LAS VEGAS--When it comes to black levels, perhaps the most important ingredient in picture quality, LG's plasma TVs certainly have some improving to do.
The flagship LG PZ950 series we reviewed last year trailed plasma heavyweights Panasonic and Samsung badly in this department, with grayish blacks that prevented it from scoring well in our evaluations. For 2012 an LG company rep tells CNET that the new models, thanks to upgraded phosphors and other improvements, boast black levels up to 40 percent deeper than last year's. If that's true, maybe LG with its historically excellent color accuracy will finally break into contention with the other two.
LG's best plasma, the PM9700 series, also adds an extra we haven't seen since 2008's Pansonic TH-PX77U series: a new antiglare/antireflective "TruBlack" screen that LG's rep told us was almost as effective as the matte screen on LCDs at curbing reflections in bright rooms. Such a screen finish doesn't exist on any other plasma TV.
Unlike LG's LED models, its plasmas utilize active 3D technology. The PM9700 offers the company's Smart TV suite and Magic Motion remote, although the latter lacks the voice control found on some of the company's other 2012 TVs. See the writeup of the LM8600 LED for more on LG's Smart TV additions.
As evident from the image above, LG has also revamped the styling, thinning the bezel, going for a more metallic finish and adding a funky legged stand.
LG PM9700 series features:
- Plasma TV
- TruBlack antiglare screen
- Magic Motion remote
- Smart TV
LG PM9700 series models:
- LG 50PM9700 50-inch, pricing and availability TBD
- LG 60PM9700 60-inch, pricing and availability TBD