If you want a big, full HD TV on a budget, this might be the answer
solid black levels
tuner is okay
spec’ is basic
no HD tuner
holes can be picked in performance
Just check out that price tag. At the time of writing the LG 50PK350 plasma could be found for less than £600, a staggeringly low price for a 50in TV. Our Award-winning sets at this size will set you back more than double that, so this screen has set tongues wagging and provoked much rubbing of eyes.
Out of its box we're happy to report that this LG looks solidly built and not unattractive. It's doesn't boast the ‘seamless' design of some LG sets, but your friends certainly won't laugh at the sight of it.
An honest TV, few frillsUnsurprisingly, the technical specification looks a little lean. There's a 1920 x 1080, Full HD panel, a modest two HDMI inputs and a standard definition Freeview tuner; but don't expect any 3D, DLNA or internet TV. This is simply a big TV, without the frills.
So we come down to the all-important business of performance. One thing's for sure; you'll have no complaints with the remote control or on-screen menus. Big, bold and clear icons do the job, while the remote gives a reassuring click with each press.
It's strictly standard definition from the integrated tuner, but action on the highest bandwidth channels is good, the big screen doing a competent job with scaling the lower resolution content to produce an image with good detail that's largely free of noise.
More after the break
Trying some DVDs and then Blu-rays, we get a feel for the TV's performance and we're suitably impressed. Motion is handled very smoothly, dark black levels are deep and accurate and edges are fairly sharp.
Colours aren't perfectThe colour balance isn't perfect – a yellow tint to skin tones is hard to shake – and there's a lack of insight compared with the best about; but for the money, it's hard to argue too vehemently with what we see. The speakers sound clearer and fuller than many about, too.
It's not without flaw in terms of picture and specification, but the so-low-we-can't-get-over-it price, makes LG's 50PK350 well worthy of consideration if you want to go big on a budget.