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Having a big screen is clearly a key part of making yourself a serious ‘home cinema’ system. After all, we doubt you’d be so keen to spend over a fiver down at your local Odeon if all you got to watch was a tiny picture no bigger than a normal telly. So it’s fair to say that the home cinema credentials of Fujitsu’s P63XHA51ES plasma screen are beyond refute. Why? Because, as its name suggests, it measures in at a really quite breathtaking 63in across.
What’s more, while it’s hardly a mainstream proposition, at £7,500 or so it’s actually reasonably priced for one of the flat TV world’s biggest commercially available screens. Still, mere size and affordability mean nothing if the P63XHA51ES doesn’t have the quality to go with it.
It’s fair to say that Fujitsu isn’t renowned for being particularly domesticated with its approach to plasma screens, often seeming more interested in the business displays market than the home one. But hopes are raised that this may not hold true for the P63XHA51ES by its wearing of a really quite living room friendly design that goes out of its way to make the screen subtle and unobtrusive. Well, as subtle and unobtrusive as a 63in screen is ever going to get, anyway!
Connectivity, though, brings us back down to earth with a thud. Problem one is the absence of any sort of tuner input, revealing that the P63XHA51ES is only a screen, not a fully fledged, tuner-bearing TV. Still, it’s pretty likely that anyone considering coughing up £7.5k on a screen for their home will be intending to attach it to a Sky HD or cable HD service, making the lack of a built-in digital tuner almost irrelevant.
However, this fact merely amplifies problem two: the provision of only a single HDMI socket. This is frankly ludicrously stingy for a screen with so much other home cinema potential, and with Blu-ray, Sky HD, the Sony PS3 and HD DVD all now already out and about or due soon in the UK, it will almost certainly require its likely target audience to stump up for an HDMI switchbox – something that could cost an extra £300 upwards. Madness.
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