Pioneer PDP-607XD £6000

31st May 2007 | 23:00

Pioneer PDP-607XD

strapline req'd

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

Overall a beauty that's too pricey despite the quality

Like:

<p>Fantastic pictures</p><p>No motion flaws</p>

Dislike:

<p>Very expensive</p><p>Non-HD material not handled fantastically well</p>

We've loved Pioneer's recent plasma TVs, but there is one thing they've lacked - size. Although 50in is all very nice, the home cinema groupie in us has been crying out for Pioneer to think bigger. So we're over the moon to get to grips with Pioneer's 60in plasma beauty, the PDP-607XD.

This Pioneer wears its 60 inches well with its domesticated glossy black styling. Speakers are optional extras, however.

Jack the lad

Connectivity, meanwhile, helpfully includes two HDMIs, component video jacks, Scarts, a PC input, support for a built-in digital tuner, a subwoofer line out and even a digital optical audio output for outputting multi-channel digital AV mixes received via HDMI.

Crucially, the PDP-607XD also possesses all the construction technologies and image processing systems that make Pioneer's smaller plasmas so special. These include the Deep Waffle Rib plasma panel structure to reduce cross-pixel colour and light spillage, Direct Colour Filter for doing away with plasma's traditional heavy and secondary-image-causing screen glass, and PURE Drive 2HD image processing engine.

What's more, this Pioneer's HDMI ports can handle the 'ultrapure' 1080p/24fps image format starting to appear on high-end Blu-ray players. Oddly, however, the TV won't accept the more common 1080p/50/60Hz variants.

Unleashed on Sky HD's showing of Brokeback Mountain, the PDP-607XD emphatically lives up to the standards of Pioneer's smaller screens.

For example, while large plasma TVs commonly don't have the particularly vibrant colours seen on LCD panels, the PDP-607XD's rendition of the rich greens of the forests and deep blues of the clear mountain skies is a joy to behold. The naturalism with which the screen shows skin tones during night and day scenes alike is also impressive.

Dark scenes, like the one where Ennis returns to camp having lost their supplies, also show off great black levels, which are profound without suppressing shadow detail.

The bucking bronco scenes, meanwhile, show some impeccable motion handling in terms of suppressing plasma's common problem with skin tone dotting noise. Long-distance shots look terrifically sharp and textured, showing that HD sources positively thrive on screens this big.

Going green

The only negative things about the 607XD's pictures are that greens can become a tad unnatural while viewing standard definition sources, which can (arguably inevitably) also look slightly noisy. But these are such minor quibbles on a screen so clearly HD-friendly that we're almost embarrassed we mentioned them.

At £6,000, the 607XD isn't cheap, but for well-heeled AV enthusiasts, it's worth every solitary penny.

PioneerTVHome cinemaHigh definitionHDTV
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