Thursday, January 24, 2008

LG 50PC55 Review

50in Plasma
There are better performing panels out there, but very few for the price.
HD Ready: yes
Resolution: 1366 x 768
Rating: 82%


LG have realised that style sells and have employed an Italian design studio to improve on the rather clunky look of LG's of the past.

With its piano black minimalist look complemented by a stand in the same style, the 50PC55 looks like it could actually claw back sales that were lost as a result of previous models rather 'clunky' style. The finishing slim silver strip which separates the screen frame from the full length horizontal speaker at the units base completes a rather chic piece of kit that won't look out of place even in the most fashion conscious of households.


Connectivity on the LG 42PC55 is adequate rather than outstanding, with 2 HDMI inputs along with 2 Scarts and the usual Composite video input, Component video input, S-video and PC input.

Screen: 50in 16:9
Sound System: Nicam
Resolution: 1366 x 768
Contrast Ratio: 15,000:1
Brightness: 1500cd/m2
Other Features: XD Image Processing Engine, MPEG Noise Reduction, Digital Comb Filter .
Sockets: 2 HDMI, 2 SCART, Component Video, Composite Video, PC input.

Picture processing technology on the 50PC55 comes in the shape of LG's proprietary XD engine. The XD Engine brings together a range of picture processing enhancements under the XD umbrella, and amongst other things focuses on improving the input signal quality.

The XD engine is complimented by MPEG Noise Reduction processing which has been designed to eliminate video noise once it hits the screen.

The 50PC55 is equipped with Clear Filter Pro, an advanced thin film filter designed to improve brightness, contrast, and more importantly to reduce screen reflections.

Also featuring a Digital Comb Filter, LG's 50PC55 separates TV signals into Brightness and Colour components, aiming to provide softer and cleaner images.


Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the LG 50PC55's performance considering its budget status is its black level ability. It can't match the benchmark 'Kuro' screens from Pioneer, but nevertheless puts in a wholly convincing performance that is the equal of most LCD TV's. Darker scenes look genuinely black, and only reveal a certain amount of greyness on closer inspection.

Disappointingly however some of the detailing on darker scenes lacked the subtlety possessed by more accomplished performers. Instead of a smooth colour transition, we were often faced with a 'graduated' transition.

Like its smaller brother the 42PC55, it is the High Definition (HD) performance of the 50PC55 that makes it such a serious contender for best budget home cinema screen. Pictures posses all the detail and sharpness you will ever need, and the depth of colour on such a reasonably priced piece of kit is a revelation.

Unfortunately, the 50PC55 is not quite as accomplished as we would have liked with fast motion sequences. Although the effect does not intrude to any great degree on the viewing experience, there is a noticeable amount of 'blocking' with faster action.

Inevitably, there is a fair amount of grain and video noise with Standard Definition (SD) sources. To a degree this is a reflection of the 50PC55's size, but it is also a reflection of the budget status of the kit.

The acoustic ability of the LG 50PC55 is nothing more and nothing less than adequate. Lack of bass is the main problem, and as the majority of buyers will probably be upgrading the sound capability on this unit, it won't be a problem.


There are better LCD's and Plasma's out there, but the LG 50PC55 offers a level of performance that is hard to beat for the price. An excellent choice for a budget home cinema system.

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