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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