LG 50PZ950 3D plasma TV

The LG 50PZ950 is big and beautiful, but a bit complicated

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LG 50PZ950
  • LG 50PZ950
  • LG 50PZ950
  • LG 50PZ950
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Low price for its size and quality
  • Very good image quality
  • Generous feature set

Cons

  • May be too much TV for some users' needs
  • No built-in Wi-Fi
  • Setup guide needs work

Bottom Line

The Infinia 50PZ950 has very good image quality and an excellent array of features, but this 50-inch plasma set needs built-in Wi-Fi and a better setup guide.

Would you buy this?

Note: This review is of the US version of the LG 50PZ950. Australian pricing is listed at the top of this page.

LG's Infinia 50PZ950 is an attractive 50-inch plasma set with good picture quality, plenty of Internet options, and excellent 3D graphics. Its only disadvantage is that navigating through its hundreds of apps and options can be a bit tricky.

Listed at US$1700 (though Amazon currently sells the set for US$1200), our review model has a 50-inch 1080p plasma screen surrounded by a thin black bezel. This HDTV lacks some features you might expect in a high-end model, such as built-in Wi-Fi (it does ship with an LG Wi-Fi dongle, however), but it does support both the manufacturer's new LG Smart TV connected TV platform and its app store.

Design and Peripherals

Like the Sony Bravia 46HX820, the Infinia 50PZ950 sports a thin black bezel that helps give it a "bezel-less" look. A sheet of glass extends across the screen to the edges of the bezel; as a result, when the HDTV is turned off, the set almost seems to lack a bezel altogether. In the 50PZ950's case, however, the blank screen is much lighter gray than the bezel, so the effect isn't perfect. A superthin strip of clear glass surrounds the bezel.

The set sits on a rectangular swivel stand that curves upward, so it resembles a little hill on your TV stand. At the bottom of the screen is a small LG logo, as well as touch buttons (power, input, home, enter, volume up/down, and channel up/down) along the right side. You'll also see some dancing blue lights in the bottom corner that appear only momentarily when you turn the TV on or off.

Many of the 50PZ950's ports are located on the back of the set, with only a few on the side (running parallel to the screen). All of the HDMI ports are on the side, though — a convenience for people who want to wall-mount their set. Four HDMI ports occupy the side, along with two USB2.0 ports and an AV port. On the back of the TV, running perpendicular to the screen, are an ethernet port, a remote control-in, a PC connection, an optical audio-out, a serial port, another AV port, two component ports, and an antenna/cable hookup. All of the ports are situated on the left side of the television.

The Infinia 50PZ950 comes with a wealth of peripherals, including the Wi-Fi USB dongle, a pair of active shutter glasses, and two remote controls: a regular, backlit remote, and LG's new Magic Motion remote. The latter is a wand-shaped remote equipped with only a few buttons — power, home, volume up/down, channel up/down, mute, enter, and a directional pad. The Magic Motion remote supports gestures such as flicking, rotating, and pointing, and works reasonably well. It reminds me of Nintendo's Wii controller, but it isn't as accurate.

The standard remote is thin, light, and comfortable to hold — and it looks a lot like previous LG remotes we've seen. It has large numbers, several convenient buttons at the top (such as 'Energy Saving', 'AV Mode', 'Input', and 'TV'), a directional pad surrounded by dedicated buttons ('Home', 'Quick Menu', 'Info', and so on), and media playback buttons. The standard remote also has a welcome but somewhat weak backlight.

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