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Pioneer KURO PDP-LX608D 60in Plasma TV - Pioneer KURO PDP-LX608D
To be fair to Pioneer's HD Ready KUROs, the LX608D's full HD benefits of less noise, greater detailing and smoother colour transitions are all pretty subtle improvements exaggerated by the screen's enormity. But subtle or not, they're certainly there. And we're pretty sure that the sort of person with £5k to burn on a TV will want only the absolute best, no matter what the cost.
And believe us: the LX608D really is the very best. For the terrific qualities described so far courtesy of its full HD resolution are actually just part of what makes the LX608D so special. For thankfully it transpires that the shift up the resolution gears has not compromised the KURO black level response seemingly at all.
This is to say that dark Pirates scenes, like the Black Pearl's night-time assault on the fort, enjoy black levels which are quite simply the finest we've yet seen on a flat TV. They seemingly effortlessly avoid all traces of the customary flat TV greyness while also retaining phenomenal amounts of shadow detail and portraying even the most delicate of dark colour tone shifts. Or, to put it in layman's terms, watching the LX608D delivers the closest experience to going to the cinema that any TV has managed to date.
Good black levels usually go hand in hand with impressive colours. So it follows that the best black level around should go with some of the best colours around. And indeed, the dynamism, range, and naturalism of the colours portrayed by the LX608D really do beggar belief at times.
The single best example of what we're getting at here can be seen in the reds of the soldier's coats in our Pirates test disc. On most plasma TVs they tend to look slightly orange. But on the LX608D they look totally, emphatically, eye-seducingly red from start to finish.
Yet more good news concerns the LX608D's motion handling, especially if you give it a 1080p/24fps feed and make sure it's running in its 72Hz mode. With this configuration motion is really quite sensationally fluid, clean and crisp. But even using a lower-quality source objects pass across the screen without any of the judder or resolution loss that afflicts so many flat rivals.
With the sound quality from the LX608D's optional speakers proving pretty much as stunning as its pictures, you might be thinking that we're looking at the ‘Perfect TV' in the LX608D. And you know, it very nearly is. But not quite.
For it seemed to our eyes that the LX608D's pictures aren't quite as bright and vivacious as those of the smaller, HD Ready KUROs, meaning you need to at least slightly darken your room if possible to fully appreciate the quality on offer.
Also, standard definition pictures don't look quite as enjoyable as they do on other KURO models. But then arguably this is inevitable on a screen as unforgivingly massive as 60in.
For pity's sake, though let's not end on a negative vibe. For that would be to do both the LX608D and you, the buying public, a grave disservice. After all, while it may not quite achieve perfection, for our money the LX608D gets closer to it than any TV we've seen before.