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Another key strength of the picture is a far more expansive colour palette than we're used to seeing with plasma technology. The impact of this can be seen in the generally natural skin tones on show, and in the way that rich reds, such as those employed in the Sky News logo, actually look red rather than orange as happens on most plasma rivals.
The coup de grâce, though, comes from the LX508D's motion handling. There's nary a trace of the dotting noise that still troubles many plasma TVs. But even more tellingly there's no sign whatsoever of that damn motion blur problem found on practically all LCD TVs. Which makes it the connoisseur's choice for sport and action movies alike.
With Pioneer's outstanding and remarkably consistent image processing even ensuring that standard definition broadcasts received via the TV's digital tuner survive the journey to 50in of full HD resolution, I really am struggling to find anything bad to say about the LX508D's performance at all.
Just occasionally there's a tiny bit of noise in really dark areas, I guess, and even more rarely the processing seems to cause a fraction of a second of twitching around moving objects.
But these ‘troubles' really are hardly worth mentioning in the context of the genuine picture greatness on show elsewhere.
At this point we'd normally get into how the TV's audio shaped up, but as we weren't supplied with any of Pioneer's optional speakers for the TV, we'll head straight to the Verdict. Though based on experience of past Pioneer speakers, if you did indulge in the ones made for this screen, you're unlikely to be disappointed by how well they perform…
There's no getting round the fact that the PDP-LX508D is seriously expensive by today's 50in TV standards. The single biggest issue I have with the screen is the fact that, awesome though it is, I'm not sure many people will easily be able to justify spending almost twice as much money on the full HD LX508D as they would on Pioneer's HD Ready 508XD for what is essentially an incremental rather than radical improvement in picture quality. Still, if your ship's recently come in and you simply have to have the very best 50in TV in town right now no matter what the cost, the LX508D is most definitely it.