Having successfully launched the Chocolate mobile phone last summer, LG has decided to expand its luxury range to include other sorts of consumer electronics kit. The first to arrive in the UK is this mammoth plasma television, which has a 60-inch screen and a 'Full HD' 1080p native resolution.
Delivered by the likes of the PlayStation 3 and Blu-ray and HD DVD players, 1080p is the best form of high-definition video currently available, and the 60PF95 is essentially aimed at serious home- entertainment junkies. The £3,500 price tag will probably put off anyone not serious about their AV setup anyway -- and then there's the sheer size and weight of the thing to consider...
The Chocolate phone's piano-black finish and glowing touch-sensitive controls have been transplanted to the 60PF95, although they aren't quite as much of a standout here: almost all flat TVs are shiny and black, and being honest, how often do we use the controls on the front of a TV anyway? The remote control will be the object of the majority of your button-bashing and, sadly, it doesn't have any red touch-sensitive controls.
One nice touch is the addition of an LED panel just below the screen, which gives you information on which channel you're watching or which external input you've selected.
Calling the 60PF95 'attractive' or 'stylish' doesn't really seem appropriate -- given the immense dimensions of the thing, 'awesome' is a more fitting term. Unless you're planning on setting it up in a huge open space, be prepared to have it completely dominate any room you put it in. It also weighs over 80kg with the desktop stand, which makes moving it about extremely tricky (in a hernia-inducing, back-breaking way).
Once you've hauled it into position, you'll find plenty of connections for hooking up your AV kit. There are two HDMI ports and a single component video input for connecting high-definition gear, plus a VGA input for your PC (or possibly Xbox 360). You also get a couple of Scart sockets, and a side panel has S-Video and composite video inputs. Audio-wise, there's a digital optical output.
While it's becoming quite common on larger LCD televisions, 1080p compatibility is still something of a rarity on a plasma TV, so it's certainly a stand-out feature here. The screen can accept a 1080p signal via its HDMI ports (at 60, 50 and 24Hz) and its component video input (at 60Hz only), and will also take a 1,920x1,080-pixel signal through the VGA socket, so you can theoretically connect four 1080p devices simultaneously. It will also do 1:1 pixel mapping if you're using the HDMI or VGA connections, so if you're watching 1080i or 1080p material, every pixel from the source will correspond to a pixel on the screen, with no overscan.
The HDMI ports' ability to accept 1080p at 24Hz should also be highlighted, as it means it can display the much-vaunted '24p' video delivered by some HD DVD and Blu-ray players. This means your hi-def movie runs at the exact 24 frames per second speed it was originally filmed in, which brings your home-cinema experience one step closer to, well, a real cinema experience. Usually, movies are slightly sped up to 25 frames per second in order to run on a PAL TV, so 24p is the best way of retaining the original, native speed.
Setting up the TV is very simple. The menu system is well laid out, and tuning in the digital and analogue channels is a doddle. You can also tweak tonnes of picture and sound settings, so you should have few problems getting the kind of performance you want. Another option is to let the TV adjust the picture automatically for you, which it does with the help of a built-in light meter.