Well, I've read this entire thread through at least once, and appreciate everyone's ideas and information. Forums such as this are a great benefit to enthusiasts and dabblers alike.
I acquired my 50PJ350 about six weeks ago NIB for five bills at an outlet store based on the fact that it was the biggest flat screen I could buy that would fit inside my armoire (thanks to the narrow bezel) and based on a quick look at online reviews that all indicated up favorable experiences.
I thought it would be helpful to others if I shared my neophite experience.
To quickly repeat what other's have already said - it's a great value, the 720p resolution is fine at normal viewing distance, the screen is very reflective but manageable, the extensive picture controls/ wizard are great for people who have an inclination to play with their setup.
Which brings me to my reason for posting: I have struggled to understand/ implement the calibration settings suggested here by Will2007 and in the Plasma TV Buying Guide. The 20pt White Balance numbers vary so widely between the two, and they vary greatly from one IRE point to another (especially in the PTVBG numbers). I could only conclude that there is a lot of variation in personal preferences and a lot of variation between and within hardware. Which then implies that it does not make sense to take someone else's 20pt white balance numbers or Color Mgmt Settings exactly.
I am a complete novice, and do not plan to buy any calibration equipment or pay for a professional calibration (hey, I paid less than five bills for a 50" plasma TV), but I have a critical eye and want to get the most from my TV based on all the help available here. At first I used the Picture Wizard and that helped a lot to find the right Contrast (90), Brightness (55); V/H Sharpness (43/46), Color (55) and Tint (G3).
Then I tried the 2pt White Balance which improved things more but I did not have good numbers to work from so only changed the RGB levels. Not worth listing here.
Finally last night I took the plunge and did a 20pt White Balance based on a 'smoothing' of Will2007's numbers (see last 'Generic' graph in the attachment below) and the improvement was very noticeable - especially in the shadows where I can see much more detail than before yet I'm still getting very good blacks as well as realistic colors. After the 20pt cal I shifted the tint to R3 and upped the Color to 58. I will play with them a little more, and maybe try some changes in the Color Mgmt System.
Thanks again for everyone's suggestions, especially to Will2007. Hopefully it won't be long before I stop analyzing the image and just enjoy the show.Attachment 196593
LG 50PJ350 20pt White Balance Settings.doc 164.5k . file