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A few minutes spent surveying all the 607XD specifications is enough to assure us that thankfully the new, larger screen size hasn’t prevented Pioneer from deploying all the tried and tested software and design elements that have helped make its smaller plasmas so special. For instance, you still get the Deep Waffle Rib structure around the plasma pixels to reduce cross-pixel light and colour contamination. Then there’s Pioneer’s proprietary Crystal Emissive Layer, which radically improves the stability of light discharge from the plasma pixels to deliver, says Pioneer, purer colours, better black levels and enhanced sharpness.
Pioneer’s Direct Colour Filter 2, meanwhile, replaces the traditional heavy glass layer in a plasma screen with a much thinner, lighter filter arrangement that does away with the secondary offset image you can sometimes see while watching normal plasma glass from an angle.
On the image processing front, you’ll find Pioneer’s widely acclaimed PURE Drive 2 HD engine, together with an I-Clear Drive system focussed on improving the TV’s range of gradation levels.
As well as all these extensive ‘backroom’ shenanigans, the 607XD sports tweaks galore in its tidy onscreen menus. Highlights include an MPEG noise reduction circuit for tidying up digital broadcasts, extensive colour management, the facility to switch the image between 75 and 100Hz processing, and colour transient improvement.
One final plus of the 607XD well worth mentioning is the compatibility of its HDMIs with the 1080/24p format now becoming interesting since its arrival on high-end Blu-ray and HD DVD players. This format is supposed to deliver the purest image possible from the source discs, yet it’s still only supported by a handful of other screens.
Please note, however, that rather strangely the 607XD’s HDMIs don’t support the more common 1080p/50/60Hz formats.
One other slight disappointment is the fact that the screen’s resolution is a 1365x768 affair rather than the full HD we might have hoped for at such a screen size. There again, had Pioneer put a full HD, 1,920 x 1,080 pixel count into the 607XD, you can rest assured that you wouldn’t be looking at a price under £5k…