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Pioneer Kuro PDP-LX6090 60in Plasma TV - Pioneer Kuro PDP-LX6090
The new developments join, of course, all the usual KURO technical stalwarts, such as the unique and crucial Crystal Emissive Layer that enhances the luminance efficiency and stability of the plasma discharge cycle, and the Deep Waffle Rib structure around the plasma cells that slashes interpixel light and colour bleed.
Other examples of the profound seriousness with which the LX6090 approaches its picture duties are a dedicated 72Hz mode for superior handling of 24p sources; outstandingly extensive noise reduction options; and terrific colour manipulation flexibility that make it no surprise whatsoever that the LX6090 can be professionally calibrated by an Imaging Science Foundation engineer.
Actually, the LX6090 seems so focussed on its picture quality that it's arguably taken its eye off the ball a little when it comes to usability. For although the onscreen menus are attractive enough, some features are a little tough to track down in a hurry, and some aspects of initial set up - especially the need to manually activate the HDMI sockets - are far from helpful.
Irritations with the LX6090's handling are soon forgotten, though, as soon as you clap your eyes on the TV's truly stunning pictures. Not only are they a chip off the old KURO block, but the 60in screen size actually makes them appear even better than those of the 50in model.
Certainly at 60in you become more aware of just how sharp and detailed the latest KUROs can go with HD sources. The screen's Full HD resolution and Pioneer's terrifically clean image processing combine to stunning effect with favourite Blu-ray sequences such as Bond's pursuit of Vesper down the streets of Venice during Casino Royale.
Also key to the clarity of the LX6090's HD pictures is their freedom from the sort of motion blur that troubles most LCD screens. Not to mention the way its specialist 24p processing delivers Blu-ray's with mesmerising fluidity.
The next thing to catch my eye is how bright and colour-rich the LX6090's pictures are. It's customary for big plasma screens to lack luminance versus the best LCD or smaller plasma models. But while, admittedly, Samsung's LED-based LE55A956 (tested earlier this week) looks markedly brighter, the LX6090 actually looks really vivid for such a large plasma screen.
Colours look superbly expressive too. By which I mean they enjoy a truly expansive tonal range, and benefit again from Pioneer's image processing in the way that subtle colour blends and shifts are portrayed with terrific accuracy. Skin tones in particular benefit from all the subtlety on offer, looking free of the striping or plastickiness still common on flat TVs.