With a slim screen that seems moulded from a single pane of glass, the 32PG6000 is something of a design coup for LG. But there’s something else up its sleeve that makes this flat telly truly unique: it’s a plasma. All other 32-inch TVs are LCDs.



Until now plasma has been used in 42-inch-and-above screens only. Plasma tech was also slower in implementing Full HD resolution, and the trend towards slimmer TVs has also posed problems for plasma. And while the 32PG6000 has a simple HD-ready resolution rather than Full HD, LG has managed to slim it down to a mere 81mm depth.

Although it’s not Full HD, high definition is treated well by the 32PG6000. Its 1024 x 720 pixel screen makes it ideal for 720p high-def footage. Chuck in a Blu-ray disc and the results are initially awesome. If you’ve become accustomed to watching a LCD TV screen you’ll love the deep blacks, which make watching movies in a blackout a real treat. Combined with terrific colours, the 32PG6000 certainly creates pictures with more depth than a LCD TV. While not Full HD, there’s also plenty of detail in the image: close-ups are as impressive as landscape shots.

Where the 32PG6000 does fall down is with jagged edges. While there’s no blur from camera pans or fast-moving sequences (a problem LCD TVs still struggle with), diagonal objects sometimes have poorly defined edges. This becomes especially noticeable during gloomy scenes, where any brightly lit areas of the picture have a "stepped" look to them. We also noticed a lip-sync issue with one of the HDMI inputs (but only one).

Despite these minor problems, tinker with the picture settings and it’s possible to create a movie experience more convincing than on equally-priced LCD TVs. The TruSurround XT sound option doesn’t serve-up anything approaching surround sound, but it does help create a movie-feel.

And yes, there is a small issue with "screenburn". It’s not a huge problem, but if you leave a static image on the screen for more than a few minutes (such as a channel logo), it does stay on the panel for a few minutes. That’s likely to put-off gamers – and rightly so – but anyone with a Xbox 360 or PS3 should really be looking at Full HD resolution LCD screens anyway, and probably bigger sets than this one, too.

But there is so much to like about the 32PG6000. It’s far friendlier to Freeview and DVD than 32-inch LCD TVs. In this it’s partly helped by its less-than-Full HD resolution, which doesn’t expose the low bit rate broadcasts quite as much. It also effectively suppresses the picture noise inherent in digital TV signals with the result being a much smoother and more watchable picture than on an LCD TV. DVD gets a similar treatment, though the 32PG6000’s small problem with jagged edges then becomes apparent.

The 32PG6000’s versatility is pushed further by its plethora of ins and outs. Its four HDMI inputs – including one on the side panel – should take care of anything you throw at it.

Verdict

Stylish, affordable and versatile, LG’s 32-inch plasma is an absolute bargain. It does have its weaknesses and we wouldn’t recommend it to gamers, but as a main TV for the lounge it’s one of the best value and most versatile sets around. As well as allowing high-definition material to impress in terms of detail, this plasma suppresses the video nasties that plague Freeview and DVD on LCD TVs.