There are people who think plasma TVs don't have a future. What they don't see is that plasma is an incredibly good technology, and one that gets better with each passing year. There are some things it's not well suited to -- such as being attached to a PC, where there's still some risk of image retention. But if you want a great movie experience then we really think you'll get a lot out of a lovely big PDP.
The LG 50PG6000 is aimed at people who want a honking big TV, but who aren't prepared to shell out lots of cash for a 1080p model. For around £1,000, does the lack of support for 1080p matter?
Once we got the 50PG6000 out of the box, we were instantly struck by how nice it looked. LG has made a real effort this year to produce interesting and stylish TVs and we think it has done a great job.
In terms of connections, the 50PG6000 has one of the best selections we've ever seen. There are four HDMI inputs: three on the back and one on the side. You also get a pair of Scart inputs and assorted component, composite and S-video sockets. On the side is a USB input for viewing photos and listening to MP3s.
The front of the TV is untouched apart from a simple power button on the right hand side. The only indication that this TV is even made by LG is the company logo, placed in the middle below the screen. When the TV isn't turned on, the front appears to be one large piece of glass, and we really like this styling. It's totally free from visible speakers -- more on that later -- or other distractions, giving it a sleek and futuristic look.
LG has also modified its remote controls. The one supplied with the 50PG6000 range is lighter, better-looking and more responsive than the ones provided with the company's older televisions. All the buttons are located in a sensible place, too, making it easier to control.
The 50PG6000 doesn't have a massive amount of exciting features. It's designed to be a TV for people who want a big screen that will look good in the corner of the lounge. There are several nice touches, however, that make this TV a great choice for people looking for a simple, easy-to-use TV.
Firstly, the LG has one of the best, most intuitive and stylish menu systems we've ever seen, including those on TVs that cost twice as much. We're very keen to congratulate LG on this -- one of the things we despise about some TVs is the pain and torture involved in setting them up. Every menu on the LG is clear and graphically rich, but crucially, there is no lag as a result of this well designed system.
The TV features a Freeview tuner, so you can watch your 'stories', and there is an eight-day EPG for checking what entertainment gems are on the horizon. The EPG follows the design ethic of the TV menus; it's simple to read and interesting to look at. We're smitten.
The TV also has a number of picture modes designed to customise the picture for whatever material you're watching. There is a game mode for console users. For watching broadcast TV and movies, we think the movie mode is the best setting, striking the right balance between colour levels and brightness.