LG's 60-inch 1080p 60PG60 has the distinction of being one of the few THX-certified plasma TVs on the market. THX has been known for many years for its certification of audio products, but only recently has the company moved into video certification. Runco, Vidikron, Panasonic and LG have been the early benefactors, each offering plasma panels that THX has approved in performance areas like black level, video processing and color reproduction. This plasma model also includes LG's new Fluid Motion 180Hz technology, designed to render smoother movement. The $4,299.95 60PG60 has a generous connection panel that features four HDMI, two component video and one PC input, as well as one RF input to access to internal NTSC, ATSC and Clear-QAM tuners. The HDMI inputs accept 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 signals, and one is located on the side panel for easy access. Also on a side panel is a USB port that allows for JPEG and MP3 playback. LG has included advanced control ports, such as RS-232 and an IR input. The 60PG60 lacks a program guide and picture-in-picture functionality.
LG has included a fairly generous amount of picture controls in the 60PG60's menu, beginning with three A/V modes labeled Cinema, Game and Sport; select a mode, and the TV will automatically switch to the correct preset video and sound modes for that type of content. If you'd rather handle the set-up specifics on your own, you can begin by selecting one of seven picture modes, including the THX Cinema mode and two Expert modes. The THX mode sets the picture parameters at levels that have been certified by THX, so you can't make further adjustments to them. The Expert modes give you access to advanced picture parameters, so you have more freedom to fine-tune the image to your liking. The video menu offers four color-temperature options, including a User mode in which you can precisely adjust white balance. Gamma control is also available, and LG has wisely included several features to help prevent or counteract image retention, a common plasma concern. There are six aspect ratio options, including a Just Scan mode to view 1080i/1080p sources with no overscan.
Read about the high points and the low points of the LG 60PG60 plasma on Page 2.
The 60PG60 has a single-layer glass design that gives it a very sleek, stylish appearance, and the new invisible speaker system places actuators all around the perimeter of the bezel to create a wider sweet spot. This new speaker system was tuned by audio guru Mark Levinson. The audio set-up menu offers five preset sound modes, plus basic treble, bass and balance controls. SRS TruSurround XT is on-board, and you also get a volume leveler and Clear Voice feature to improve dialog reproduction.
• This is the only 60-inch THX-certified plasma on the market, and it offers very good performance with high-def content. Standard-def content also fares well.
• There are lots of picture controls at your disposal, but most users will appreciate the preset THX mode.
• Plasmas do not suffer from the viewing-angle or motion-blur issues that are often found on LCDs.
• The TV has a more slender, attractive design than most other flat HDTVs.
• The 60LG60's video performance is not quite to the level of the best high-end plasmas we've seen.
• While the LG's front screen is less reflective than previous panels, plasmas are generally not as bright as LCDs and therefore not the best pick for a really bright viewing environment.
While the 60LG60's performance does not rank at the very top of our list, it produces attractive HD and SD images with minimal set-up effort, if you go with the THX mode. It's also less expensive than the highest-end 60-inch panels, and it's the only 60-incher to offer THX certification. If you're looking for a 60-inch panel, this one is definitely worth checking out.