While we wait breathlessly for the hugely impressive-looking 8th generation of Pioneer’s plasma TVs to arrive in the summer, the brand has a rather tantalising ‘little’ something up its sleeve to wave off generation seven: the 60in PDP-607XD.
And yes, we really did say 60in. For Pioneer has finally answered our prayers and blasted through its self-imposed 50in barrier for the first time on a domestic plasma TV. Seriously, if this monster can retain the same sort of image quality found on Pioneer’s smaller screens, we’re going to be very happy – if rather bankrupt – bunnies indeed.
First impressions bode well, as we find the 607XD sporting the same glamorous, high gloss, ultra-minimalist finish as the smaller sets in the 07 range. If you thought 60in of telly parked in the corner of your room – or on a wall – had to look ugly, think again.
You should note, though, that the 607XD doesn’t ship with speakers included; Pioneer clearly anticipates that anyone buying a screen of such magnitude and cost will be running it alongside a separate home cinema audio system. But if you do want a pair of speakers designed to accompany the TV, Pioneer does sell them for around £250. For the sake of completeness, we made sure the model we tested came with these speakers included.
Connectivity is very good. Two HDMIs and a set of component video jacks satisfy our high definition needs, and these are accompanied by a dedicated D-Sub PC port, a digital tuner input, the usual Scarts/S-Video/composite video options, and a couple more esoteric offerings in the form of a subwoofer line out for adding your own powered bass speaker, plus a digital audio output for squirting out multi-channel soundtracks received via the HDMIs.
And then there’s the RS232 control port. Often we don’t bother mentioning these as they’re seldom of much interest to anyone other than a custom installer. But in the 607XD’s case the RS232 can also be used by an engineer from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) to precisely calibrate the TV’s settings to best suit your room characteristics. Cool, eh?