Awards

  • Recommended by TR

Summary

Our Score

9/10

Review Price free/subscription

Planar PD420 42in LCD - Planar PD420

The PD420's subtlety can also be seen in its colour reproduction; first in the almost infinite smoothness of colour blends (for instance, the actors' skin is reproduced with no sense of colour banding), and second in the remarkably expressive range of tones at its disposal. There's none of the slightly cartoonish look many LCD TVs exhibit as a result of their relatively limited colour range.

Yet more evidence of the PD420's love of the smaller things in life can be seen in dark parts of the picture, as the screen resolves far more shadow detail than usual. This helps give dark scenes a really impressive sense of depth, enhancing still further the growing sense that you're less watching a screen and more looking through a window at a world outside.
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The final element in building this intensely direct relationship with what you're watching comes from the screen's immaculate noise handling. The various Faroudja systems in place remove, so far as my eyes can tell, all traces of such common problems as grain, dot crawl, edge shimmer, ghosting, and moiré over areas of particularly fine detail. There's not even much of LCD's nigh-on universal motion blur to report, for heaven's sake.

In order to be absolutely perfect, though, the PD420 would have to deliver slightly deeper black levels than it does. For while it resolves shadow details extremely well, there is a slight grey pall over dark scenes that you don't get with, say, the very best plasma TVs around (though these plasmas fall short of the PD420 in one or two other areas).

I must warn you, too, that in order to get the sort of superb results I've been describing, you really do need to be exceptionally careful with the PD420's picture settings. But before you get too scared by this, don't forget that if you buy a PD420, it will very likely be professionally installed for you anyway.

Verdict

If anyone out there doubts that there's still a place in today's price-driven world for a true premium product, we suggest you book yourself an audience with a PD420 and prepare to have your mind well and truly changed. And your wallet emptied…

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