LG 42PG25 Review


Description: 42" Plasma Television (720P 1024 X768 Resolution)


This is a second tier model in LGs 2008/2009 lineup for plasma TVs. So the TV has some budget conscious constraints as our review below will point out. All 2008 LG plasma TVs claim a dynamic contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 and this series plasma has a native contrast of 20,000:1. The plasma has the new Fluid Motion technology which LG claims gives the effect of a 180hz refresh rate. It also contains some of the other common enhancements found in all of LG's new plasma lineup such as Clear Voice technology which enhances and amplifies the human voice element in programming with lots of background noise or music. There are 3 AV modes for preset picture viewing – sports, games, and cinema and the housing for the plasma contains the new invisible 10W X 10W speaker design with SRS Tru Surround technology. Resolution is 1024 X 768 (720p). The depth of these newer models has been reduced to 3.4". There are 3 HDMI input options on this plasma television.


Test and Optimum Viewing Distance: 10 feet

Up conversion from 480i and 480p: Using our trusty 1998 DVD release of Risky Business in 480i we noted a good bit of grain and background noise in the picture as the TV's budget oriented chip sets struggled to smoothly transition poor 480i source material to the 1024 X 768 native resolution of the panel. This is typical for a budget plasma or LCD and one reason the higher end units demand a higher price tag. Red tones are slightly juiced in this movie when displayed correctly and I thought the 42PG25 displayed them vibrantly but not over hyped. The following scene with Tom Cruise and pal was a little fuzzy and we recommend a 10 foot viewing distance with lower end signals.

LG 42PG25 Review
There is a nice film delivery quality to this plasma TV's picture.

720p/1080i/1080p Picture Quality: The 42PG25 is a 1024 X 768 plasma TV and therefore shows best in 1080i resolution. The HD picture during Master and Commander and The Fifth Element was certainly acceptable but not at all stunning. I have see better definition and color rendition and there is a subtle lack of pop to color information. However, this is a budget plasma TV and therefore is not expected to contain premium processing. I do like the fact that the plasma does not compromise color information by overcompensating in bright areas as many TVs these days make the mistake of doing. I would rather the picture be accurate and understated than have sections of oversaturated images.

LG 42PG25 Review
Dark shadow detail was good and natural tones accurate in this scene from The Fifth Element

HQV Processor Testing: The LG 42PG25 performed very well during our Video Resolution Loss Testing showing no dithering in vertical or horizontal bars. There were just slight jaggies noted near the horizontal axis in the Jaggies test. Testing showed that 1080i is certainly the best resolution for this television as it is with most. Surprisingly there was some jerkiness (similar to motion lag) in our Film Resolution Loss Stadium seating test when the scene pans slowly side to side. This is unusual for a plasma TV. There was little to no moire' pattern noted in the seating.

Black Level: The LG 42PG25 has good black levels but nothing exceptional. Deep black levels are essential in creating a 3 dimensional picture effect.

Dark Shadow Detail: Black information did not oversaturate darker scenes yielding good shadow detail in clothing and night scenes. The Gamma setting is useful in this regard and can be adjusted depending on room light conditions.

Color Rendition/Color Accuracy: Color information was somewhat more subtle and muted in HD content than expected. With 480i signals I thought this plasma performed admirably enough with regard to color. It was pretty good especially in a darker room environment.

LG 42PG25 Review
Color rendition was good enough to easily detect the lipstick in this scene from The Fifth Element

Viewing Angle/Off Axis Viewing: As with most plasma TVs the viewing angle for the 42PG25 was exceptional – about 160 degrees.

Motion Lag: Surprisingly there was some jerkiness in our side to side panning Film Resolution Loss Test (stadium). However, we did not notice or detect it during film content.


Video Aspect Ratio Sizing: Aspect ratio processing and sizing was spot on non-distorted from a variety of input sources. Selection is auto, 16:9, 4:3, Zoom 1, 2. Zoom 1 and 2 are actually justified sizing options for a variety of widescreen signals as opposed to just zoom options. We found them useful and effective.

Inputs: 3 HDMI inputs, 2 component, one 15 pin D sub (for computer) and a USB port round out a generous supply of input compatibility.

Aesthetic Considerations: This is a very nice looking plasma TV with a relatively thin frame and one consistent sheet of glass over frame and screen – giving a nice tidy uniform appearance. Speakers are hidden and we measure the plasma at just over 3" which makes this an ideal wall mount TV. The subtly attractive ON/Off button is lit in blue in the bottom right section of the frame. A good looking accompanying swivel table stand completes a well done job on design.

LG 42PG25 Review

Remote Control/Menu Functionality: The LG 42PG25 menu functionality has the same options as much higher end LG LCD and plasma and for that reason is a good value. It's one of the easiest menu systems to navigate and use on the market. The non-backlit remote control is fairly complete with the exception of a lacking aspect ratio button on the interface. Otherwise, it too is easy to use. As mentioned above there is a 10 point multi adjustment for White Balance.

LG 42PG25 Review

Audio Output: The LG 42PG25 contains dual 10W speakers which are housed in the bottom section of the plasma with sound emanating from the bottom of the plasma. At first we thought the sound was pretty poor overall during film DVD content. However, turning on the SRS Tru Surround function enriched the sound somewhat. But the most important feature regarding sound is LG's Clear Voice Technology which allows voice frequency material to increase in volume over surround noise. It's an effective feature that works and the user will want to activate it through the easy to use menu.

Features: This plasma contains all of the features found in the PG20 series plasma. However, there is an additional USB 2.0 input port. As on all of the new LG plasma TVs lifespan to average half life has been increased to 100,000 hrs. The PG25 plasma series also begins design upgrades to a single layer front glass panel with no bezel creases for a crisper appeal. The number of HDMI inputs is also increased to 4 on this plasma (three in the back and one on the side.) Highlight features are Gamma setting adjustment, and Clear Voice technology.


Televisions in the higher end range are getting so good that budget conscious models sometimes fail to dazzle even though they do a fine job as a journeyman. The LG 42PG25 has very nice aesthetics with the streamlined no bezel edge one sheet of glass over the entire frame and screen. The frame is thin and attractive and at just over 3" in depth this is an ideal secondary TV to wall mount in a bed room. At between $900 and $999 the LG 42PG25 does offer very good value when compared to LCD TVs of this size range from Samsung, LG and Sony. There is only a handful of competitors in 42" plasma televisions right now including Samsung, Vizio and Panasonic and the 42PG25 is priced at a very attractive price less than the Panasonic and Samsung and with better styling.

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Rating scale from 70 (denoting poorest quality) to 100 (signifying the very best quality). A rating in the 60s for any particular category of a product review indicates a serious defect which causes the product not to operate properly. Picture quality is double-weighted in the Overall Rating Score calculation.

Review Equipment Used: Sony Blu Ray BDP-S1 High Definition DVD player, Sony DVP-S50 DVD player, Sencore Color Pro 5000, Sencore Auto Cal Pro, Sencore signal generator, Sencore VP403.

This review format and all of the headings, sub headings and paragraph titles are part of a copyrighted process. Any unauthorized reproduction or use, either in full or in part, of this product review format is expressly prohibited.


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