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Pioneer Kuro PDP-LX6090 60in Plasma TV - Pioneer Kuro PDP-LX6090
All this and we still haven't mentioned the LX6090's defining feature: its black level response. As we noted in the LX5090 review, Pioneer has almost embarrassed us with its 9th-generation screens by proving that the black levels we thought so amazing on the brand's 8th generation screens actually had plenty of scope for improvement.
And so the LX6090's stunningly black rendition of the almost complete darkness of the opening in-oil-mine shots of There Will Be Blood actually leaves the 8th-gen screens looking rather grey by comparison. From which it follows that the LX6090 leaves most LCD rivals looking practically white by comparison!
It's important to stress, too, that the LX6090's inky blackness is very naturally portrayed, with no blue or green undertones, and plenty of subtle greyscale/shadow detail information to keep dark scenes looking layered and three dimensional.
Trying to find something negative to say about the LX6090, I guess it might scare the Pioneer people if I say that the aforementioned Samsung LED TV does seem to deliver black levels of roughly the same order as the LX6090, together with greater brightness. But before Pioneer gets too scared, the LX6090's black levels retain their integrity better, since they're not affected by the slight blooming effect witnessed around really bright picture elements on the Samsung LED set - especially when watched from any sort of angle.
If you sit too close to the PDP-LX6090, I guess it's also possible to make out some very fine dot crawl noise. But oddly - and thankfully - this disappears pretty much completely if you give yourself a sensible gap between yourself and the screen.
Yes, the appearance of the first of the new LED TV generation means that the LX6090's black levels are no longer as far ahead of the chasing pack as they used to be. And yes, there's no doubt that the £4k-plus price tag looks mighty high in these hard financial times.
But tellingly the LX6090's pictures still hold their own, leaving it as the premier big-screen TV money can currently buy. So if you're somehow feeling flush and just have to have the best no matter what it costs, go get yourself an LX6090 pronto. Just be prepared for when all your hard-up friends suddenly start hating you...