A 42in plasma with a floating design
- Nice colours, sharp image, well-implemented 100Hz mode
- Some minor contrast issues, SD content had some predictable artefacts
LG's latest plasma, the 42in 42PG60, is a nice step up from its past units and is a well-rounded option for users looking to make the jump to HD.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
With 'floating' designs becoming all the rage in televisions these days, it is no surprise that LG jumped on board with its latest range of plasmas, the PG60 series. We recently took a look at the 42in model, the 42PG60, and were impressed with its performance. It had a few niggling contrast and scaling issues, but it was a well-rounded performer in both SD and HD playback.
As far as the design goes, LG has done a fairly impressive job on this unit. Rather than employing large clear bezels or extraneous glass sheets to give the illusion of 'floating', LG has simply not used any kind of real bezel. There is a simple black strip surrounding the display, giving it an extremely stylish minimalist feel. Furthermore, the design is incredibly thin for a plasma; it is without a doubt the thinnest plasma we've had through the office, which makes it good for those with space constraints.
It also has built-in 'invisible' speakers. They certainly are difficult to spot, and while they obviously don't compare with any separate audio solution, they sound fairly decent and will do until you can do the screen justice with a proper home theatre package.
The 42PG60's performance was also quite impressive. It isn't a full HD panel — it has a resolution of 1024x768. We started by hooking up a Blu-ray player and running some HD film tests. Colours were extremely well balanced, with rich, accurate hues. Black levels, while not as good as on some competing units, were fine in both well-lit and dark conditions. We found the 42PG60 performed well on the whole in bright conditions, which is a common failing of plasma panels.
We felt contrast, while adequate, could have been a little better. There was some detail loss in dark areas; this was particularly evident in our standard-definition tests — we used The Matrix, which is a notably dark movie in parts. A little tweaking of the calibration settings helped to some degree, but it was still noticeable.
Clarity was good in HD, with crisp edges and only small hints of pixilation. There was no noise to be seen and the image was as clear and sharp as on any of the competition.
As it's a plasma panel it also had no issue with fast motion, handling everything seamlessly. It has a 100Hz mode designed to help in this regard, and we found it quite good. It doesn't have the same massive impact as with some companies' products, but it does make a difference. While it won't be for everybody, it is definitely a nice addition.
In our standard-definition tests the 42PG60 wasn't quite as impressive, but that is to be expected for a 720p panel. There were a lot of scaling artefacts and aberrations when running 576p content. Colours, however, were still impressive and from a reasonable viewing distance DVDs looked just fine.
The usual calibration options are present, with both basic preset modes and more detailed settings available. It is also worth noting that the menu itself looks great and is extremely easy to navigate.
Four HDMI ports are included for your connectivity needs, along with several component, composite, S-Video and D-sub ports.
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