LG 50PX950 3D plasma television

LG 50PX950 review: LG's top plasma television can do 3D and IPTV, and has excellent picture quality

LG 50PX950
  • LG 50PX950
  • LG 50PX950
  • LG 50PX950
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Great black levels and vibrant colour, LG's usual excellent video-on-demand implementation

Cons

  • 3D effect is mediocre and has occasional visual flaws, glossy front panel catches some reflections

Bottom Line

LG's 50PX950 is one of the best plasma televisions we've had the chance to look at. It's big, relatively cheap, has excellent picture quality and some great included features like video on demand and 2D-to-3D conversion. It's easily the equal of Samsung's Series 7 3D plasma for 2D video and it beats it when it comes to Internet features, although its 3D implementation is slightly inferior.

Would you buy this?

The LG 50PX950 is a 50in 3D plasma television that can be bought for little more than $2000, despite having similar features to more expensive televisions from brands like Sony, Samsung and Panasonic. If you're not too fussed on 3D television we'd happily recommend the LG 50PX950 as a low-cost alternative to the Samsung Series 7 (PS50C7000) 3D plasma, the Panasonic TH-P50VT20A 3D plasma or the Sony BRAVIA KDL-46HX800 3D LED television.

LG 50PX950: Design, connectivity and features

The LG 50PX950 is, like LG's other high-end plasma and LED televisions including the LG 55LE7500 LED TV and LG 47LX9500 LED TV, stylish in its minimalism. The 50PX950's sheer, glossy front panel is very attractive, but like LG's other televisions it picks up reflections and exterior light sources — although not as badly as other panels from this brand. If you're going to be watching television in a room that has constant bright light streaming in, we'd definitely opt for a television with a less glossy screen.

LG's remote control may not be as fashion-forward as the one bundled with the Samsung Series 9 LED television or even the Samsung Series 7, but it is very comprehensively labelled and easy to understand. We think it's one of the best remote controls bundled with any television on the market at the moment.

The LG 50PX950 has the usual suite of connectivity options available on any 2010 high-end television. Four HDMI ports and single composite, component and VGA ports handle a wide range of A/V devices, and two side-mounted USB 2.0 ports mean storage devices are easy to connect. The USB ports can also be used to connect the bundled 802.11n wireless dongle for network connectivity, and an Ethernet port is also built in to the television's rear panel.

Like most televisions released this year, the LG 50PX950 offers a selection of Internet-based features. Plug it into your home network and the 50PX950's NetCast suite of programs gives you access to YouTube and BigPond Movies video on demand, as well as weather and stocks services. We really like the inclusion of BigPond Movies. If you're feeling lazy (and cashed-up; the service isn't as cheap as we'd like at around $5 per movie) it's easy to order a movie and watch it almost straight away.

LG 50PX950: 2D and 3D picture quality

The 2D picture quality of the LG 50PX950 is excellent. It's easily on par with the top performers from Sony, Panasonic and Samsung. We think the THX-certified image mode is the best option the LG 50PX950 offers, but we still opted to lower the screen's sharpness and brightness levels to get what we regarded as the best possible picture quality.

The LG 50PX950 has a tendency to be slightly grainy in its reproduction of 1080p video, but detail levels were nonetheless excellent and the television's wide range of contrast allows plenty of gradation in both highlights and dark areas of video. Our The Matrix DVD, Terminator: Salvation and The Dark Knight Blu-ray test footage looked consistently impressive. We didn't notice any significant on-screen judder when watching either broadcast digital TV or Blu-ray movies.

We were a bit disappointed in the 3D performance of the LG 50PX950. We should qualify this by saying 3D performance relies as much on the content you're watching as it does on the television itself — even on the best television available a poorly filmed 3D movie can still look blurry and awkward.

LG has opted not to bundle 3D glasses with the 47LX9500, but at $99 each the active shutter 3D glasses can be purchased for around half the price of competitors' specs.

When we ran through Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs we found a few scenes where the edges of 3D objects looked fuzzy and indistinct, with a small amount of visible cross-talk. We've seen better 3D performance from Samsung and Panasonic panels, namely the excellent Samsung Series 7 (PS50C7000) 3D plasma and Panasonic's TH-P50VT20A 3D plasma. We kept to the stock THX 3D settings in this mode as we found they offered the best picture quality, but it still wasn't flawless.

LG 50PX950: Environmental policy and conclusion

LG's environment policy outlines some of the company's sustainability efforts, including minimising its carbon footprint and producing greener products.

The LG 50PX950 is an excellent plasma television. If we were looking to buy one of the best televisions of 2010, this would be at the top of our list competing directly with the best Samsung, Sony and Panasonic plasmas.

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