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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Overview

Profile

Connections

Remote

Stand

Bezel

Bottom edge

Menu

Picture settings

Picture settings -- advanced

Picture quality

It's getting toward the spiky end of 2012, and save the mythical appearance of the OLEDs, most of the important TVs have been reviewed. This leaves us with televisions like the PA6500: not a dreadful plasma by any means (no, that's the Panasonic X5), but it's nonetheless a run-of-the-mill budget TV. It does some things right -- shadow detail, natural-looking colors -- and some not-so right -- LCD-like black levels leading to a less "present" picture. While the TV doesn't have any features when compared with more expensive models, if you're looking for more bang for your buck, a "dumb TV" is the way to go. Alas, this isn't the one to go for, as the LG PA6500's biggest problem is something that is actually out of the company's control -- its competition is too good. The entry-level Samsung E450 is the same price, and a much better performer.

Read the full review of the LG PA6500.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Like most TVs produced these days, the PA6500 is fairly slim.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Three HDMI ports and two component ports should cater to most modest setups.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The remote control is surprisingly full-featured.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Piano black is the name of the game.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Piano black and gun-metal gray. It's music and action time in bezel town!
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The LG features the usual friendly interface.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Twenty-point systems and a CMS feature are among the TV's advanced settings.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

The PA6500 is essentially a 1080p version of the PA4500 and as a result, its picture quality is very similar to the cheaper TV's. While black levels and shadow details are almost identical in performance, the two do differ in color response. I would describe the PA4500's color as more excitable, with richer skin tones and better color saturation. On the other hand, the PA6500 was more muted, but arguably more accurate.

If the Samsung E450 didn't exist, this TV would probably present a better deal, but for the money you can get a better-performing TV at 50 inches. Plenty of better 60-inch sets are available too, but they do cost more than this LG, making the 60PA6500 a potential bargain pick -- but I'd still pay a couple hundred more to avoid this TV's issues. Yes, the LG does look better than some LCDs up to twice the price, but even at this level it's not enough.

Read the full review of the LG PA6500.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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