LG 50PV450 Review
Disappointing performance across the board from the LG 50PV450.
The LG 50PV450 ($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 on an LG. If only we were a naval installation instead of a TV testing facility, then we would be shooting this one off in a torpedo tube. Alas, we have to settle for sending it back and hoping for better next time around.
The LG 50PV450 is thin! So it's got that going for it.
LG's PV450 is made of the same glossy, black plastic as other modern televisions, though the stand feels a bit flimsy. In short, it is nothing special. It's quite thin, so if you're replacing a large set then you can at least take heart that this thing will be easy to lift when you inevitably get fed up and return it for something better.
In truth it isn't all bad: the LG 50PV450 had decent overall connectivity, with many modern connectivity options. On the side, you will find one of the three HDMI inputs, one of two composite A/V ports, and a USB port. The back of the TV is where the other ports reside. Here, you will find 2 component audio/video inputs, the second composite A/V, and the other two HDMI inputs. That at least provides the TV with plenty of functionality, letting you hook up just about every peripheral device you own without ever having to swap cables in and out.
Smart TV Features
LG persists in using the same main menu, consisting of a grid of large-print icons.
We would prefer the main menu grid 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, where the unlabeled icons populate down the left side to show you what category you’re currently browsing. Navigating the menu is a frustrating experience, especially because LG has such great menus on other sets.
Photos, music, and video may be played back through the LG 50PV450’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, while pop-up menus sometimes appear for further options. There's not much in the way of other forms of smart features, so streaming services like Netflix will have to be controlled by another box hooked up to the TV.
No matter how we feel about its appearance or software, one thing can be said for sure—the PV450 is a poor performer.
There's a lot wrong with the LG PV450's picture quality. First, its contrast ratio tested as very narrow, which is the result of a dim overall brightness and blacks that aren't as deep as they should be—a mortal sin for a plasma television.
Motion was very disappointing on the LG 50PV450. Moving images resembled a child’s sand mosaic. They dissolved into a mess of flickering, multicolored pixels, as though the processor wasn’t fast enough to figure out what it wanted to show you as subjects moved across the screen. Leading vertical edges wiggled and acquired a purple hue, while trailing edges turned green. Occasional scan lines showed horizontally over moving images. In a word, it's ugly.
Its color accuracy was also very poor and the spectrum of colors it can produce consistently is on the shallow side. There's really nothing to redeem this television's picture quality. It looks bad—even for an entry-level TV—and we can't imagine anyone spending $1000 on this isn't going to have a serious case of buyer's remorse.
The LG 50PV450 ($999 MSRP) was a disappointing television, to say the least.
LG’s LCD televisions usually have problems with contrast, but frequently 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 were all flaws on the PV450.
Beyond the picture, the LG 50PV450 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. The PV450 has plenty of connectivity options, but its poor interface, worse image quality, and bloated price make it a very poor buy.
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