I received my 42LG50 yesterday
It is a very stylish and good looking TV, with a touch of retro styling. The image quality is really great, even out of the box and without proper calibration, when “Cinema mode” or “Expert mode” is selected. A 1080 progressive scan (p) TV with 1080p sources is really nice
I did not find dead/stuck pixels to date, thank God
but I will do a proper test soon. On the other hand, the TV stand was missing some rubber discs under it, so I scotched some cardboard discs for the time being, until I can find some in a hardware store. Experience told me that everything can’t be perfect with HDTV’s, but if I have to choose between dead/stuck pixels and missing rubber discs, I choose the latter
One thing that surprised me is that unlike my 37LG30, the 42LG50 does not have a mate screen. There is some mild glare, but this is not a problem at all when watching TV, during day or night, and it is not as severe as with plasma TV’s.
Also, when I first turned on the TV, there was some pixels discoloration (some kind of white bleeding) at the top, but it went away after 5 minutes and it never came back, thank God Quick calibration results
I did a quick calibration using DVE blu-ray, but I will do a full calibration later with my Display LT, after a 100 hours break-in period.
Even with a quick calibration, the picture looks great and the colors seem really natural, without an apparent red push. The black level is way better than that of my old 37LG30 and there is little to none backlight bleeding. The screen uniformity is also great.
HD sources look sharp and detailed, even though I found out that the picture can be a bit noisy sometimes, even when “Sharpness” is set to its correct level. But this could be due to the source itself (like natural film grain) and not the TV video processing. Setting “Noise Reduction” to “Low” or even "Medium" can clean up unnatural picture noise when it happens, without causing an apparent loss of resolution detail.
Deinterlacing is also well done with 1080 interlaced (i) sources, with a minimal "stair" and flickering effects and 720p is upscaled nicely with a minimal loss of resolution detail and sharpness.
SD sources look rather good, considering that there is an important scaling process happening when adapting 480p source to the TV 1080p native output. I chose to let the PS3 do the scaling, because I found out that the picture is sharper that way and because I can select “Just Scan” ratio mode, which is not possible when the TV does the upscaling.
The sound quality is really amazing compared to other HDTV’s, especially my old 37LG30. Dialogues are clear and the low frequencies are tight without too much distortion. I found that stereo separation and sound spatialization are exceptional for an HDTV with only stereo speakers, maybe because of the "Invisible Speakers" design from LG". On the other hand, I found out that the SRS Tru Surround XT option is not really effective as it muffs the dialogue and distorts low frequencies. Likewise, the Auto Volume and Clear Voice options are not very convincing, so I gave the audio controls to the PS3, thanks to its effective Dynamic Range Control for late movie watching.Temporary settings in "Expert mode 1"
Fresh Contrast: Off
Noise Reduction: Off, Low or Medium depending on the source noise
Black Level: HighPriliminary tests and findingsFull HDMI color range
The TV supports HDMI v.1.3 and Deep Color, even though there is no source available in Deep Color right now. It does not support x.v.Color, but after some tests with the video black pluge pattern of DVE blu-ray, I was pleased to find out that the 42LG50 supports HDMI (Y/Cb/Cr output) full color range (0-256) when its “Black Level” option is set to “High” and with the PS3 “Super White” option set to “On”.
When the “Black Level” option is set to “Low”, the TV clips Blacker than black (BTB) signals (it sets the black level to video black – 16 instead of 0) and it remaps (crushes) the grayscale accordingly, which is not recommended. By setting “Black Level” to “High”, brightness, contrast and backlight levels must be recalibrated.Real Cinema
I also tested a bit of the “Real Cinema” option and I found out that it is really effective with 1080i film material. I did the test with a 1080i movie on the Movie Network HD channel.
A good way to test 3:2 pulldown is by watching its effect on the scrolling end credits of a movie. When turned to “On”, “Real Cinema” cleaned up the flickering effect in the end credits text, which was due to the conversion, by the channel provider, of a 24p source to a 60i output.2:2 pulldown
Finally, I tested the 2:2 pulldown capability of the TV with 1080p/24Hz film material (24 frames per second). According to the TV manual, the TV outputs 48Hz with 1080p/24Hz sources, instead of doing 3:2 pulldown and outputting them at 60Hz. A good way to test 2:2 pulldown on 1080p/24Hz film material is by watching its effect on a movie scene that has a slow camera pan.
First, I found out that when fed with 480p, 720p and 1080p sources, the “Real Cinema” option is grayed out because this option is only available for interlaced sources. Then, with the “1080p/24Hz BD output” of the PS3 set to “On”, I found out that the TV effectively does 2:2 pulldown automatically, which means that it can’t do 3:2 pulldown of 1080p/24Hz sources and that it can’t display them at 60Hz. If you want movies to be displayed at 60Hz, you must set the PS3 to do a 3:2 pulldown by turning “Off” the “1080p/24Hz BD output”.
The 2:2 pulldown capability of the TV nicely eliminates “irregular” picture judder inherent to the conversion process from a 24Hz source to a 60Hz output. Watching movie is then like going to the movie theatre, where movies are displayed at 48Hz (projector shutter speed).
However, displaying movies at 48 Hz does not eliminate “regular judder” or motion blur. I refer to “regular judder” to the situation where there may not be enough images per second to make our eyes correctly interpolate movement and by motion blur to the situation where our eyes cannot correctly track the movement, due to the "sample and hold" display method of LCD TV’s (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDTV_blur
In this regard, 120Hz TV’s may be better, even if their interpolation methods can make movies look like videos (movies have to have motion blur, so they say...).