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LG 42PG6000 Review
In what is truly a remarkable turn of events, DisplaySearch – the leading display market research firm – reports that LG Electronics has overtaken Matsushita (parent company of Panasonic) as the world's largest plasma TV supplier in terms of volume shipped, a position the latter has enjoyed since the third quarter of 2006... until now.
How much have the new multi-award-winning PG6000 plasma television series contributed to LG's resurgence? Let's find out in this review of the LG 42PG6000 plasma HDTV.
If we could choose one word to describe the exterior aesthetics of the LG 42PG6000 plasma TV, it would be gorgeous. A single sheet of glass overlies the dark grey plasma screen and the outer gleaming black frame, giving the impression that these two elements are flush against one another. The bottom border of the front bezel curves backwards gracefully, but not before parading an LG logo at the centre, and a smiling crescent power LED indicator (which is spooned by a similarly arced power button) at the bottom right.
Placed underneath the plasma body are what looks like a pair of speaker grilles and some control buttons. Surrounded by matte silver trim on the sides, design-wise the LG 42PG6000 flat screen television looks like a distant (and much bigger) relative of Apple's iPod Touch. The quality of build and finishing is impressive, and the entire plasma panel sits proudly atop a swivelling pedestal stand.
LG has lavished the 42PG6000 plasma HDTV with generous connectivity. In addition to a USB input at the side for viewing JPEG photos and listening to MP3 music, the LG 42PG6000 boasts not three but four HDMI ports, all souped up to the latest 1.3 specification.
|Rear: 3 x HDMI, VGA, component, 2 x Scarts, aerial, digital audio out, serial port
|Side: HDMI, USB, comp, Svideo, PCMCIA Card
The LG 42PG6000's on-screen menu is thoughtfully devised and beautifully presented. The main screen greets you with 8 large colourful icons arranged in 2 rows, allowing you to access – among others – the picture and sound submenus. Navigation is fast and responsive, although switching input source can take a little longer to initialise.
|Main menu||Picture submenu|
In the [Picture] submenu, setting [Aspect Ratio] to "Just Scan" will eliminate overscan for 720 and 1080 source. There exists 7 picture modes, each of which can be set independently per input. Although "Cinema" gives an image that is acceptable enough for everyday use, "Expert1" and "Expert2" grants access to a comprehensive array of white balance controls and colour management system that will delight any tweaker worth his/her salt.
|[Expert Control] submenus including white balance controls & colour management system
Almost every picture control we could ever wish for is present in the [Expert Control] submenus. One minor criticism though: pressing the [Ok] button on the remote over any highlighted option within [Expert Control] will inexplicably close the submenu rather than open a new adjustment window for that particular option.
|Audio submenu||Option submenu|
Delivering commendable dynamic range, bass extension and volume (before distortion), the LG 42PG6000 sounds better than your average flat screen HDTV, but obviously remains no match for a dedicated home theatre system. Soundstage and audio resolution do suffer slightly due to the embedded characteristic of the "invisible speakers" underneath and around the front bezel.
There are 3 ISM (Image Sticking Minimisation) Methods in the [Option] submenu: "Orbiter" which shifts the pixels on screen every 2 minutes; "Inversion" which inverts the colour on screen every 30 minutes; and "White Wash" which displays a white image on screen. 4 levels of [Power Saving] are available to reduce power consumption; we tried using it like a backlight control on LCDs, but found out that it chiefly affected mid-to-top-end luminance, and so was of little use in our quest to improve black level on the LG 42PG6000 plasma television.
EPG (Electronic Programme Guide)
Rendered in high definition, the EPG on LG 42PG6000 looks crisp and clean. Providing up to 8 days of EPG information in advance, navigation is intuitive and self-explanatory.
Infrared Remote Control
Although not really small in size, the infrared remote control bundled with the LG 42PG6000 plasma HDTV is one of the lightest that we've ever held in our hands. Buttons are well-sized, and return reasonable tactile feedback. By pressing the [Simplink] key on the remote, you can control other compatible devices connected via HDMI to the LG 42PG6000 television.