televisions

LG 50PQ30 Plasma HDTV Review

50 in.

A lower-end set with decent scores and a really low price for its size.

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Black Level

We measured the LG 50PQ30's black level at 0.09 cd/m2 (candelas per square meter, a measure of luminance). This is a solidly good measurement, which isn't really surprising from a plasma. On the chart below, you'll notice the Panasonic TC-P50G10 actually had a black level that was almost half as dark as the LG 50PQ30's. The two LCD TVs, on the other hand, had significantly brighter blacks. More on how we test black level.

Black Level Chart

Peak Brightness

The 50PQ30 wasn't capable of a particularly bright white. Our tests have it capped out at 64.84 cd/m2, which is pretty dim. This is where plasma HDTVs have the most trouble: their display technology simply can't draw the kind of power it would take to output the same brightness as an LCD. More on how we test peak brightness.

Peak Brightness Chart

Contrast

The 50PQ30 didn't have a great contrast ratio. Typically plasmas have incredibly deep black levels, which allow the TV to attain a decent contrast ratio despite their low peak brightness. The 50PQ30, despite having a decent black level, simply wasn't dark enough to offset its dim brights. More on how we test contrast.

Contrast Chart

Tunnel Contrast

The LG 50PQ30 maintained its black levels fairly well, but it wasn't perfect. The black levels were actually a lot darker when only a small area of the screen was dark. This makes sense for a plasma: with such a large percentage of the screen displaying white, the entire display will dim, unable to draw enough power to maintain such a large area of brightness. Overall, however, black levels were consistent. More on how we test tunnel contrast.

Tunnel Contrast Chart

White Falloff

The 50PQ30 did have some trouble with white falloff, which isn't a surprise for a plasma. As the white area became bigger, it dimmed considerably. This is a limitation of the display technology: it can't draw enough power to maintain large areas of bright color. More on how we test white falloff.

White Falloff Chart

Uniformity

The 50PQ30 has a pretty uniform screen. We noticed some minor flashlighting/dimming in the corners and along the sides, but that was it. The screen doesn't have any blotches or color casts. Good screen uniformity is typically a strength of plasma displays. More on how we test white falloff.

Greyscale Gamma

Greyscale gamma describes how the TV emulates all its greys. Since we see logarithmically (intensity needs to increment exponentially to get us to notice an equivalent change), gamma needs to scale in a specific way to be the most effective. For the most part, the 50PQ30 has a good greyscale gamma. The transition between some shades of grey is a bit choppy, which could lead to a very minor loss of detail. More on how we test greyscale gamma.

Greyscale Gamma Chart
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Tour & Design
  3. Blacks & Whites
  4. Color Accuracy
  5. Motion
  6. Viewing Effects
  7. Calibration
  8. Remote Control
  9. Connectivity
  10. Audio & Menus
  11. Multimedia & Internet
  12. Power Consumption
  13. Samsung PN50B430 Comparison
  14. Panasonic Viera TC-P50G10 Comparison
  15. Sony Bravia KDL-40W5100 Comparison
  16. Conclusion
  17. Series Comparison
  18. Photo Gallery
  19. Ratings & Specs
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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