The ($999 MSRP) was a sorely disappointing plasma. We will remember it in our hearts as being a dim screen with highly unusual greyscale gamma, and some of the worst color performance we've seen in an LG. If only we were a naval installation instead of a TV testing facility, we would be shooting this one off in a torpedo tube.
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The is as thin as one would expect a flat-screen TV to be in 2011. It's made of the same glossy, black plastic as other modern televisions, though the stand feels a bit flimsy. In short, it is nothing special.
The glossy, black plastic stand is somewhat thin and flimsy. On the other hand, it does swivel, so we cannot fault it too much.
The on-board controls for the are touch-sensitive controls. Alas, we prefer solid plastic buttons, since they offer tactile feedback in dark, TV-watching environments.
The remote control is a bit confusing in its button layout, but it has great tactile feedback. The volume and channel rockers, colored blue, are just where you expect them to be. There is also a glow-in-the-dark button which will temporarily illuminate the clear buttons with a backlight. If only the cluster of buttons around the D-pad lit up and were less confusing, this would be a great remote. At least the power button resembles a strawberry gummy round.
The comes packed with the standard inclusions: two manuals (on paper and on CD), a cleaning cloth, a plug for the stand attachment in the case of wall-mounting, a cable clamp, and a cable tie.
Setup was relatively straightforward, although we were briefly thwarted by a piece of cloth tape: it covered a groove that our screwdrivers needed to occupy in order to drive the screw in straight. We peeled it back for the duration of setup.
The has a good, deep black level for an LG. Frequently, LGs do not produce the deepest level of black possible. However, as a plasma, this one does a fair job. More on how we test black level.
The was quite dim, which is a common problem for plasmas. With a peak brightness of only 112.22 cd/m2, you would have to be in a completely dark room to watch this TV effectively. More on how we test peak brightness.
Because the 's black level is only so-so, and its peak brightness is quite dim, its overall contrast is not very good. If you are viewing in a dark room, you might not notice, but otherwise you may lose out on clarity. More on how we test contrast.
In our tunnel contrast test, we measure the black level of a shrinking rectangle of black against a white backdrop. Because plasmas are not very good at differentiating light and dark regions that are close to one another, the black level brightened as the rectangle grew smaller. This may mean that you lose clarity of high contrast in mixed, black-and-white areas of a picture. More on how we test tunnel contrast.
The white falloff test is an analog of tunnel contrast, except that its box is white on black. Like with tunnel contrast, the purity of the rectangle's brightness fell as its surroundings encroached upon its edges. Which black & white imagery is shown onscreen, both colors might be drawn towards middle grey. More on how we test white falloff.
Against a completely white screen, the screen was incredibly uniform and smooth. On a black screen, the uniformity was excellent apart from very faint flashlighting around the edges.
We feel the need, however, to mention an issue that seemed severe for the . Images burned into its screen very quickly, after only a few minutes of displaying an unmoving image. We corrected the problem by outputting a pure white screen for several minutes, but this could be a concern if you play video games or watch programs with a subtitle box. Actually, if you leave the settings menu open for too long, you might see its crisp edge linger for an uncomfortable amount of time. More on how we test white falloff.
Gamma was poor on the , but in a very strange way. The curve, which represents the smoothness with which black transitions to white, was relatively straight apart from one sudden knee in the lighter grey region. This means that all light greys are depicted as white, and as a result, the subtle detail you might see in a bright scene may be lost. Additionally, the slope of the curve, which should be about 2.15, was rather steep at 2.70. This means the transition happens too quickly, and you may notice that dark greys are crushed into black. Resultingly, the gamma may result in loss of detail in both bright and dark scenes.
The results of this test are anomalous. We've rarely seen a response curve this bad. It appears that the TV is doing some intense processing to maximize contrast at the expense of smooth greyscale transitions. We tried running the test under multiple calibrations, but could find no improvement. Sadly, you'll see similar results in our color tests on the next page. More on how we test greyscale gamma.
Like in greyscale gamma, the RGB curves bent at a sharp knee during some of the stronger color signals. Additionally, green was slow to achieve the same knee as the other two primaries. This means that greys of a particular shade might appear a bit purple, since they lack a strong green component. Additionally, gradients which cross over this region might exhibit a sudden delineation or "color band." More on how we test RGB curves.
Below, we've included recreations of the RGB responses in the form of gradients. While you can compare the to its competitors, keep in mind that these representations are not exactly as they will appear on the TV itself. Note how the is harshly divided between bright primaries and dark shades; that's the "knee" in the above chart at work.
Motion was very disappointing on the . Moving images resembled a child's sand mosaic. They dissolved into a mess of flickering, multicolored pixels, as though processor weren't fast enough to calculate the RGB subcomponents of pixels as they moved. Leading vertical edges wiggled and acquired a purple hue, while trailing edges turned green. Occasional scan lines showed horizontally over moving images. More on how we test motion performance.
Modern TVs must perform a 3:2 pulldown to convert the 24fps frame rate of film and Blu-ray to their native 60fps. After applying "Film Mode" on the , a flicker only appeared very rarely in moving high-frequency patterns. Additionally, video footage showed little to no issue. Overall, there should be no problem with 24fps sources. More on how we test 3:2 pulldown and 24fps.
Resolution scaling was pretty good overall, and near perfect for the native 1080p, which is the one you will be using most often. For all resolutions but the small and misshapen 480p, aspect ratio may be set to "Just Scan" to prevent overscan. More on how we test resolution scaling.
In 480p, the picture overscanned by a little over 4%, both vertically and horizontally. Pixels were slightly blurry, which lent a blurred appearance to Moiré (Moire) and high-frequency patterns. Additionally, while fonts were legible with some effort, even sizes as large as 12-point looked a bit indistinct.
In 720p, Moiré patterns were slightly blurry, but generally correct. From a distance, some of them interacted with the plasma crawl in a way that made us feel vaguely insane. The highest-frequency patterns blurred slightly about the edges of pixels, and legibility declined slightly from the native 1080p.
In its native resolution, the was pixel-accurate in displaying both Moire (Moire) and high-frequency patterns. Fonts were legible down to a respectable 9-point, after which they could still be made out with some effort.
With a native resolution of 1080p (1920 × 1080), the supports all standard NTSC formats as well as xvYCC color, which it calls a "wide" gamut.
Plasma TVs typically have great viewing angles, and the conformed to that trend. For this TV, we managed to pull our spectrophotometer 68˚ from center before the contrast fell below 50%. This means a total viewing angle of 136˚, which is about in line with how far you'd be willing to go before perspective distortion makes viewing intolerable.
Reflectivity was all right on the , but did sometimes wash over the entire screen and reduce contrast. Although the glossy screen reflected back individual LEDs from our array, the rays which shone out from their sides in a star-shaped pattern were limited to their immediate surroundings.However, a faint wash of light was cast over the entire screen. Even though the reflection itself wasn't extremely annoying during video, it did lower overall contrast by turning blacks into a shade of grey. To avoid this problem, angle light sources away from the screen.
Most modern televisions come with a slew of useless video processing modes. While there aren't too many on the , at least there weren't a lot of superfluous options.
The first thing we do before putting our TVs through a battery of tests is calibrate them. In a dark room, using DisplayMate calibration software and a spectrophotometer, we attempt to adjust them to have the most accurate picture.
Our final choices are below. In addition to these, we attempted to calibrate with Black Level set to "High," but this resulted in worse results, overall.
All of our calibration is done in conjunction with the DisplayMate software.
The offers several preset picture modes with different color temperatures. We began our calibration with "Cinema."
The had decent overall connectivity. On the side, you will find one of the three HDMI ports, one of two composite A/V ports, and a USB.
The back of the TV is where most of the ports reside. Here, you will find 2 component audio/video inputs, the second composite A/V, and the other two HDMIs. Additionally, there is a 3.5mm analog audio in and a VGA port, a digital audio output, an RS-232C port, the cable/antenna connector, and a port for a wired remote control.
Although the back-facing ports mean you won't have many cables sticking unattractively out the side of your TV, they also mean that wall-mounting this particular TV might be awkward. Also, aside from a few ports on the side, you get few options as to where you attach your peripherals.
Audio was solidly mediocre on the . High-pitched sounds, like the crunch of sand underfoot, clipped out, and mid-range audio was generally muffled. As usual, we recommend the purchase of external speakers.
Bass, Treble and Balance can be adjusted, but there is no equalizer beyond that. The "Clear Voice II" mode did seem to improve vocal clarity, so you could definitely give it a try. The "Infinite Surround" emulator, however, did not do much, either for clarity or for a sense of presence. The last option, "Auto Volume," could keep your TV from blasting its commercials at two times the volume of its programs.
LG persists in using the same main menu, consisting of a grid of large-print icons. We would prefer this screen simply did not exist, because all it serves to do is force you to press the button one more time to exit the screen.
From the main menu, one is taken to a more modern interface, in which the unlabeled icons populate down the left side to show you what category you're currently browsing. Settings are located in an off-white panel to the right, and categories within this appear as small pop-up windows.
Another thing LG likes to do is save money on instruction manuals by having one manual do the job for 17 different TVs. This sounds like a great idea, but for the user, it's annoying to read about features, then notice some fine print stating that they don't pertain to your model.
Thankfully, the manual comes in PDF form on an included CD, and you may also download it here. This PDF version is much easier to search.
Photos, music, and video may be played back through the 's USB port. The interface is relatively straightforward, but looks a little overwhelming at first glance. Photos may be played back with chosen background music, and pop-up menus sometimes appear for further options.
In addition to photos, music and video may be played from the USB port. Most common encoding formats are supported.
The will draw a significant amount of power yearly, though not as much as some larger plasmas. If you watch TV for five hours daily, it will cost about $45.89 per year. This is typical for a plasma, which requires more energy than the LEDs and CCFL bulbs lighting LCD televisions.
Below, we've created a list of some of the 's competitors. Since the is a little smaller than the 51-inch Samsung plasma, so it draws a little less energy. The other two TVs are LCDs, so they're cheaper to maintain.
Although the Samsung PN51D6500 is about $300 (MSRP) more expensive than the , but it's definitely a situation of getting what you pay for. The Samsung PN51D6500 performs far better in nearly every category, and has internet streaming features to boot.
The Samsung PN51D6500 has both a deeper black and a brighter peak white, and as a result, its contrast is about four times that of the . Even though they are both plasmas, the Samsung is definitely the superior black & white performer.
With its poor color temperature and very abrupt RGB curves, the is not a good color performer. The Samsung PN51D6500 is a better choice for color, having more color temperature and smooth RGB curves.
The performed very poorly when it came to motion. We recommend choosing the Samsung PN51D6500 for far better motion performance.
Both of these TVs have great, wide viewing angles, but the Samsung PN51D6500 has a marginally wider one at 170˚ total.
The Samsung PN51D6500 has an additional HDMI port, at the loss of a component and a composite port. Because it also has internet connectivity, we'd call it superior on the whole.
As a Smart TV, the Samsung PN51D6500 has internet streaming features that are wholly absent on the . If you don't have an external device to use to stream, this could be a definite plus.
The Vizio E470VLE marginally outperforms the in most categories but it actually costs less. At only $620 MSRP, the Vizio E470VLE is a much better bang for your buck.
The Vizio E470VLE doesn't have as much of a black level, but its peak brightness is also much better. In the end, its contrast is about on par with the , but still a little better, and more able to stand up to ambient lighting.
The is unlikely to win any color accuracy competitions with its inconsistent color temperature and RGB curves. The Vizio E470VLE easily outperforms it with solid color temperature and RGB curves.
The had some of the worst motion we've seen in a TV. The choice for motion is far and away the Vizio E470VLE.
As an LCD, the Vizio E470VLE only has a viewing angle of about 35˚ from center, or 70˚ total. The has a much wider viewing angle of 136˚ total, being a plasma.
The Vizio E470VLE has one fewer of each: HDMI, component, and composite ports. As a result, its connectivity is strictly inferior, so check to see if that will be a problem for you.
With identical MSRPs, you might wonder which LG is better for you: the LG 47LD4500 or the . The has a better viewing angle and more ports, but the LG 47LD4500 has better picture performance, overall. And isn't that really the ultimate measure of a TV? We think so.
The LG 47LD4500, as an LCD, is significantly brighter than the , but its black level is a little lacking. On the whole, the LG 47LD4500 has marginally better contrast, and won't get so washed out during the day.
The performs rather poorly in color accuracy, which is somewhat unusual for an LG. The LG 47LD4500, on the other hand, is a better color performer, with decent color temperature and very smooth RGB curves.
The LG 47LD4500 actually has motion performance that is somewhat mediocre. It's still leagues better than the awful motion we saw from the , though.
The LG 47LD4500 has a weak viewing angle, as an LCD. Its total angle was only about 64˚, which is not nearly as broad as the 136˚ offered by the .
The LG 47LD4500 is missing out on both an HDMI port and a component video port. If you are considering it as a possibility, make sure your peripherals can handle its relatively-backwards selection of ports.
The ($999 MSRP) was a disappointing television. The company's LCD televisions usually have problems with contrast but make up for it with excellent color performance. This plasma TV, suffered all the same failings and none of the saving graces: mediocre contrast, a dim screen, and terrible color response curves.
Beyond the picture, the also doesn't offer any networking features, and very few video processing features. The motion performance was also extremely poor. Even if it is meant to be a bare-bones television for households with a tight budget, you can still do better than this TV. We recommend looking elsewhere, including the Samsung PN51D6500, if you're dead-set on a plasma, or the well-priced Vizio E470VLE if you'll consider an LCD.
The LG xxPV450 series consists of a pair of entry-level plasmas. They offer 1080p resolution, but have somewhat disappointing color and contrast. On the other hand, their price is about in line with their performance.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.