Getting the 507XD set up is pretty much as simple or complex as you want it to be. Technophobes can just select an appropriate video preset and that’s it. But for the more adventurous of you a lengthy set of onscreen menu options gives you control of almost every element of the set’s pictures. And if you really want to push the boat out, the screen even carries the facility to have its images calibrated to perfectly suit your viewing environment by a professional Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) representative.
The home for all this high-falutin’ stuff is a deeply attractive one. Its use of a gloss black bezel is hardly original, perhaps, but the approach is so minimal and the build quality so impressive that it really stands out from the crowd.
Connectivity is extremely impressive, too, including as it does twin HDMIs, component video jacks, a D-Sub PC port, a subwoofer line out, three Scarts, and two jacks there to support a built-in digital (Freeview) tuner: a Common Interface slot for adding subscription TV cards, and a digital audio output for piping potential Freeview Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks to an AV receiver.
The only slight disappointment at this stage is the inability of the HDMIs to accept 1080p signals at 50 or 60Hz. This means they won’t take pictures from a 1080p upscaling DVD player. However, unlike most rival TVs, the 507XD’s HDMIs take 1080p/24 – the purest form of 1080p output delivered from one or two upcoming high-end Blu-ray players. Including Pioneer’s, of course!
We had our doubts as we started testing the 507XD about whether Pioneer’s 7th generation of plasma TVs could really improve over the might of gen six. But the 507XD is clearly better than anything Pioneer has done before.