Pros * Protective Glass Skin makes its panel friendlier for families with Wii throwing, crayon doodling kids
* Deep blacks once calibrated correctly
* Fast response times with fast scenes
* Almost phosphor trail free compared to all plasmas out there
Cons * Image retention but found the even plasmas like G20/G25 exhibits image retention
* TruBlack filter is perfect for bright lights at night but not as effective for daytime ambient lighting
* Widgets loads slow and need external keyboard/mouse support
Summary As for most people who looked at the LG PK950, I was also torn between the Panasonic G25/G20 vs LG PK950/PK990. All reviews were in favor of the G25 for better blacks and picture quality. The PK950 had better aesthetic design, response times and less phosphor trails for gaming. In the end chose PK950 for flicker-free viewing. The protective glass was also a factor since my daughter broke our LCD TV with a marvelously aimed Wii controller and our 2 year old son used to doodle directly on said LCD screen.GAMING: I played some XBOX 360 games on the PK950 including Super Street Fighter 4 and Modern Warfare 2 and I can say the input lag is hardly noticeable. I can still pull off Street Fighter moves without any timing adjustments. Online gaming had a more profound effect on my timings even on an LCD HDTV. The good news is that phosphor trails is hardly there in the PK950 compared to other plasmas (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm63BEhHWUk&feature=related). Modern Warfare 2 displayed a bit during a dark scene with some white 3D objects displaying some phosphor trails during a fast pan in any direction but hardly noticeable. Response times while playing Modern Warfare 2 is fast and you don't get that artificial motion processing you get with LCDs (my opinion). The Game picture mode seems to be the perfect AV mode for playing. THX Cinema and THX Cinema Bright dulls most colors but the deep blacks are retained in the Game AV mode anyway especially with black icons/HUDs.
PICTURE QUALITY: I went to Frys in Sunnyvale, CA where they had both side-by-side. Since the demo mode on both TVs were set to vivid, the G25 had a bit higher contrast(brighter) so I switch both to Cinema(54" G25)/THX Cinema(60" PK950) mode . This made it easier to compare picture quality (if remote not available, access picture menu from left side of TVs). The G25 seems to have better accuracy on colors but was a little dull. The PK950 had more pop color wise but was a tad reddish. The G25 had more details on the shadows but wasn't sure if it really had better black levels or if the brightness was just set higher(better shadow detail). So I switched the PK950 from THX Cinema mode to THX Bright mode. The PK950 now had similar levels of shadow detail and now was able to do a better evaluation. Both TVs had similar picture quality with these settings except that the PK950 was a bit reddish (not so bad and I was able to get calibration to get it fixed) but seems to have a better response time to fast motion scenes. Black levels were the same as far as I can tell. According to a flatpanelshd.com review, both the G25 and PK950 had the same black levels. For 3 non-consecutive days, I evaluated both TVs for 2-3hrs at a time and was at first going for the G25 for better color accuracy. What swayed me towards the PK950 was the G25 flickering while watching some DiscoveryHD channel scenes which wasn't exhibited in the PK950. I just couldn't get used to it. I went to some forums like avsforum.com and confirmed that it wasn't just me seeing it. Having owned the PK950 for 3 days, I can say that I'm very happy with the black levels and the picture quality and now calibrated using the settings in the flatpanelshd.com pk950 review (http://www.flatpanelshd.com/review.php?subaction=showfull&id=1269254363). I had to use the PC and some XBOX360 1080p games with black icons /scenes to properly evaluate the black level and I can confidently say the black levels are way better than most LCDs and other plasmas. G25 most likely has better blacks but potentially may have the floating black problems but maybe not. The PK950 also came without any dead pixels and had no visible problems with color accuracy including reddish tint using flatpanelshd.com calibration. The PK750 and PK950 also have an undefeatable sharpening/image processing (except if you label HDMI as PC and viewing 1080p content), but I don't even notice it so if you're not aware of it then the better. A firmware update is suppose to be in the works (see avsforum.com)
REFLECTIONS: If reflections are a concern as with all plasmas, I watch with all windows and 2 glass sliding doors open without shutters during day time. There are reflections from the glass doors. I guess I'm used to some reflections on glass panels like on a MacBook Pro so I don't mind much. Depending on angles where you sit like sitting from an angle behind the source of the reflection, removes some to all. I do think the TruBlack filter helps a bit but they need more work for daytime viewing. Nighttime is a different story. Even with all lights turned I don't see any reflections. Friends and family who came over 2 nights ago during a party at night (all lights on) thought we had a new slim LED LCD TV. When I told them it was a Plasma, they commented how there weren't any reflections at all and impressed with inherent brightness and color accuracy. Overall, if you can control ambient lighting during daytime, you won't have anything to worry about with the PK950. At Frys, the G25 handled the reflections better.
IMAGE RETENTION: The PK950 still has image retention while playing some XBOX 360 games with static images (HUDs/icons) for 2+ hours but temporary. It's not something to worry about because they quickly disappear and that was when I wasn't using the "Orbiter" screen saver. Plasmas tend to get better with image retention after some break-in (100+ hours???). With Orbiter in place, haven't seen any image retention for now. By the way, the Panasonic 50" G25 (not the 54") in Frys Sunnyvale, CA has a permanent image retention on the upper right of the TV. Watch when you have a white background on the Panny 50" G25. This is why I didn't even consider image retention on the LG PK950 as a problem since all plasmas are susceptible even Panasonic's it seems.
OVERALL: I recommend the 50PK950 to anyone shopping for a Plasma TV. No regrets choosing the LG PK950 over the Panasonic G25.
Updated on Jul 18, 2010
Pros Picture and sound quality for the price as well as aesthetics, it's beautiful.
Cons Nothing so far. Slight image retention at shut down but it doesn't bother me.
Summary I researched for 2 months, reading on line reviews and talking to sales staff in a half dozen stores. In side by side comparisons I could only find 1 TV with a noticeable better picture (slightly) and it was a $5000 LG LED model over 3x what I paid for this 950 plasma. I don't watch much TV; a few ball games, a few news shoes and I rent 1 movie a week and this system fits the bill at a great price point. I really don't even care about the widgets and other services at this point but I may grow into them later so it's good to have some on-line capability.
Pros Picture quality is the best I've seen. Departing with a Panasonic 42" plasma that was nothing but problems and glad to see it go. The LG even picked up 60 more channels in digital cable that the Panny didn't even find. Easy to get around the menus.
Cons Controls are either missing or not user friendly at ALL. For example the go back or prev channel function does NOT exist. It found 60 more DTV signals but you have to select analog channels or digital channels. It doesn't just put them all together.
Summary I would highly recommend this TV to anyone. But if you want to understand the things it does and how it does them, try driving it in a store before you buy it. Still haven't gotten the wireless internet to hook up to my router.
Pros great color range, good black level
Cons reflectivity (similar to all plasmas), not too good on the audio with dialogue - overcome with the AV system.
Summary I am very, very pleased with the TV. It does what I want and looks great doing it. I would highly recommend it. The Expert controls that allow adjustment of almost every aspect of the picture allow a detailed calibration for a great picture.
Pros Excellent picture quality - Cnet was spot-on in review. Very good looking TV even when off.
Cons Purchased November 2010. TV arrived DOA. LG repaired within several days (main circuit board failed). After being on for appoximatley 1 hour the TV now has a very loud buzz. This started around mid-January. Horrible controls and fuctions.
Summary Spend the extra dough and go for the Panasonic. Have 2 other Panny's in other rooms and have had no issues at all.