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Pioneer KURO PDP-LX608D 60in Plasma TV - Pioneer KURO PDP-LX608D
We really must remind you, too, of the LX608D's ‘KURO' talents, whereby it employs a plethora of new technologies to produce a black level response hitherto unrivalled in the flat TV world.
Since this isn't the first KURO set we've covered, we won't go into great detail on how KURO's black level majesty is achieved. But briefly, it consists of five key elements.
First, there's a new pixel structure that reduces colour and light bleed. Second, there's a new Crystal Emissive Layer that enhances the screen's brightness, contrast and response times. Third, a proprietary colour filter soaks up ambient reflections. Fourth, image processing is employed that works completely differently for dark footage than for bright. And finally plasma cells are built using a so-called ‘Deep Waffle Rib' structure, with unusually high dividing walls, so that light and colour can't seep between them.
Catching our eye in the neatly presented onscreen menus, meanwhile, are a selection of four different types of noise reduction system, picture in picture options, and an ambient light sensor that can automatically optimise picture settings according to the amount of light in your room.
Given the world-beating performance witnessed with Pioneer's HD Ready KURO screens, two questions need to be asked of this first full HD model: has the introduction of extra pixels forced any compromises to the KURO system; and can it really produce a performance level even higher than that of its lower-resolution siblings?
Happily, the simple answers to these two basic questions are: no, and yes. But we guess you'll probably be wanting a bit more in-depth explanation than that, right? Honestly, you people are so hard to please, sometimes.
Given that it's what sets the LX608D apart from other KURO models we've already seen, let's start with an assessment of what the full HD resolution brings to the party.
Fed a particularly highly detailed 1080p source like the only good Pirates of the Caribbean film (that'll be the first one, in case you somehow weren't sure), the LX608D serves up a positive feast of fine detail and total HD precision merely amplified a) by the fact that there's remarkably little video noise if you use the provided ‘pixel by pixel' aspect ratio setting, and b) by the screen's sheer size.
Seriously, if you haven't seen 1080-line HD running on a high-quality, full-HD 60in (or more!) screen, you arguably haven't really seen it at all. Jawdropping.
There's another obvious benefit of the full HD pixel count too: smoother, more believable colour blends. This is particularly obvious in skin tones, as the increased density of the pixels in the full HD screen means you get none of the faint colour banding problems often seen with large HD Ready screens. A knock on effect of this improved colour blending is that pictures tend to look more three-dimensional and solid