LG PG6000 (42PG6000) Plasma HDTV Review

Phil Hinton examines the budget priced HD ready PG6000 plasma from LG.

by Phil Hinton
TV Review

6

Recommended
LG PG6000 (42PG6000) Plasma HDTV Review
SRP: £900.00

Introduction

Regular readers will know that I covered LG’s high end plasma screen, the PG7000, a few weeks ago. This time around we take a step down the range and look at the HD ready PG6000. The first thing that hit me when unpacking this model was the fact that cosmetically, it looks identical to its big full HD brother. Indeed it keeps that sleek designer look with a full sheet of glass covering the whole screen surface and bezel. Out of the box the PG6000 also has its own attached table stand which allows a 30degree swivel. The LG design is very sleek and looks far more expensive than its price tag suggests.

Design and Connections

The actual plasma panel is a HD ready 720p affair (1024 x 768 resolution) and some may think that this is not really acceptable given today’s full HD (1920 x 1080) market. However the number of pixels available is not the most important factor in creating a great looking picture, no matter what the marketing guys will tell you. The PG6000 also features some excellent technology on board and also offers full calibration control. Some of the subjective reviewers out there seem to get confused with this kind of flexibility, thinking that it must point to a bad picture to start with. What they are missing is the fact that to get the very best from any display is to actually switch it out of the factory defaults. The PG6000 offers ISFccc controls and a very good out of the box preset, which we will examine in detail later in the review.

The PG6000 boasts LG’s dual XD engine which claims free flowing judder free images along with full 100Hz processing. The menu system is also very similar to that seen on the PG7000, with a video game type graphical interface, offering all the choices you could possibly require. Looking at the picture area this takes us to a traditional menu screen which offers all the usual picture settings.

The remote control supplied with the PG6000 is also exactly the same version seen with the more expensive screen. It is a plastic affair with the buttons logically placed and is very intuitive to use. It also has a fake leather look under the keys in an attempt to make it appear expensive. Using the remote allows full control over all the TV functions available and although it’s plastic, on a set in this price range it is more than acceptable.

Moving around the back and we find the following connections. There are four HDMI v 1.3 (three on the back, one side mounted), RGB/PC, component, two scart along with optical digital output, stereo analogue out and an RS232 port. On the side of the set are further connections which include, USB in, s-video, composite along with audio jacks and a PCMCIA card slot. So overall, the PG6000 is certainly laden with enough connections to make even the most hardcore of users happy.


Menus & Setup

The PG6000 boasts LG’s dual XD engine which claims free flowing judder free images along with full 100Hz processing. The menu system is also very similar to that seen on the PG7000, with a video game type graphical interface, offering all the choices you could possibly require. Looking at the picture area this takes us to a traditional menu screen which offers all the usual picture settings.

Along with Brightness, Contrast, Colour, Tint and sharpness you can select picture modes which include the usual ‘Vivid, Standard and Cinema’ along with two expert modes. It is the expert modes which we find the most interesting as this opens up full control over the calibration such as greyscale and colour management including a 2D RGBCYM system. These presets in other countries are designed to follow THX certification, which for some strange reason LG have dropped in the UK. The company obviously need some convincing that the UK market knows what THX is!


Test Results

For me the most important point of any display review is to actually measure its performance out of the box. There is no other way to see exactly what a display is doing or how it has been designed to display its images. Only with objective data available can we confidently tell you, the reader, exactly what the display is capable of and how accurate its performance is. And considering our philosophy of having our displays reproduce what the director intended, there is no other way to fully review a display product.

So with this in mind, we first need to know how close the display can reproduce the Rec.709 HD standard and how good the greyscale mix is with the out of the box settings. For this we measure each picture mode provided to find the exact settings available, and which ones get close to D65 and Rec.709. So how well does the PG6000 get to these standards in the best out of the box presets?

Looking at the CIE chart you will see that the colour gamut employed is slightly wide of the Rec.709 standard, yet all the important points are well aligned. This should allow us to calibrate the PG6000 using the available Colour Management system (CMS- RGBYMC). However, as it is out of the box, the wider colour points are not so strong that it overly affects viewing in this mode. Indeed the Greyscale is also not that far out for a consumer TV with things just slightly low in terms of red. However as the PG6000 has an ISFccc control we will be well placed to get these points as accurate as possible.

And after a full ISF calibration the results are very favourable indeed. The colour points are now accurate to the Rec.709 standard and luminance of these points is also very good indeed. The greyscale has also hit the required points with deltaE error of less than 2 across the board. Gamma has also managed to give us a perfect 2.2 result. All in all the flexibility on the PG6000 has meant that we have been able to calibrate it as accurately as possible to the industry standards which should improve the natural images from the set.

Video Processing

Video processing is also a high point with the LG. The scaling and deinterlacing of material is first rate with very few jaggies and most of the tests passed with flying colours. Even cadence detection was very good and within a few frames of material changing. Blu-ray playback is also well handled with no signs of serious induced judder when playing back at 24p. Overall I was mightly impressed with the processing at this price point.

Picture Quality

Out of the box picture performance

One of the slight weak points with the PG6000 is its dynamic range and black levels. Blacks are not as fluid or deep as some competing products in its price range, such as offerings from Panasonic. However, although things are not as deep as they could be, at the price point this Plasma operates you would be hard pushed to get an LCD that will beat it in that department.

Colours out of the box are strong and ever so slightly over saturated with some material. Red is the main culprit with some flesh tones looking slightly blushed. However, with the majority of material I fed the LG, I didn’t see to many instances where inaccuracies actually affected my viewing pleasure. Freeview pictures on the PG6000 can look good with higher bit rate channels, such as the BBC content, however with poor material there was nothing that I could do other than add slight processing to try and clean up the results. However feed the TV a good quality source and the picture quality is very good indeed, and depending on your viewing position, you will not notice any real issues with 720p resolution.

Calibrated performance

Having a full calibration certainly adds an extra dimension to the LG’s performance with a variety of material. Colours are now vivid but natural with flesh tones looking completely natural in their presentation. Detail levels are higher and more pronounced with added shadow details jumping out. The image just look far more convincing once the set has been calibrated and LG should be congratulated for showing other manufacturers in this price point how it should be done. It would have been an added bonus for end users had they included the THX preset on the UK sets, as an accurate image brings out the real performance of this TV.

Verdict

6
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

Pros

  • Nice sleek design and one piece of glass over the front makes this a design statement.
  • Good out of the box settings which get pretty close to D65
  • Excellent accuracy in images following full calibration
  • CMS and Temp controls for ISF calibration
  • Good Video Processing for SD and HD signals
  • Handles 24fps material
  • Plenty of inputs for existing equipment
  • Above average sound quality from the speakers on board the TV
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • The black levels are disappointing
  • Image retention can be a slight problem, even in calibrated modes.
  • There are signs of phosphor trails on certain material

LG PG6000 (42PG6000) Plasma HDTV Review

The PG6000 is not going to set the world on fire with its 720p resolution and slightly lacking black levels and dynamic range. However we are talking about a plasma TV costing well under £800 and resolution is not the be all and end all in picture quality. The strong points with the LG are that its out of the box performance is better than most and with the full ISFccc controls available; it can turn in truly accurate pictures when calibrated as well. This is a point I hope LG stick with in their ranges of TVs and also encourages other manufacturers that getting a good preset starting point and adding full calibration control, is the way ahead with today’s TV products.

There are a few slight issues with the screen, which may cause some issues. Image retention on the LG is still a problem with some logos and DOGs still being visible after changing channel. These do eventually disappear but can be a little annoying when they do appear. And it is the same case even in calibrated mode, so hopefully this issue will eventually be fixed by LG in future products.
Overall, the LG is a no-nonsense plasma TV that offers a good out of the box performance, and looks extremely accurate when calibrated thanks to its full picture controls. If you are looking for a budget plasma TV which offers more than most, I would recommend that you check out the LG PG6000.

Recommended

Scores

Sound Quality

.
.
.
.
6

Smart Features

.
.
.
.
6

Ease Of Use

.
.
.
7

Build Quality

.
.
.
.
6

Value for Money

.
.
.
7

Verdict

.
.
.
.
6

Picture Quality

.
.
.
.
6

Video Processing

.
.
.
7

Greyscale Accuracy

.
.
.
7

Colour Accuracy

.
.
.
.
6

Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level

.
.
.
.
.
5

Screen Uniformity

.
.
.
.
.
5
6
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

Our Review Ethos

Read about our review ethos and the meaning of our review badges.

To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.

Related Content

Samsung PS60F5500 (F5500) Plasma TV Review
  • By hodg100
  • Published
Samsung PS51F5500 Plasma TV Review
  • By hodg100
  • Published
Samsung PS51F8500 Plasma TV Review
  • By hodg100
  • Published
Panasonic TX-P42ST60 (ST60) Plasma TV Review
  • By hodg100
  • Published
Panasonic TX-P65VT65B (VT65) Plasma TV Review
  • By Steve Withers
  • Published

Latest Headlines

LG Display OLED only strategy sees first job losses
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung trademarks Infinity Screen TV display terminology
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
LG showcases transparent OLED displays at Harrods
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom