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Pioneer PDP-LX608D review: Pioneer PDP-LX608D

The Good Excellent picture quality; connections galore; unusually helpful Blu-ray/HD DVD support.

The Bad The picture's not especially bright; one word you certainly can't associate with it is 'cheap'.

The Bottom Line Although the PDP-LX608D lacks the immediate impact of Pioneer's smaller plasmas due to a slight drop in brightness, the longer you live with it, the more you grow to love its stunning black levels, ultra-rich colours, dreamy motion handling and class-leading subtlety. Better start saving now...

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8.3 Overall

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Pioneer's new 42-inch and 50-inch Kuro TVs have already won CNET hearts. So it's fair to say we're practically having palpitations about the arrival of the brand's PDP-LX608D.

For as well as being a truly gargantuan 60 inches across, this £4,900 TV also happens to be the first Kuro model with a 1080p 'Full HD' resolution. Boo and, indeed, yah.

Any concerns we may have had about Pioneer's remarkable Kuro picture quality not being able to stretch up to 60 inches are quickly and emphatically quashed.

Kuro, in case you didn't know, is Japanese for 'black' -- a word Pioneer wants to stress because a host of proprietary innovations have allowed its latest plasma TVs to produce black levels of unprecedented depth and subtlety. And the impact of these revolutionary black levels is abundantly obvious in practically every frame you watch on the LX608D. During Superman's night-time tour of Metropolis with Lois Lane tucked under his arm in Superman Returns, for instance, the profound darkness of the night sky is shown without a trace of the greying over that so spoils this scene with practically every other flat TV.

As a result you get a more genuine sense of scale to the cityscape than we've experienced before on a TV, plus you can make out much more subtlety in the background, which helps bring the city to life. For us, this sort of black-level prowess is what puts the cinema in home cinema.

While black level is the single most outstanding weapon in the LX608D's arsenal, we're certainly not implying that its 1080p 'Full HD' resolution doesn't also count for something. In fact, the screen's 60-inch size provides a perfect forum for confirming that1080p really can deliver extra clarity and detail while watching HD sources, not to mention more subtlety in colour blends and a resulting improvement in the picture's feeling of solidity.

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