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Pioneer KURO PDP-428XD 42in Plasma TV
More often than not, when you find an electronics brand boasting about one of their products having the ‘world's best this' or the ‘universe's best that', it turns out to be nothing more than meaningless posturing supported by dubious measurements. But with Pioneer's KURO TVs the situation is rather different.
For Pioneer claims that its new plasma TV range produces the best black level response the flat TV world has ever seen not only appear to be true, but they're true by a striking margin.
We know this because we've already tested and been seduced by Pioneer's latest 50in model, the KURO PDP-508XD. But with that model being rather intimidating in terms of both its size and cost (you'll struggle to find it selling for south of £2,300), we thought you'd appreciate it if we ran our eye over the 42in version too, with its more living room-friendly 8in size reduction and bank balance-friendly £500 cheaper price tag.
Aesthetically the 428XD is a ringer for its larger sibling - and that's no bad thing, for the quality of the glossy, minimal black finish is impressively opulent and refined. If you've paid a premium for a TV, you really want it to immediately say ‘expensive' to anyone who clocks it and that's exactly what the 428XD does.
It's also ahead of the vast majority of the current 42in pack when it comes to connections. For starters, there are three HDMIs, all equipped with 1080p/24fps support, and all allowing the TV's remote to operate any source equipment connected to them - provided that source equipment is compatible with the industry's CEC interoperability standard.
Plus there are all the usual bits and bobs associated with a TV digital tuner; a D-Sub PC port; a subwoofer line-out; a digital audio output for passing on digital soundtracks received via the HDMIs; an RS-232 port via which an Imaging Science Foundation engineer could calibrate your TV's pictures to perfectly suit the demands of your room; and a USB 2.0 input for viewing digital stills in glorious high definition via Pioneer's unusually comprehensive Home Gallery software. This is all on top, of course, of basic TV stalwarts like SCARTs, S-Video inputs and the like.
The already premium feel the 428XD has developed so far is merely enhanced by its long and exceptionally comprehensive list of features. We won't bore you with a huge list of absolutely everything the set carries, but there are certainly some highlights that we really can't ignore.