Right I have a good look today in Curry's whom had just got the LG 50PA650T on the wall. And also the 3D version of the same screen the 50" LG 50PM680T which comes with a free BLURAY player (cheapo one)
Both seem good screens. I took a stick along with some 1080p IMAX Hubble space station HD content and a Bluray SG Atlantis space bound episode, and some Battlestar Galactica bluray Season 3 ep 4 (exodus) so lots of space battle stuff. Just the sort of thing I like best,,, so my idea test footage. All best bluray rips (not HDTV)
Both screen faired well, this being my first plasma experience coming from just returning for refund my old SAMSUNG LE40M87BDX 40" LCD.
So I asked the guy in Curry's to put a £800 LED screen next to the LG 50PA650T for comparison. I found the LED would be better a little bit for my windows 7 desktop and games with brighter sharper colours but I already knew this. But of in order of usage its Movies, Desktop and then Games for me so this time I want a best for movies and TV shows screen and this LG 50PA650T and the LG 50PM680T didn't disappoint.
I even loaded a Star trek Voyager episode (720x576 Pal rip) 500Mb Mkv, so low res on a large screen like this, but the TV played every MKV I threw at it very well and with very minimal visual frame drop, so i was impressed.
The low res ST Voyager ep looked good I thought. As did the 4Gb IMAX Hubble content, sharp and without ringing or ghosting.
Brightness, coming from an LCD it seems less. I have got used to the brighter screen LCD, my front room is a low light environment so this should not be a issue for me personally. The screen was not ass bright as the expensive LED screens I tested side by side but that's to be expected plasma/LED. I'll need to adept my viewing ideas coming from a 2006 LCD set. Its not to much different but in a more day lit room this might be more of an issue for some.
TV Sat SD and HD. Didnt test these, the Curry's feed is of course some HD fantastic feed. So no proper Sky HD or SD, or Freeview SD or HD test. Sorry
Of course I started by turning down or off all the fancy features. Dynamic contrast to low, HDMI black level to low, sharpness to <20 and then <30 and then off, edge enhancement off. There are various other new features I didn't know what they were but assumed it was more of the same. So tested with on and off. With large HD content the screen looks very good I thought. Some reflection as I am unsure what if any anti-glare film is present. I have a low light front room so glare is not a real problem, but in the brightly lit curry's store, like with pretty much all other sets there the reflection and glare was hard to avoid. Although I did ask for the lights to be turned off quickly... they didn't go for that.
The set-up controls I found are somewhat dumped down, might be too dumbed down for my tastes. Maybe can get access to the engineers menus for greater colour control. But with just gama low, med high, and that goes for just about everything else, it left me wanting much more in the set-up dept. This one thing alone might be a deal breaker for me cos I like a complex set of controls and from my first impressions you don't appear to have this with these TV's. there was no colour space setup, no advanced gamma or white levels menu. Now maybe new plasma's do not need this, as I mentioned I am coming from the early LCD Samsung... but mine had plenty of controls which I do like to have.
Of course future firmware might change this and I do see there is already a firmware update on the LG website for the LG 50PA650T.
The bezel is silver/grey and pretty thin. I didn't notice any issues with the pictures edges all around the screen. The unit is pretty thin depth wise but the audio was not too bad and did a pretty good bass reproduction for what it is. A sound bar with sub bass might be a good idea and one I might consider. As I prefer my sound to come from the TV area. The unit was warm to touch but not too hot.
The rear connectors are limited, no analogue audio out I noticed but this is the way of things now, and the set costs only £500 > range. 3 HDMI's 2 at the rar and one on the side with the USB sockets, easy access. My flash stick did work well and found it fast, source switching seems much faster than my last TV, and as fast as teh LED screens I tested side by side. the USB media controls were adequate, skip, fast forward etc and they worked well.
The usual other connectors, VGA, component, RS232. A bit limited compared to my Samsung I just got rid of but very usable
The controller seems nice in hand as well, large easy to use buttons and arrows, with logical place for 'back' return. But its always down to individual tastes with a lot of these things. For me it seemed ok... and with all new tech we learn and adapt in a short time. With onlly a budget of £550 max I cannot be too fusy over things like controllers and rear connections. As long as I have my basic requirements... then its all about the screen for me and the setup controls and the source switching.
For me the LG 50PA650T and its 3D friend the LG 50PM680T are good new sets for the money, nothing too feature busting, but with good solid screens that I think look good. The 3D on the LG 50PM680T looks OK, but having no experience with TV 3D I am not the best to review the 3D quality,,, for me my eyes hurt no matter using what glasses passive or active so I dislike 3D TV's at present. The screen controls in the menu seem a little dumbed down for my tastes, but that said it might be all thats needed. I need a little more testing. But can say I am impressed and might well buy the LG 50PA650T,