The set exhibited a lot of noise on the noise tests, and the XD Noise control did little to reduce it. On the other hand, noise in near-black areas was much less than many other sets we’ve seen recently.
LG’s lists specs f or the 50PC1DRA with 3:2 pulldown processing only for 480i signals; however, it never seemed to pick up the cadence, even with Cinema 3:2 mode enabled. The same was true for 1080i film-based material. As a result, the set should be used with a good progressive DVD player; as for film-based content at 1080i, there's not much to do about that.
Looking at DVDs, shadow detail was not so great. On Star Trek: Insurrection, some of the detail in the duck-blind observation post was lost. On the plus side, blacks were pretty good, with suitably inky space on Star Trek: Insurrection and The Fifth Element. Also, color rendition was quite good, with natural flesh tones, though greens were a bit hyped.
Detail was good as well; for example, the freckles on young Elizabeth’s face at the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean were clearly discernable. There was a bit of contouring in the blue backlight that begins The Mask of Zorro.
Switching to HD DVD, there was also some contouring in the opening sunrise of Training Day, but the detail in the Los Angeles skyline and the diner was quite good. (If the skyline shot had been panned, there might have been some artifacts with no 3:2 pulldown processing.) The color was good; green foliage looked better than I expected. Much the same was true on U-571, with good detail (beads of sweat, chipped paint) and color (especially flesh tones). The shadow detail in the sub and during the night raid in the rain was not so good, but bright daylight scenes looked great.
Despite the lack of 3:2 pulldown compensation at 1080i, I saw no related artifacts to speak of in the HD DVDs I watched, including Batman Begins, one of the most beautifully detailed titles I’ve seen yet. I paid particular attention in the scene with young Bruce Wayne riding the elevated train with his parents through downtown Gotham, which has lots of moving fine detail in the buildings, and I saw nary a hint of 3:2 artifacts. I suspect scenes in other titles will reveal such artifacts, but I didn't see them.
A TV with a built-in DVR is a wonderful idea. The 50PC1DRA’s DVR works well for the most part, though there are a few things I would definitely change. The detail, black level, and color of this set are generally quite good, but the shadow detail isn’t. Plus, the set exhibits
some contouring despite the XD Engine's 14-bit color processing. Still, you could do a lot worse. If you watch a lot of broadcast TV and appreciate the value of timeshifting, this set could be a good choice. TPV