Take, for instance, the climactic showdown with Voldemort at the end of Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix on HD DVD. The dark backdrop to this scene often looks rather hollow and flat on LCD TVs, but here it’s given a fantastically cinematic sense of depth by the PD470’s ability to show even the subtlest of shadow details or greyscale shifts, even in the darkest corners.
Similarly, the various robots that populate Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith all look remarkably three-dimensional thanks to the sense of solidity created by the PD470’s incredibly fine colour blending. Faces, too, look totally believable and solid rather than slightly waxy as they do on many flat TV rivals.
As you might guess from this knack for the smaller things in life, the PD470 is also extremely adept at producing every tiny drop of texture and resolution from a good HD source. If ever you wanted a screen that can break images down to what almost feels like a molecular level at times, this is it.
The quality of the Genesis processing can also be felt in the remarkable purity of the PD470’s pictures, as the engine suppresses noise inherent in a source while also doing a terrific job of keeping out any side effects that might be caused by its own processing machinations.
What’s more, this outstanding image cleanliness also extends to standard definition sources, which the PD470 converts into HD for display more successfully than any other full HD LCD TV we can think of.
Yet more good news finds colour tones looking entirely, unusually natural; only the smallest sign of LCD’s usual motion smearing problem; and a black level response which, while not quite up to good plasma standards, thrashes the arse off most LCD models – especially when it comes to the amount of shadow detail portrayed. The 5000:1 contrast ratio Planar claims for the screen ultimately looks very conservative.
The only negative thing we can find to say about the PD470’s picture quality is the point we alluded to earlier: that you need to be very careful indeed with the picture’s set up in order to get the wondrous results we’ve been describing. Get things even slightly wrong, and image quality can go to hell in a handbasket with alarming speed.
We guess we could also moan that the PD470’s onscreen menus are too small to be comfortably read. But as you can see, we’re really starting to struggle here…
Given how far many brands have come with their LCD TVs in the course of 2007, we genuinely had our doubts as we approached the Planar PD470 that there was still room for a self-styled premium TV. But the PD470’s picture quality justifies its high price quite superbly.