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Pioneer PDP-5080XD Test Conclusion
- Best black level for flat panels so far
- Which gives it an extremely high 3000:1+ calibrated contrast ratio.
- Excellent handling of standard definition content.
- Flat gamma helps produce very film-like image.
- Very natural colour reproduction, and flat greyscale when calibrated.
- Great motion handling, "rainbows" aside.
- Fairly resistant to image retention, as long as orbiter is enabled.
- Viewing angles are excellent, as with all plasmas.
- Supports 1080p24 for smooth motion with HD movies.
- Plenty of calibration options, per-input settings.
- PWM Noise noticeable below ~12ft ("fizzing" pixels)
- Lower resolution panel noticeable at this size.
- Grey sidebars with 4:3 content unless you go into service menu.
- Terrible handling of input selection.
- Typical plasma buzzing noise due to high voltages involved.
- Expensive when compared to other plasmas this size from competing manufacturers.
To summarise, the Pioneer PDP-5080XD is the best flat-panel that I have seen to date, and the only other display on the market right now that I would expect to surpass it is its bigger brother, the 1080p native PDP-LX508D.
It calibrates very well, and produces the most natural and film-like image I have seen from any HDTV so far. Aside from some relatively minor issues, the only real down-side is price. While it is much better than other HDTVs out there, it is also quite a bit more expensive.
If you are striving for perfection, then the extra money is easily justified, but if that is the case, I would recommend going for the PDP-LX508D if you can afford it and will be sitting within 12ft of the screen. Past 12ft you're probably not going to see the benefits of a 1080p panel though so the PDP-5080XD would be my display of choice there.
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