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Pioneer KURO PDP-428XD 42in Plasma TV - Pioneer PDP-428XD

Perhaps the biggest surprise about the 428XD is how sharp and clean its pictures look. This is not a full HD screen - indeed, its 1,024 x 768 native resolution clearly entails some heavy rescaling of an HD source. Yet the processing engine driving the TV is so accomplished that HD pictures actually tend to look cleaner and sharper than with many full HD TVs - especially models that use LCD rather than plasma technology. Standard definition pictures hold up well, too.

Yet more praise deserves to be heaped on the 428XD's motion handling. We're familiar with plasma's naturally faster response time causing less motion blur than LCD screens, but the clarity and smoothness of the 428XD's presentation of moving objects still catches your eye - especially when using the 72Hz mode to show 1080p/24fps, a format that many rival screens struggle with.


Furthermore, there's practically no sign of traditional plasma technology problems. For instance, the common fizzing over motion is almost completely suppressed. And the customary ‘secondary imaging' if you watch from off axis is non-existent thanks to the 428XD's replacement of plasma's traditional thick glass with a narrow single colour filter technology.

With really nothing bad to say about the 428XD's pictures, perhaps we can find fault with the TV's speakers? Um, no, ‘fraid not. In fact the speakers are terrifically powerful by TV standards, pushing out power galore together with near hi-fi levels of clarity and detailing.

Verdict

The very worst thing that can be said about the 428XD is that its overall impact isn't quite as great as that of the 508XD. But we only say this because picture quality this good just looks better the bigger the screen you see it on; there's nothing actually wrong with the 428XD. Far from it. In fact, if a 42in screen size or £1,600 represent your maximum extent of your TV ambition, the 428XD will deliver the goods more successfully than any other flat TV range before.

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