you'll find the settings we found best for viewing the LG 50PG30 in a completely dark room via the HDMI input with a 1080p, film-based source. Your settings may very depending on source, room conditions and personal preference. Check out the Picture settings and calibration FAQ for more information.

Picture menu
Aspect Ratio: Just Scan
Picture Mode: Expert 1
Contrast: 100
Brightness: 34
Sharpness: 20
Color: 48
Tint: 0

Expert control menu
Fresh contrast: Off
Noise reduction: Medium
Gamma: High
Black level: High
Film Mode: On
Color Standard: [grayed out]

White balance: Warm
Red contrast: 10
Green contrast: -9
Blue contrast: 9
Red brightness: 0
Green brightness: 1
Blue brightness: 4

Color management system
Red color: 0
Red tint: 6
Green color: 0
Green tint: 15
Blue color: 0
Blue tint: -6
Yellow color: 0
Yellow tint: -2
Cyan color: 0
Cyan tint: 11
Magenta color: 0
Magenta tint: 1

About the author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."

 

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