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  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5


  • RGB controls, very good speakers


  • Middling performance, swivel requires loosening tiny bolt

Bottom Line

The LG 50PY3DF's many strengths and features, including good speakers and a reasonable price, may help it find it a place on the TV stands of some homes despite its middle-of-the-road performance.

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LG's 50PY3DF is well-designed and inexpensive. This 50-inch plasma HDTV performed near the average mark in our tests, earning an overall score of Good.

Colour quality on standard- and high-definition scenes was strong, and brightness and contrast results were okay. Skin tones in a Home and Away segment and in a talk show seemed fairly realistic, though jurors noticed some pixelation. A standard-definition broadcast of a cricket match produced balanced, nicely saturated oranges and greens. The set showed good detail in dark areas of a Lord of the Rings scene.

Among the many connections, the LG 50PY3DF offers three HDMI inputs. A USB port on the left side of the 50PY3DF lets you attach a flash-card reader or a thumb drive and display a photo slideshow on the TV. The remote allows you to control the slideshow settings and advance the photos manually. The TV swivels after you loosen a tiny bolt in the back of the TV. Just above the bolt on the LG set is a thick removable plastic half loop to keep cables bundled together. The TV's display settings buttons are invisible until you lightly press a touch-sensitive pad on the lower right-hand side of the TV beneath the bezel – a novel and visually arresting feature.

A fairly well-organised on-screen display menu lets you adjust the TV's many settings, which include individual red, green, and blue controls under the colour temperature submenu. Colour presets for Dynamic, Standard, and Mild adjust contrast, brightness, and vividness. We found Dynamic to be the most eye-catching setting, but colours were artificially saturated; the other two settings seemed more life-like. Two additional User modes let you program your own custom TV presets. You can access all of these settings through the TV's touch pad or via the remote. The remote control has no backlight, and its buttons – some arranged in a rectangular grid and some in an arc – seem cramped. However, they did aid us in getting around the extensive OSD menu.

The built-in speakers are installed on the sides of the TV, making the panel somewhat wider than on other TVs of the same size. Nonetheless, it may be a good compromise, because the speakers produced rich sounds in scenes from Phantom of the Opera.

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