Question Recommend a 50" TV (worth getting plasma still?)


Standard Member
Firstly, i'm in the uk, so please bear that in mind when making suggestions. I'm not sure how European focused this site is - i'm guessing it's largely American which can cause issues of not being able to even find the models recommended etc.

Before i start, i don't really know anything about tvs and what is available but i'll try and give as much background as possible.

Okay, so my parents old crt is finally dying and they are looking to get a new tv.

My dad seems interested in the 4k tvs and is currently looking at an LG 49UB820V.

I've heard that the LG 850v models aren't meant to be very good, and i assume that the 820s are the same just without the 3d?
At first i saw lots of people recommending the VIZIO P-Series 4k tvs. However then i was sad to find out those are only in America. I don't really know where to find UK / European based info / reviews, and tv models seem to be different between regions, even with the same manufacturer - very confusing.

For me though, from what i have read, it seems a bit early to be getting a 4K tv, as there isn't really any content for it. We don't even watch blurays (which are 1080p anyway) and the only content i can imagine is something like netflix or youtube, both of which (at least with youtube - we've never had netflix) use heavy lossy compression on the video anyway which means that you aren't really getting any benefit from it being 4k.

In the shop, you could tell the difference in terms of footage, but then that is special 4k footage at a decent compression and i can't see that being widely available in the uk for years.

My dad says "well you still have the benefit of upscaling" and i tried to explain to him why that's silly and doesn't add anything - which he knows but was still taken in by it.
To me, it looked like the upscale examples at Curry's simply had a massive SHARPEN MOREEEE filter applied to the upscale side of the footage. Not nice.

So, what i am wondering is, would it be better to get a cheap plasma tv instead? Is the picture quality still better? And if so, what plasmas are even decent and available?

We had some 50" panasonic plasmas at work from about 2009 or something (not sure exactly - could even be later) and the problem with them is that they had massive kind of "snow effect" that was particularly noticeable on dark images, especially up close. Also there was a kind of "yellow" after image ghosting effect - there wasn't really a motion blue as such, more a crisp after image that was a bit unsettling.
These plasmas were being used as desktop computer monitors though. And there was a reasonable amount of image retention.

Have plasma screens improved a lot since then?

It's just from what i see most sites say, plasma is still better than ips, especially in terms of motion blur and picture quality.

So i'm wondering if it would be better to get a 1080p or even 720p plasma while we still can, and then try and get a 4k screen later in a few years after they have matured a little, with the possibility of 4k actually becoming affordable.

Here are some requirements:

  • Spend about £750 for 4k. He'd want to spend less for non-4k plasma but needs convincing about plasma anyway.
  • Size should be around 50"
  • Mainly used for watching broadcast uk tv - so i guess mostly 576i and 720p? Also used with xbox 360 which i guess is best at 720p rather than 1080p due to most games being rendered at 720p (or is this wrong?)
  • Main concerns are image quality and value
  • Don't want 3d
  • Would prefer low input lag if possible - i saw a review for a slightly different lg, they 850 version and the lag was really high, 60MS - i imagine the 820 is similar but i couldn't find reviews.
  • Secondary concern is the pvr we use is dying and my dad saw that the LG one can record onto a hard drive via usb and act as a pvr - so i guess either a tv with a similar feature, or an equivalent pvr.

As the tv is mainly used for broadcast tv, wouldn't a 720p set actually be better than a 1080p set as it wouldn't require and scaling and also 720p doesn't naturally (ie at an integer) scale into 1080p.
That is one positive of 4K resolution - both 720p and 1080p can be pixel doubled into it - 720 * 3 and 1080 * 2, so both should look decent.

So is plasma still a good option and what would people recommend?
Am i mad for thinking 720p might be better than 1080p?
Can you get plasmas that are actually native 720p or 1080p? A lot of them i see are actually 1024*768 with non-square pixels which would obviously make the image blurred on rescaling. At least, my friend said plasma was too blurry for him, i guess it might have been down to something like this?

Also, does anyone know cheap places to get TVs in the uk? The only places online / shops i know that might be cheap are amazon and curry's and neither are especially cheap for that kind of thing.

They also want a soundbar or at least some speakers but i guess it's better to post a topic in the respective forums...

Thanks for your time!


Distinguished Member
This is a UK forum mostly, with a proportion from Europe and row :) the review section on here and hdtvtest good, the main LCD and plasma forums for owner feedback on specific models

There are virtually no plasmas made now, samsung and panasonic ceased production last year

There are some websites selling graded models, there's a classifieds section on here, there's always ebay. John Lewis and richer sounds give free 5 year warranties and match currys and other physical retailers

If a tv looks much cheaper than these outlets, be very very wary of scam sites. They usually only take money transfer or back transfer, spinning some guff about PayPal scams. Only buy a tv online with a credit (not debit) card. Ebay, pay cash on collection when happy with the tv if a private seller, PayPal for ebay stores
The 50 and 60 panasonic plasmas were very good, a decent second hand buy if have extended and transferable warranty. Pioneers later kuros are still regarded as the daddy by many videophiles, but you may balk at some of the prices they command (not unreasonable when you think how much and how good they were new)

I'd buy a samsung 48h6400 from john Lewis or richer sounds, enjoy for a couple of years and wait to buy 4k when There's actially some material. All the better new LEDs come with 3d, just don't use it. Should have enough for a soundbar (although I'd rather use hifi separates, or just the tv sound, I'm fine with both my samsungs, don't eve bother with the hifi in the lounge)
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Standard Member
Thanks, unfortunately i don't think i can convince them to get a 1080p LCD.
Might be able to for plasma, but otherwise it seems like they will go for that 4k LCD.

One of the only plasmas i can find is the LG 50PB660V but i've heard LG plasmas aren't so good. Unfortunately i can't find any reviews.

As 4ks are new, i'm guessing there isn't really anything better for that price?
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