LG 50PG60 Plasma TV Comparisons & Conclusion
LCDs seem to be taking over the TV market these days, so I haven't reviewed many plasmas recently other than the Pioneer Elite PRO-111FD. But this is hardly a fair comparison, since its list price is nearly twice the 50PG60's. A more reasonable comparison is the Samsung PN50A550 reviewed by Lawrence Ullman, which carries the same list price as the LG.
The Samsung has a somewhat lower black level, though the peak white level is also lower, leading to a lower contrast ratio. The calibrated grayscale, color temperature, and color tracking were not as close to correct as the LG's, but the Samsung offers only a 2-point calibration system. The color gamut could be calibrated just as well. Overall picture quality is excellent in both cases, so I call that a wash.
Having reviewed only one TV with THX certification, the jury is still out in my view. Perhaps the particular review unit I received falls at the outer edge of sample variation. I'll know more when I look at the THX-certified Panasonic TH-50PZ800, which I just got. In any event, the THX mode is not the best this TV can do.
Overall, I really like the picture quality of the LG 50PG60, at least with my calibration. Aside from the high black level, the detail, color, and shadow detail are all excellent. As I said before, the THX mode was not bad, but it was clearly not as good as a fully calibrated picture, so you need to factor that into the final cost of the set. On the other hand, I suppose many viewers aren't nearly as picky as I am, so the THX mode might be fine for them, saving the cost of a calibration.
Great shadow detail
10-point calibration system
High black level
THX mode not as accurate as I would hope
Incomplete color-management system
Inconsistent menu operation