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LG 50PG60 Plasma TV User Interface

User Interface
The remote and menu system of the 50PG60 are virtually identical to those of the 47LG60 LCD TV. Again for your convenience, I'll repeat my discussion of them here, updating that info with any differences.

The remote is refreshingly simple, with mostly large, well-differentiated buttons. It's universal and can control up to four devices including the TV, though only the device-selection buttons are backlit. As usual for TV remotes, there are no dedicated input-selection buttons. Instead, the Input button calls up a list of active inputs.

Pressing the Menu button displays eight labeled icons that take you to different menus (Picture, Audio, etc.). This is completely unnecessary—each menu includes a list of all the menus along the left side, making them available without that initial screen. I would much prefer it if pressing the Menu button opened the last-selected menu directly. At least each menu conveniently opens with the last-selected parameter highlighted.

There are three preset picture modes, including THX Cinema, which locks all picture controls to their THX-specified values, and two Expert modes that provide access to a bevy of advanced controls, such as grayscale calibration and the color-management system (CMS). Fortunately, the picture settings are associated with the inputs, not the modes, so you can have different settings in a given picture mode for each input, which is as it should be. Even better, if you adjust any of the picture controls in a preset mode (except the THX mode), the word "user" is added to its name, indicating that it's been tweaked—a nice touch.

The menus are well-organized, and selecting any parameter to adjust drops it to the bottom of the screen while the rest of the menu disappears, which is also as it should be. However, I did run into one annoyance—I expected that highlighting a parameter in the Expert Control submenu and pressing the Enter button would drop that parameter to the bottom of the screen, just as it does in the main Picture menu. But this actually backs out of that menu level, causing much gnashing of teeth! Instead, you have to press the right or left cursor button to start tweaking the selected parameter—not particularly intuitive.

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