Pioneer PDP-428XD: The blackest plasma of them all

Pioneer's Kuro TVs lay the rather rash claim to some of the deepest blacks of any flat screen -- perfect for movie lovers

If you're an exacting, perfectionist movie fan, you may well be disillusioned with the black levels of flat-panel TVs. Here to re-illusion you is the PDP-428XD, one of Pioneer's 'Kuro' televisions. If your Japanese is a little rusty, you may not know that kuro is the Japanese word for black. Clearly, Pioneer believes this is one ninja TV.

The company claims that Kuro TVs can achieve blacks 80 per cent deeper than any other flat panel on the market. They also boast some impressive performance figures, including a contrast ratio of 16,000:1 and 24p support. Although this TV doesn't have a 1080p panel, it has no problem dealing with full HD signals and internally scaling them.

As you would expect from Pioneer, the 428XD has an impressive array of high-definition inputs, including three HDMI sockets, one component video and a VGA input. Standard definition is also well catered for, with three Scart sockets, and composite video in. There's also an optical digital output, for connection to your AV amp, and a subwoofer out for beefing up the sound from the internal speakers.

It also goes without saying that the PDP-428XD looks beautiful too. This is a screen that subtly forces you to fall in love with it. Think of it as the technological equivalent of Maggie Gyllenhaal -- or Jake, if you prefer -- you don't think you should love them, but every time you see them in a film, you wander out of the cinema in a smitten daze.

We'll be posting a full review soon, where we'll no doubt mention the unbelievably sturdy remote control, which would be handy to have about if you ever need to beat a criminal off your beautiful new plasma TV.

Update: A full review of the Pioneer PDP-428XD is now live. -Ian Morris

 

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