As we mentioned earlier, there are no visible speakers. When we saw this, we thought the TV was going to sound like a man with a sore throat yelling through a melon. To our immense surprise, the sound from the LG is fantastic. The trick is that the speakers are mounted underneath the TV. This may seem like a recipe for disaster, but there wasn't any point during our testing that we felt the location was a problem. Indeed, dialogue from the LG was brilliant -- very clear, indeed.
We won't pretend that you'll get amazing low-end effects from the TV, but playing Ghost Recon 2 on the PlayStation 3 proved to be an immersive experience with surprisingly good stereo separation, which is important if you're going to be able to hear where your enemies are shooting from.
Listening to Freeview radio stations proved that the TV can do a good job with most sound, although we'd say it was too heavy on the high frequency by default. Fortunately, that's customisable via the graphic equaliser.
Freeview image quality was decent, but we have come to expect that a 50-inch TV will struggle to cover all the compression flaws in standard definition material. Certainly, the LG tries hard to clean up the picture, and with the right material it can look good enough. Modern, studio-based TV shows look nice, but older material can suffer slightly.
Viewing DVDs through the set, however, showed that the TV can cope well with standard definition material when the source quality is high. Although compression artefacts were visible at times -- the fault of the DVD we used, not the TV -- we were impressed. If you have a big collection of movies on disc, this TV won't disappoint when you come to watch them.
Blu-ray material and HD gaming both look amazing. Despite this TV only offering 720p resolutions, every high definition disc we looked at had incredible detail. From Surf's Up to Casino Royale, everything looked amazing. It's normal for movies to have a lot of grain in them at times, and the LG shows that warts and all -- as we would expect it to.
For your hard earned dosh, you get a great picture on a massive screen in a package that's been designed with care and attention. You won't be able to tell your friends that you've got 1080p, but trust us: they will be impressed when they see this screen in your lounge.
At this price, there isn't really a lot of competition. LCDs are a lot more expensive at these sizes, and plasmas from other companies tend to cost more. If we had to suggest an alternative, you could try the, which although smaller, is a great budget plasma TV.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday