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A quick review of LG 42PG61 Plasma

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kshastry

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Thought this review would be useful to some of you.

I recently brought a 42" Plasma. Thats LG PG61UR. I know that most of the forum members here and elsewhere would recommend Panasonic PV8 or PV80H when it comes to Plasma screens. However LG PG61 impressed me with its design, performance and futureproof features.

It is also important to note that PG61 compares to PV80 (and not PV8).

Design : Well, LG 60 series has won awards at CES, Las Vegas for its "frameless" design. The front panel doesn't have a bezel or the outer shiny plastic border. Instead a seamless sheet of glass pane covers the whole front panel and it has blakended edge which gives the illusion of a border when TV is turned on. (Big deal? I am not able to figure out what is it good for yet). This is suppose to make the TV look beautiful from close quarters, and especially when its wall mounted. The control buttons which are traditionally provided at the left side of the panel are hidden below the panel just below the ON button.

I would give 9/10 for looks.

Connectivity : This is where PG61 really scores. It has 1 USB, 3 HDMI, 1 Component, 2 AV, 1 S-Video and 1 RF. There are usual Video/Audio out options. USB 2.0 is supported with DivX and Xvid capabilities. This is a real GREAT feature. All you need a 2 GB pen drive to enjoy a 720p HD movie downloaded from internet. No fancy DVD players are required as long as you could download movies directly from the net. 1 HDMI port is provided in the side panel which is quite useful. USB has nice interface for viewing photos, playing audio and video. But the USB cannot recognize or play from USB powered hard drives OR iPod like MP3 players. Bit of a letdown.

I would give 8/10 for connectivity

Audio : The PG61 features hidden speakers which could output 30W. The output quality is decent and I found it adequate as I am not a great audiophile. The audio control features an onscreen equalizer. I have not connected it to a HT system, so I cannot comment on audio output quality to a device.

I would give 8/10 for audio quality

Operations : The 80's looking control menu of PG61 has nothing to write home about. It looks dated for a 2008 model. The LG Scarlet and Jazz series have great looking menus. The menu provides adequate control over picture settings and audio settings. There are 5 present view modes for Movies, Games, Sports, standard and vivid which are quite useful. You could control color temperature, play with the settings of dual XD engines (LGs color engine) and set the panel on a power saving mode. Remote has minimalist design, yet quite functional.

I would give 7/10 for operations

Picture quality : The screen resolution si 1024 x 768 pixels. Its HD ready panel. This resolution is same as Panasonic PV8/PV80 and Samsung A450 models. This is not a great resolution and one should be mindful of the viewing distance. The minimum recommended viewing distance is 7 ft. It has a dynamic contrast ratio of 10 lac : 1 and a quicker response time of 0.01 ms. I don't know much about PV8 and I have not seen it in action, but PG61 has a fantastic color reproduction ability and rich black levels. Honestly I am not sure if I would care whether black looks blacker than black or if one could count the hairs in the beard of Bachchan say from 1 feet. The pictures looks crisp, bright and rich and I couldn't have asked for more.

I would give 9/10 for PQ

Customer support : This is where LG scores a big plus compared to Samsung, Panny and others (perhaps barring Sony). It has 24/7 helpdesk. All the service calls are attended within 24 hours and they do collect feedbacks about the service. LG also offers extended warranty on the plasma for a discounted price.

I would give 9/10 for Customer support.

Perhaps Panasonic may have great tech specs. But for overall satisfaction I would recommend this model. PV8 doesn't have USB. PV80 has only a SD card reader.

The price I paid for this model is Rs.54,000.
LG official webpage for this model LCD TV, Plasma TV,Colour Television, Audio Video,Computer Products,Mobile Phone,Refrigerator, Washing Machine,Vacuum Cleaner,Microwave Oven,Air Conditioner, CAC Products by LG Electronics India

Hope this helps.
 

marsilians

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There is nothing to sneeze about wrt LG. Its a pretty good brand. I have seen in teh past some difference in warranty terms (1 yr parts and labour) vs. 2 for most other companies.

they used to have scrolling problems couple of years ago but they have addressed it sufficiently well. By the way, all manufacturers have had this problem when starting out, so its part of growing up pain.
 

madbullram

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Excellent review. Even I am Pana fan by a small margin when compared to LG but loved your review. Can also post your feedback after watching 300+ hours :). I am little skeptical about Panasonic's service backup in India.

Also, what do you think about the clarity when watching SD content as in DTH or Cable?
 

psychotropic

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Dear Mr. Shastry, just curious did you manage to do a comparison with the Pana PV8/PV80 or the samsung 410/450?
 

kshastry

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ANy update on PQ for SD content?

I only have "normal" cable connection. I don't have an STB yet. Some of the channels have strong signals and look fantastic (In my case, NDTV, Star Sports, Star Movies etc). Some channels have weak signals and look not so great (BBC, Discovery). I was surprized by the PQ with just the normal RF cable. I watch the SD content in vivid mode. I have not tweaked any settings yet. Audio is not bad either. I am sure it would look way better with STB. I am Planning to go for BigTV in Jan if they come with offers like they had it earlier.

I watch DVDs by connecting it to my laptop. The PQ is simply stunning.

I had compared PG61 side-by-side with PV8 (At Griha Vybhav, Jayanagar, Bangalore). Both played demo HD content through component cable. To me, they looked almost same. This may sound blasphemous. I did try hard to spot the qualitative differences. But it wasn't possible for me I guess. I thought PG61 offered more VFM compared to Pana. Also, LG beats Pana hands down when it comes to after sales support.

I couldn't compare it with Samsung models.
 

psychotropic

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he he i know that feeling....when i compared my samsung plasma and the panasonic one, i thought they were very very close as well....which is why i went with the Sammy as it was about 5k cheaper at that time (tables have now turned :) ).....and it's worked out to be a good decision....it's always great to trust our own eyes rather than the "reputations" of certain brands....

I only have "normal" cable connection. I don't have an STB yet. Some of the channels have strong signals and look fantastic (In my case, NDTV, Star Sports, Star Movies etc). Some channels have weak signals and look not so great (BBC, Discovery). I was surprized by the PQ with just the normal RF cable. I watch the SD content in vivid mode. I have not tweaked any settings yet. Audio is not bad either. I am sure it would look way better with STB. I am Planning to go for BigTV in Jan if they come with offers like they had it earlier.

I watch DVDs by connecting it to my laptop. The PQ is simply stunning.

I had compared PG61 side-by-side with PV8 (At Griha Vybhav, Jayanagar, Bangalore). Both played demo HD content through component cable. To me, they looked almost same. This may sound blasphemous. I did try hard to spot the qualitative differences. But it wasn't possible for me I guess. I thought PG61 offered more VFM compared to Pana. Also, LG beats Pana hands down when it comes to after sales support.

I couldn't compare it with Samsung models.
 

vinod_david

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But,

PV8/PV80 amd 410/450 simply rocks and blows anything in the point-blank range.:mad: IMO
 

AbhY

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Definitely, they are awesome. But according to me, LG plasmas (42PG21 and 42PG61) are not far away at all.

I'll like to highlight my quote in other topic about comparison between 42PG21 (I think it has same display panel of 42PG61) and Panny 42PV8-
AbhY said:
Well, and as i said yesterday, i compared the Panasonic 42PV8 and LG 42PG21 today.
Again, a difficult comparison. (Not as easy as India v/s England ) :D
They used a Big TV signal. ( Wasn't able to check HD :( )
Initially, LG appeared to be having nice "more natural" kind of feel, with an original looking yellowish tint. Panasonic seemed to be having deficiency of "yellow" color, but more "liveliness and brightness".
But after 15 minutes of continuous channel changing and minute detail watching, i eventually found out that LG had too much of yellow in it. In fact, Panasonic's "yellow" was better (even though slightly less than what i'll desire for).
I went through all the settings (Contrast, Brightness, Color, Sharpness, and TINT). The Brightness in Panasonic was present every time, independent of channel and settings.
But one thing in LG's favor - Dark Parts in video had better visibility in LG.

Still, over all, Panasonic better.

As i said, it was really tough to decide for me. Above mentioned views were just mine. My friend, already present there with me actually loved the "yellow" tint of LG, and said Panny lags this tint. For him, overall, LG won.
And btw, this SD content in both the sets definitely came out better than the Samsung Plasmas. But samsungs dominate by a BIG margin while showing up HD signal as i've mentioned in a PV8 vs A410 comparison in a few recent topics.

At the end of the day, no plasma model from these 3 brands is bad or good. Only depends on what your requirement is.
 

kshastry

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LG plasmas (42PG21 and 42PG61) are not far away at all.

I think there is a generation of difference in LG models PG21 and PG61. These are different series PG 20, 30, 50 and 60. I think 60 is the latest series available in India. The 60 series plasmas have 600 Hz technology and Dual XD engines. The firmware is 2008. I would advise against buying 20 or 30 series if the pricing is on par with Panasonic. Simply go for Pana in those cases.

Another thing that I am still puzzled about is, why Philips does not offer Plasmas? Both Philips and LG use the same LCD panels manufactured by their JV companies. But Philips is only marketing the LCDs AFAIK.
 

psychotropic

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good point :) i picked up my 410 after only comparing HD signals....but i was going to watch mainly HD anyway (pseudo HD, ie 1080p upscaled DVDs), and i rarely watch my Tata Sky. And at that time, it was cheaper as well....

LG's 61 was not out at that time, but I doubt I would have seriously considered it...

Definitely, they are awesome. But according to me, LG plasmas (42PG21 and 42PG61) are not far away at all.

I'll like to highlight my quote in other topic about comparison between 42PG21 (I think it has same display panel of 42PG61) and Panny 42PV8-


As i said, it was really tough to decide for me. Above mentioned views were just mine. My friend, already present there with me actually loved the "yellow" tint of LG, and said Panny lags this tint. For him, overall, LG won.
And btw, this SD content in both the sets definitely came out better than the Samsung Plasmas. But samsungs dominate by a BIG margin while showing up HD signal as i've mentioned in a PV8 vs A410 comparison in a few recent topics.

At the end of the day, no plasma model from these 3 brands is bad or good. Only depends on what your requirement is.
 

kshastry

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To those of you interested, here is a very detailed review of LG 42PG6000 (same as Indian PG61 plasma model) by a UK based review site. If I read the review correctly, this model outperformes Panasonic Plasma models in SD performance.

LG 42PG6000 Review: 42" High Definition Ready Plasma HDTV

I was much more consoled after reading this review about my decision.

(The UK based model has a PCMCIA card slot as extra. I am not sure what would the use of this in a TV)
 

kshastry

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Power consumption of a Plsams Display

My electricity bills are indicating that Plasma is consuming more power. My electricity spending has increased by 1/3rd ever since I bought my Plasma.

I believed in the theory that in the long run it may not matter much between LCD and Plasma with latters ability to consume power as per the 'actuals' (i.e., image brightness). But this may not be true with a 33% increase in power spending.

Wish to hear from other plasma owners about their experience.
 

kshastry

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A quick 4 month running review of 42PG61

My LG plasma has completed a little more than 4 months with me. My usage pattern has been "moderate". I was one of those who loose much of enthusiasm (that one had for months leading to purchase) after buying the product.

Frankly I never bothered about first 100 hours burn in, and it didn't seem to have made any difference at all. I watch TV with "Standard" setting. I sometime turn on Vivid or Cinema to watch HBO/Discovery/NatGeo. Watching IPL games is a pure pleasure.

The best part of PG61 is its USB port with support to DivX / Xvid formats. It also supports MP3 music playback and JPG/GIF/TIF image formats. I never have used DVD player as much as I have USB.

I also have Nintendo Wii game console. Playing Wii with a 42" plasma is great fun. Though Wii is very basic for its graphics, it "upscales" itself to widescreen and rendering is very good (especially in Mario Kart game).

Electricity bills are still on the higher side. Plasma emits more heat than CRT. '

Overall I am happy with my purchase!
 
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