Pioneer PDP-428XD

5th Sep 2007 | 23:00

Pioneer PDP-428XD

It's all about those black levels

TechRadar rating:

4.5 stars

The smallest of Pioneer's new 'Kuro' plasma screens is every bit as world-beating as its bigger brother

Like:

<p>Superb pictures and black levels</p><p>Generous connections</p><p>Excellent sound</p>

Dislike:

<p>Expensive</p>

Back in December we were lucky enough to sneak a peek at Pioneer's top-secret new plasma TVs. A viewing of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith in high definition revealed hitherto unseen levels of realism and detail.

Accurate reproduction of blacks, though, was one of the first priorities for the Pioneer's engineers. To this end, the PDP-428XD features a quoted contrast ratio of 16000:1. This is by far the highest of any flatscreen TV ever sold. Such figures are usually misleading, but in this case the opposite is true - Pioneer is on the conservative side.

As it is with the TV's styling, which is a smoothly sculpted gloss black. Beauty is not skin deep though, because under the PDP-428XD's bonnet are a plethora of ins and outs primed for HD.

Its three HDMI inputs are almost unique in that they can accept 1080p/24fps pictures, which simply means that they can play hi-def movies from HD DVD or Blu-ray players exactly as they are encoded (most TVs speed them up slightly).

There's also a PC input and a USB port for watching digital pictures from a USB stick.

Simply the best

Put simply, this is the finest 42in plasma screen we've ever seen. Put to work on V For Vendetta on HD DVD, it's hard to find any picture weaknesses. As well as deep blacks that contain oodles of detail, the PDP-428XD also boasts a colour palette that's the best we've seen.

Motion is handled well, and despite this not being a 1080p Full HD panel, the PDP-428XD manages to display immense detail on its 1024 x 768 resolution screen. That's largely down to the rest of the TV's talents that help maintain the best resolution, whatever's being shown on the screen.

Add some hi-fi quality speakers to the PDP-428XD and you start to understand why it's worth the asking price.

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