There is also a PK790 on the AVForums Hardware page that is never getting reviewed. This excellent product is getting no respect, so I will post my review.
I purchased the LG 50PK950 after researching plasmas for far too long.... :-)
In short, the image after tweaking the easy-to-use user controls in Expert Mode is simply wonderful. It has a very rich and natural appearance which is easy on my eyes. Blacks are nice and dark. I really like what this TV doesn't have: no edge sharpening issue, no bad pixels, no buzzing, no floating blacks (turn off dynamic contrast!), no reported rising blacks, no problems with image motion, no reported problems with 24p (I have not tested this), no image retention that I can see (don't watch it in vivid mode!!) , no flickering from fast 3D phosphors, and no gimmicky 3D.
The built-in audio is perfectly good for most TV shows. Quite good, in fact, with clear dialogue. This was a pleasant surprise for us. If you want to go the surround sound route then the TV speakers can be used as excellent (and perfectly positioned) center speakers. The TV itself is quite handsome when on or off, far better looking than most other TVs. This is important if you are married, and not important if you are single.
One small negative is that there is a moderate degree of screen reflections, similar to many other TVs on the market but not as bad as the PK550 series. It is noticeably less reflective than my CRT TV. Prudent light control during the day will take care of this, and this has not been an issue at all at night. It is NOT necessary the blacken out the room, just don't have a window behind the viewer. One positive note is that the PK950 does not have blocky shiny bezels that pick up reflections from all around the room like one sees on other makes like the VT25.
Another negative is that there is no analog audio output and no headphone jack. Unfortunately, these audio shortcomings are common with several HDTV brands, and Sony is only the brand that I know that offers variable analog audio output. Taking the audio off of the cable box analog audio outputs works, except that this causes lip sync problems. So, add the cost of a new receiver if you don't already have one with optical input and/or an audio time delay adjustment. I just want to have headphones, so I will have to buy a new receiver just for that.
The price for the 50PK950 at the brick and mortar stores that offer unconditional 30-day returns is under US$1500 (not an exact price quote), so paying for a new receiver is not a big problem. In fact, the store prices for the 50PK950 were just as good as most internet retailers who do not allow returns.
I like the fact that the wireless internet adapter was included as well as an alternative Wii style remote and some PC software.
Final note: 50 inches is plenty big for most people. It looks small in the store, but it looks bigger at home. The first thing my wife and and I did was to push the couch farther away from the TV!
Also, don't worry about the 20-point gray scale calibration. This image looks fantastic with just the normal controls.
Originally Posted by Chad B
I hate to say this, but I was unable to get a PK950 to review after all. I did an LX6500 LED LCD instead. I know it's disappointing, but the LX6500 is a pretty interesting set. It's review should be up in a few days.
I also am going to be writing a follow up on the VT25 and adding it and the LX6500 to my rankings page.