John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

LG 42″ 720p 600Hz Plasma HDTV (42PJ550) review

I haven’t bought a new TV in a really long time. So I had to do some research, the TV market place has become complicated. The first question is the technology you want. The three dominant players are Plasma, LCD and LED with Plasma being the oldest and LED being the newest. I did a quick Google search and found this comparison between the three.. On top of this one of my friends, Lance, pointed out that Plasma often has a gloss finish to the screen while LCD/LED have a matte finish. This means you need to be aware of light sources in your room if you choose plasma. I didn’t pay any attention to the cable TV tuner, I don’t use cable. Checkout this article if you want to know why. TVs are defined today by their inputs. What are you going to drive your TV with. For me I wanted first and foremost to be able to drive it with my laptop and any PC for use in watching movies/DVDs. So for me an SVGA input was a must. My DVD player is older and does not have HDMI/DVI port so it also had to have an SVideo or Composite video input. Next up you need to pay attention to the resolution of the screen. This one is 720p which refers to the maximum vertical (native) resolution the screen can display. Anything larger and it has to down scale it within the TV which can take away from clarity. A Blue Ray movie is more commonly 1080p but this wasn’t an issue for me. I don’t have a blue ray player, don’t see one on the horizon for me, and this DV can down scale if it has to. At this price point this is largely a disposable TV anyway. I bought it for $499 (list price, no haggling). I also paid no attention to the sound of the TV I have an external surround system anyway.

The monitor is really good looking. No where near as good as an LED screen that’s for sure. But then it didn’t cost the kind of $$s an LED cost either.

The TV can also display pictures and play music from an onboard USB port via a USB flash drive. The interface is VERY basic but it does work and you can create slide shows. I tried a DIVX and an MP4 both were ignored.

My friend Jason passed along these tips about Plasma:
(1) Some obvious advice: Do not leave static images on your plasma TV screen for more than an hour. Turn off your unit when you are not watching it. Do not pause DVDs for more than 20 minutes at a time.

(2) Know that plasma screens are more prone to burn-in during their first 200 hours of use. When phosphors are fresh, they burn more intensely as they are ignited. This means that relatively new plasma display TVs are prone to “ghosting”, which occurs when on-screen images appear to stay on the screen belatedly. This is a function of the high intensity with which new phosphors “pop,” and this phenomenon usually “washes out” on its own, as the screen displays subsequent images. Displaying a bright, or moving snow image (as with a DVD or VCR with no input) will “wash” a ghost image from the screen in most cases. Many plasma manufacturers have installed anti-burn settings, which are monotone gray or snow screen settings which recalibrate pixel intensity levels uniformly – thus eliminating any image retention (ghosting). It is a good idea to run this type of program after the first 100 hours or so.

(3) Adjust the CONTRAST setting at or below 50% on your new plasma TV. These days most plasma TVs are preset to either peak or very high contrast (also called picture setting on many TVs). This forces phosphors to glow more intensely, which decreases the length of time necessary for burn-in to occur. Our advice is to reduce the contrast setting to 50% or less for the first 200 hours of use. And, be sure to avail yourself of your plasma’s anti-burn-in features.

(4) Some plasma televisions burn-in more easily than others. In my experience, AliS type panels — the ones utilized by Hitachi and Fujistu — seem more readily given over to problems with burn-in. As well, be more wary of the 2nd and 3rd tier brands as their technology is usually not as up to date as some of the better 1st tier brands.

All in all I am thoroughly impressed what $499 gets you today. To think over 20 years ago when I bought my last TV I paid $500 and here I am now paying the same and getting so much more. Incredible. Do I think this is the most amazing TV on the planet? Nope but it didn’t cost an arm and a leg either 🙂

LGs page for this TV
Futureshop link


November 23, 2010 - Posted by | Electronic gadget reviews, Mutlimedia, Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Good post great informative.

    Comment by | December 19, 2010 | Reply

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