LG DU-60PY10 60-inch Plasma HDTV Page 3

Specifically, after I adjusted the set's brightness - making it as dark as possible without losing shadow detail, which turned out to be very dark for a plasma - I could see a faint veil of snowy interference, especially in black and near-black areas of the image. When I watched the same scenes using the Bravo's DVI output, the noise was less apparent, though still noticeable. According to LG, this TV is tuned to reveal every bit of the source material, and unfortunately that includes video noise. The noise was less obvious from farther away and with the lights turned on, and it was much lower with HDTV programs.

Colors looked good, especially in brightly lit scenes, like at the beginning of Chapter 13 when Van Helsing's assistant, Carl, is awakened by a shaft of morning sunlight. His skin was just golden enough to seem sunlit, and the red of his sleeping companion's curly hair was vibrant and lifelike.

PLUS Attractive, all-in-one design. TV Guide On Screen EPG. Accurate color.

MINUS Expensive. Noisy picture.

The big screen also brought out lots of detail. As Van Helsing traveled by coach through Transylvania , I could see the bolts, screws, and metal bits on Frankenstein's head. Other monsters looked less realistic - the computer-generated nature of the vampire offspring was obvious, especially when they exploded in slimy bursts.

Next I turned to HDTV, catching a little of the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men via the LG's off-air digital tuner. I noticed minor video noise again in places like the background woodgrain in the restaurant and Charlie Sheen's dark suit. Picture detail was excellent, however - much sharper than DVD. I could easily read the label on the bag of cookies his brother Allen was eating (Pepperidge Farm Milanos). Colors looked even more potent than on the DVD, and I noticed the subtle variations in the face of Charlie's on-the-make neighbor, Rose.

Finally I tried the highest-quality source I had on hand, the 1080i D-VHS version of Digital Video Essentials, delivered over the FireWire connection. The restaurant sequence looked absolutely superb, with stunning detail, vivid color, and quite a bit less video noise.

BOTTOM LINE Unfortunately, no picture - or source - is perfect. LG's DU-60PY10 is undoubtedly an advanced piece of engineering, and if you hanker for a huge flat-panel TV with integrated cable and over-the-air tuners, there aren't too many other choices.

In the Lab

Color temperature (Low and Movie mode before/Custom after calibration) Low window (20-IRE) .............. 5,320/6,551 K High window (80-IRE) ............. 6,617/6,465 K Brightness (100-IRE window before/after calibration) 49.1/41.6 ftL

The DU-60PY10's Movie mode, which automatically engages the Low color-temperature preset, was closest to the standard of 6,500 K, but was still quite red in the middle and lower part of the grayscale and blue toward the top. After calibration it was much more consistent. Peak brightness before calibration was quite good. (Calibration needs to be performed by a qualified technician, so discuss it with your dealer, or call the Imaging Science Foundation at 561-997-9073.)

DC restoration was below average for a plasma panel - the level of black changed noticeably with varying brightness in other areas of the screen. The set was able to display the full range from above-white to below-black via all inputs. Overscan was 4%, which is slightly below average. With sharpness adjusted properly, there was no sign of edge enhancement. The color-decoder check from the Avia DVD revealed that the set deaccentuated green significantly (-25%) but decoded red perfectly (0% error). I counted 20 dead pixels, but that's probably because the TV was a preproduction sample. According to multiburst patterns, the set couldn't resolve every line of a 720p signal, although HDMI was clearer than component video.

- D.K.