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LG 50PK990 review

Flagship full HD plasma packs-in a Freeview HD and some cracking pictures

LG 50pk990

Freeview HD will take another 18 months to finish rolling out across the UK, so if you're in an area that can only receive standard definition Freeview channels at present (find out at www.freeview.co.uk), you'll still be able to receive the usual channels.

And though future proofing is never a bad idea, bear in mind that, for now, you'll pay a small premium to have a Freeview HD tuner (prices are bound to drop post-World Cup).

If Freeview HD isn't coming to your area until 2011, it may be worth hanging on for a few months while prices for 'must have' Freeview HD tuners settle down.

If you can't wait, LG's 50PK990 is, at times, a sensational attempt an a high-end all-rounder.

We liked:

Slim all-in-one designs are de rigueur, but no other brand has come up with a TV design as alluring as on the 50PK990. Despite its thin frame, the provision of Freeview HD channels, as well as almost as many ins and outs, and multimedia support, helps justify the high price.

So too does its fabulous user interface, which makes calibration a speedy task. It's worth doing, too, to achieve some sharp, blur-free and colourful pictures – though a hi-def diet is recommended at this size.

We disliked:

Whether you could call the 50PK990 good value at this high price is a moot point; most of those extra features aren't likely to sway a buying decision, though arguably the TruBlack filter is worth stumping up for if Blu-ray is your main goal – with Freeview HD likely to be the clincher.

Even with TruBlack, the 50PK990 could do with a bit more contrast, while a screen this size is always going to show up inadequacies in broadcast TV – and on its full HD screen, regular Freeview channels underwhelm.

Verdict:

Big-screen plasmas are an increasingly rare breed, with only LG, Samsung and Panasonic devoted to the original flatscreen tech.

And while LG may be a jot behind its Japanese counterpart in terms of pure picture quality, the 50PK990 is deserving of its flagship status because of the way it combines some diverse features – such as USB playback, Net Cast, Bluetooth and Freeview HD – and delivers it with an ease of use that's not yet been matched by any other brand.

This review was written in conjunction with:

What Video & Hi-Def TV magazine

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Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Product FamilyINFINIA
Brand NameLG
Screen Size127 cm (50")
Aspect Ratio16:9
BluetoothYes
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)34.80 kg
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Operating Power Consumption181 W
Standby Power Consumption200 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio5,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
DLNA CertifiedYes
Height with Stand804.50 mm
Width with Stand1190 mm
Depth with Stand294.50 mm
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Height737 mm
Width1190 mm
Depth52.4 mm
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesWeb Content Access, PC Streaming, Media Player
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product Model50PK990
Product NameINFINIA 50PK990 Plasma TV
Product LineINFINIA
Manufacturer Part Number50PK990
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Marketing Information

The LG PK990 Infinia series is LGs flagship Plasma TV with sublime picture quality and stunning single layer Infinia design. Convert your living room to a sports stadium or cinema with this large experience perfect for watching sport and movies in crystal clear picture quality.

SpeakersYes
Weight (Approximate)30.20 kg