The PZ950 Series is the top-of-the-line offering in LG's 2011 plasma lineup, and it includes screen sizes of 50 and 60 inches. We have not performed a hands-on review of the 60-inch 60PK950 ($2,599.99), but here is a more comprehensive look at its features. This 1080p plasma is a 3D-capable display. Unlike LG's line of passive Cinema 3D LCDs, this plasma TV uses active frame-sequential 3D technology, in which the TV alternately flashes a full-resolution left-eye and right-eye image. To view the 3D image, you need special 3D glasses that contain shutters that open and close in sync with the signal to direct the appropriate image to each eye. LG doesn't include the 3D glasses with the TV; each pair of AG-S250 glasses carries an MSRP of $129.99. The TV supports 2D-to-3D conversion to produce a simulated 3D effect from standard 2D content.
The 60PZ950 is THX-certified for both 3D and 2D content, and it uses LG's TruBlack Filter and 600Hz Max Sub Field Driving for improved motion resolution. The TV features LG's Smart TV media platform, which includes access to Netflix, VUDU, CinemaNow, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Picasa, and many more options that can be added via LG's Apps store. There's also a full Web browser on board, and you can stream media from a DLNA-compliant server. The 60PZ950 comes with a USB WiFi adapter and the Magic Motion motion-sensing remote. This model is compatible with LG's AN-WL100W Wireless Media Box, which lets you wirelessly transmit the A/V signal from your source(s) to the display. The plasma panel has a depth of 2 inches and weighs 85.8 pounds without the stand.
The 60PK950's connection panel includes four HDMI and two component video inputs, as well as a PC input and an RF input to access the internal ATSC and Clear-QAM tuners. All four HDMI inputs are side-facing for easy access. Also side-facing are the dual USB ports, which support media playback and the addition of the AN-WF100 WiFi adapter. On the back panel, you'll find an Ethernet port for a wired network connection, as well as the wireless control port for the optional Wireless Media Box. The 60PK950 also offers RS-232 for integration into an advanced control system.
The 60PK950 has an excellent assortment of picture adjustments, beginning with three preset AV modes that automatically set both the picture and sound parameters to suit a specific type of source content (THX Cinema, Sport, and Game). In the video-only realm, you get numerous picture modes, including THX Cinema and THX Bright Room modes and two Expert modes that provide access to advanced calibration controls. Adjustments include: 2-point and 20-point white-balance controls; individual color management of all six color points; skin color; noise reduction; Super Resolution; gamma; and more. LG offers a great feature called Picture Wizard, an automatic setup tool that walks you through a basic picture calibration by showing a series of photos and letting you adjust brightness, contrast, color, tint and sharpness until they match the "recommended" picture. In the 3D realm, adjustments include the ability to change the 3D picture size, swap the left/right images, and adjust depth, viewpoint, and color/brightness balance. The 60PK950 has several features to prevent or counteract the effects of short-term image retention (a common plasma concern), including a pixel orbiter and color/white wash patterns. There are five aspect-ratio options, including a Just Scan mode to display 1080i/1080p images with no overscan.
The audio setup menu includes five sound modes, plus bass, treble, balance, and Infinite 3D Surround controls. A/V Sync is available. LG's Clear Voice II function brings up the level of vocals to make them more easily discernable, while the generic Auto Volume function helps to minimize volume discrepancies. This TV lacks SRS TruVolume or Dolby Volume audio-leveling technology. The Sound Optimizer adjusts the output based on the TV's placement on a wall or stand.
The 60PK950 offers an Energy Saving mode to reduce screen brightness, with options for Intelligent Sensor (automatically adjusts the brightness based on room lighting), off, minimum, medium, and maximum. There's also a screen-off mode that allows you turn off the video when you're listening to audio-only sources.
Read about the high points and low points of the LG 60PZ950 3D Plasma TV on Page 2.
• The 60PK950 is a 3D-capable TV. It is THX-certified for 3D and 2D content.
• Plasma TVs generally do not suffer from viewing-angle limitations or significant motion-blur issues.
• The TV has plenty of connection options and picture adjustments.
• The 60PK950 supports a wired or wireless network connection. It can receive streamed content from a DLNA server and includes the robust Smart TV media platform.
• This model is compatible with LG's Wireless Media Box to wirelessly transmit the A/V signal from source to display.
• Plasma 3DTVs generally keep crosstalk to a minimum in 3D content.
• An RS-232 port is included.
• LG does not include any 3D glasses in the package, and the glasses cost $129.99 each.
• Plasma TVs generally are not as bright as LCDs, which is important with active-shutter 3D technology.
• The 60PZ650 does not include a "smooth" de-judder mode for films sources.
Competition and Comparison
Compare the LG 60PZ950 with its competition by reading the reviews for the Panasonic TC-P50GT30, Sony KDL-46EX720, and Samsung UN55D8000. Learn more about 3D HDTVs by visiting our 3D HDTV section.
The plasma category is where you're going to find the best deals on the biggest screens in the TV market, and screen size really does matter if you want the most effective 3D presentation. Even though the 60-inch 60PK950 sits at the top of LG's plasma line and is loaded with features, it costs less than smaller LED/LCDs with otherwise similar features. This TV is currently available for under $2,000. Yes, the active 3D glasses do add to the bottom line, and
LG probably won't lower the cost of those glasses any time soon...given how hard the company is pushing its passive 3D approach. But, even with a couple pairs of glasses, the 60PZ950 is still a very good deal in the 3D marketplace.