CNET First Look
LG Infinia 50PX950With excellent performance showing either 2D or 3D material, the LG PX950 series stands among the best plasma TVs this year.
David Katzmaier here from CNET and I'm sitting next to the LG 50PX950. This is a 50-inch plasma TV. It's LG's best this year. There's also a 60-inch member of the series. They have pretty much identical picture quality according to the manufacturer so this review will apply to both sizes. This TV's the only one in the market right now to feature THX certification for both 2D and 3D sources. That's really it's main claim to fame. We'll get to that in a little bit, but, first off, let's take a look at the styling. LG did its standard straight all-glass look on the front of this TV so it doesn't really have a visible bezel around the edge here. Pretty slick look especially when seen from the side. Other styling cues are pretty understated. It's got a glass top stand. Of course, it's not gonna be as thin as an LED TV. This is a plasma and still relatively thick but not a really big deal if you're watching from the front. One other additional feature LG throws in is this Magic Wand remote which allows you to control it sort of like a Nintendo Wii controller. We didn't really think the remote was all that much of an improvement but if you're the kind of person who wishes that you could move around a remote and click on large icons on the screen as opposed to the standard thumb operated clicker, this might float your boat. LG included its NetCast suite of internet services including Netflix, YouTube, and VUDU. It's really not as complete as a lot of the other manufacturers out there but it does get the basic job done. The TV also has an optional wireless adaptor that will cost you an extra $90. Speaking of optional accessories, this TV does not come with the 3D glasses. Those cost about $90 themselves, though they are rechargeable unlike a lot of the other 3D glasses out there so you need a little cord here to plug into the side and recharge and, of course, you'll need a pair of 3D glasses for every member of the family if you wanna watch 3D. Other 3D features on the LG include a 2D-to-3D conversion system which is the company's first and, of course, the ability to adjust picture settings in 3D including to set that all important THX 3D mode. Picture settings on the PX950 are as good or better than any TV on the market. It includes a 20-point IRE system to really tweak that grayscales. There's also a standard two-point system in addition to gamma and a host of picture presets including Expert and two different THX modes for 2D in addition to that third for 3D. In terms of connectivity, the LG is pretty well stocked. It includes three HDMIs on the back panel in addition to two component video, a LAN port for ethernet, and a PC input. There's also a fourth HDMI on the side in addition to an AV input and a pair of USB ports. We took the PX950 into the lab and we were pretty impressed by its picture quality, although in 2D mode, its THX mode wasn't quite as good as we could get when we played around with those excellent picture settings in Expert. The TV does have relatively deep black levels, although not as deep as some of the other flagship plasmas on the market. It does have excellent color accuracy especially after adjustment and we did appreciate the 1080p24, it worked properly with film-based sources. In 3D mode, we checked out the THX 3D Cinema Setting and it did work very well. Color accuracy was actually better than the Panasonic that we really liked this year but the LG couldn't muster the same kind of punch especially in terms of black levels and the brightness of the picture in 3D was a little bit dim. That said, the LG didn't show too many artifacts in 3D in terms of cross-talk and it really had no other issues aside from the fact that the 2D-to-3D conversion was really subpar, but, again, we really don't like that conversion on any of the TVs we tested this year. And that's a quick look at the LG PX950 series. I'm David Katzmaier.