Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price free/subscription

NEC PlasmaSync 61XR4G 61in plasma TV

If that bloke who made Supersize Me had only made it about TVs instead of McDonald’s meals, he’d surely have ended up a heck of a lot happier – and healthier. For there can be few more rewarding sights in a hardworking technology journalist’s tough life (…) than being faced with a flat TV which, like NEC’s 61XR4G, stretches out across more than 60in of his living room wall. Sweet.

Especially when this behemoth really is surprisingly easy on your eye and room décor. For NEC has boldly gone against the silver fad still dominating the larger echelons of the flat TV world and plumped for a really cool black finish, stylishly offset by a nice metallic trim and reflective strip.

The screen’s stylish design gets you thinking that NEC has definitely made the 61XR4G with home rather than business users in mind. And indeed, the screen resides in the ‘residential’ section of NEC’s website. But a quick check on its connections seems to tell a different story, as we find neither any SCART sockets nor a built in tuner – digital or otherwise. The lack of a tuner means you can’t even call the 61XR4G a TV; it’s merely a screen.



Before we get too downhearted by this, though, we should point out that an external tuner box is available as an option for around £180. And in any case, it’s worth reflecting that arguably a 61in screen might not be the best partner for standard definition pictures anyway. After all, at this sort of size only a screen with extremely talented image processing will be able to show broadcast digital or especially analogue standard definition pictures without revealing every last bit of unpleasantness inherent to the broadcasting signal.

In other words, the 61XR4G likely imagines itself belonging to someone with, say, a Sky HD box, upscaling DVD player and Xbox 360, so that it can be fed only the finest diet of source material. And with an asking price of practically £9k, it’s probably fair to say that anyone buying a 61XR4G will have some if not all of that kit – and quite possibly be installing the screen into a dedicated home cinema/gaming room to boot.

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