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Pioneer Kuro PDP-LX5090 50in Plasma TV - Pioneer Kuro PDP-LX5090
The LX5090's colours, in particular, are simply in a different league to those of any other flat TV I can think of, delivering the sort of radiant intensity usually only found with LCD technology along with the sort of wide, natural colour palettes usually associated with plasma technology.
Add to this ‘best of both worlds' scenario immaculately subtle colour blends thanks to a combination of the screen's Full HD pixel count and Pioneer's really outstanding image processing, and you really are fully ensconced in AV heaven.
And that's without even touching on the LX5090's phenomenal knack with fine detail. Fed the impressively detailed Blu-ray transfer of truly terrible Blu-ray movie 10,000 B.C., the Pioneer effortlessly portrays every CGI hair on the sabre-tooth tiger's body, every grain of sand in the desolate landscapes, every pore on the faces of the Neanderthal-but-English-speaking actors… honestly, the detail levels are so extreme, pure and noiseless that they're almost enough to make you forget about 10,000 B.C.'s awful acting, story and staging. And if there's any greater compliment you can pay a TV than that, I can't think of it!
If you need yet more justification for splurging well over two grand on an LX5090, then consider also the picture's unprecedented dynamism, which finds some of the purest, richest whites we've seen resting right alongside the deepest, most natural and most profound blacks in town.
Then there's the remarkable astuteness of Pioneer's various ‘automatic' picture adjustment systems - very handy if you're too scared to tinker with all the picture options yourself. Or how about the gorgeous clarity and smoothness of its motion handling? And the outstanding effectiveness of the LX5090's various noise reduction systems, which are among the best I've ever seen at tackling noise without introducing nasty side effects?
Obviously you have to treat some of the Pioneer's image settings with care at times; for instance, I personally would advise you to deactivate all the noise reduction systems completely while viewing a good quality HD source. And I'd also advise you to keep adjusting the PureCinema mode according to what you're watching, rather than merely leaving it permanently on, say, Advanced (which I found to be the best mode to use with Blu-rays).
But with just a few simple precautions you'll be free to enjoy the absolute maximum benefit from a TV that outshines all of its rivals today by so great a margin that its initially steep-looking £2,350 or so asking price is suddenly turning into an absolute bargain.
Try as I might, nothing I can write in this review can do full justice to the truly extraordinary picture quality of the LX5090. You have to see it to fully believe it. So if I were you I'd start begging, borrowing or saving the necessary cash so that you can get one at home and start ‘seeing' it for yourself as soon as humanly possible.