Tech Industry

LG plasmas get THX, magic wands

The PZ750 series of plasma TVs offers an improved Internet TV suite LG is calling Smart TV, along with THX certification for both 2D and 3D sources.

LG's PZ750 plasmas are certified by THX with both 2D and 3D sources. LG

LAS VEGAS--The two most noteworthy LG plasma series announced at CES are the flagship PZ950 models and the series described here, the PZ750. And yes, both do include magic wands, otherwise known as motion-sensitive remote controls.

According to the company's press release, the main performance-related difference between the two is the presence of a screen filter, in the 950, designed to improve black levels in brighter rooms.

Aside from that their feature sets are virtually indistinguishable. Much like the PX950 series we liked last year, both offer THX certification for both 2D and 3D sources. The advantage of the system is that one button press provides a relatively accurate picture, and in our tests the PX950's 3D was very good. (In case you're wondering, all LG plasmas use active 3D technology, not the passive variety found on some of its LCDs).

The PZ750 also has the thin bezel and sub-2-inch cabinet depth of its higher-end brother, but judging from the product art, it lacks the "hairline aluminum highlight."

One big improvement compared with LG plasmas from last year, featured on only the 950 and 750 series, is a stepped-up suite of Internet-connected options, which LG is calling Smart TV. In addition to the NetCast services found on current LG TVs, new partners include Hulu Plus, NHL Gamecenter, NBA Game Live, and MLB.TV. There's also an LG Application Store and a Web browser.

Unlike many 2011 Internet-equipped models, LG's TVs lack built-in Wi-Fi; you'll need to either connect an Ethernet cable or purchase the optional dongle (which costs $70 for the 2010 version).

LG kept the Nintento Wii-mote-like magic Wand remote featured on select 2010 models like the PX950. We thought it was kind of gimmicky, but some viewers might like the extra control option, especially for navigating Smart TV. For 2011, LG says Smart TV can also be manipulated by a free app for iPhone and Android-based smartphones, which will include a QWERTY keyboard.

Pricing and availability were not announced.

LG PZ750 series features:

  • Plasma TV
  • 3D-compatible
  • THX-certified for 2D and 3D
  • Narrow, 1.8-inch bezel
  • Depth less than 2 inches thick
  • Magic Wand remote
  • Smart TV with NetCast, apps, and Web browser

LG PZ750 series models:

  • LG 50PZ750: 50-inch
  • LG 60PZ750: 60-inch