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LG 50PZ850T review

Ever wanted to draw pictures on your telly? Thanks to LG's PenTouch TV you can

Our Verdict

For

  • It's a nicely designed TV
  • Pictures with HD sources are mostly good
  • Multimedia support is solid

Against

  • The PenTouch feature is a total waste of time
  • Standard def playback is uninspiring
  • Contrast isn't as good as with some rival plasma screens
  • Colours don't look quite right at times

LG is never short of an idea or two, that's for sure.

For instance, not content with introducing passive 3D TVs to the world this year, the Korean brand has now also hit the street with PenTouch technology, as sported by the 60-inch 60PZ850T and the 50-inch 50PZ850T under scrutiny here.

As its name suggests, PenTouch uses a 'touch-screen' technology in conjunction with a special 'pen' to allow you to interact directly - as in, physically - with the 50PZ850's screen.

You just move the pen around on the screen or tap it to produce freehand drawings or navigate and access various function buttons or browser icons.

With its key PenTouch system not necessarily God's gift to TV tech, then, it's just as well that the 50PZ850 has a couple of other tricks up its sleeve. Namely active 3D playback (one pair of active shutter glasses is included) and a reasonably potent video engine. Though it should be made clear right away that the PZ850 TVs unexpectedly do not carry LG's Smart TV system.

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On paper, this possibly sounds like fun. Certainly LG's promotional materials for the PZ850TVs make extravagant use of photos of cute, excited kids playing with their new TV/best friend. However, the reality of the feature is rather less credible - more on this later.

If you'd happily ditch the PenTouch system in favour of a more powerful picture engine and Smart TV functionality, you could step up to LG's PZ950T plasma series without spending a fortune more. Or if you're happy to again do without PenTouch and settle for a few picture quality compromises, you could step down to LG's PZ570T plasma series, which still carries 3D despite its relative affordability.

With LG's 2011 having being notoriously inconsistent where TVs are concerned, though, the key question for now is whether the 50PZ850T is one of the brand's hits or misses.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
TouchscreenYes
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of SCART Interfaces2
3D Type3D
Brand NameLG
Screen Size127 cm (50")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)30.20 kg
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Operating Power Consumption179 W
Standby Power Consumption250 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio3,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
VGAYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand784.40 mm
Width with Stand1168.70 mm
Depth with Stand349.20 mm
CI+Yes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Height712.2 mm
Width1168.7 mm
Depth52.5 mm
Sound SystemSurround Sound, Dolby Digital
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesFlashback, Media Player, Web Content Access, PC Streaming, Web Browser
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product Model50PZ850T
Product Name50PZ850T Plasma TV
Manufacturer Part Number50PZ850T
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Marketing Information

Welcome to LG PenTouch TV, the World's First PenTouch TV which brings you the ultimate in interactive TV. The PZ850T is 3D Ready and comes complete with 1 pair of active shutter 3D Glasses and two pens for the ultimate in home entertainment and education.

Package Contents
  • 50PZ850T Plasma TV
  • 1 x Pair of Active Shutter 3D Glasses
  • 2 x Revolutionary Touch Pens
SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)28.10 kg