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First Look: LG PZ950 series

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First Look: LG PZ950 series

2:54 /

Although blessed with solid features, design and performance, the LG PZ950 series can't match the excellent picture quality of other plasmas in its price range.

-Hi there. I'm David Katzmaier from CNET and I'm with the LG PZ950. This is LG's flagship plasma for 2011. This TV also comes in 60-inch size. Let's review, we'll cover both. Well LG is known for its passive 3D LCDs. This plasma has active 3D technology that means you need to buy an optional pair of glasses. That's 150 bucks a piece as opposed to the really cheap passive 3D glasses. You do get slightly better picture quality in 3D with the active [unk] those TV's 3D picture is not quite as good as a lot of the old TVs we've seen. We'll get the performance in depth a little bit, but first, let's take a look at this TV's features and design. LG graced this TV with a single piece of glass covering both the vessel and the screen, which these two are really slick look especially when seen from the side. This TV is a little bit thicker than a lot of the other plasmas out there, and especially the LED/LCDs but add a couple of inches thick, it's still not all that chunky. The addition of that one sheet design, we appreciate the transparent edging on this set; transparent stand stalk and also this cool curved stand, so [unk] is one of the nice-looking plasmas on the market. Features set on the PZ950 is substantial. There's the Smart TV internet hub, which includes pretty much everything you'd want except for Pandora. It also has LG app store which is a lot less well equipped. There's even a browser although that really doesn't work all that well. This TV also has a slick motion control remote. It's a little bit like the Wii mode included on Nintendo Wii, provides a secondary way to control the TV in addition to your standard remote. If you like that motion control action. It actually works relatively well, although you're gonna need to keep that remote on your coffee table in addition to a universal remote if you decide to go that route. Picture settings on the PZ950 are also extensive. This TV has a 20-point IRE adjustment for grayscale, which is actually more excessive than we'd like to see. We prefer the 10 point; it's a little simpler and easier to use. LG also has a complete color management system, but really doesn't work quite as well as the Samsung color management system [unk] picture settings are excellent on this set. Picture quality, however, compared to a lot of the other flagship plasmas out there. It was a little bit below grade. The main culprit is the wider black levels on this TV. It actually reproduced a relatively greyish shade of black, which is especially visible in [unk] bars and when you look in a dark room and dark material. On the flip side, it does have excellent color so, if you don't really mind those deep black levels, the rest of the picture quality story is pretty good, including this 1080p 24 capability and also of course the standard excellent uniformity of plasma. On the flip side, bright rooms do tend to washout this TV's screen a little bit more than we like to see and a little bit more than competing plasmas. So [unk] 2D picture quality is a notch below a [unk] flagship TVs on the market. The same goes for 3D. We did see a little bit more cross talk on this LG than on the competition. We also saw that it's THX 3D mode really didn't help it's quality all that much. If you wanna get the best picture out of this TV for 3D, you're gonna need to do a little bit of tweaking or use one of the other picture modes. That's a look at the LG PZ950 Plasma, and I'm David Katzmaier.

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