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Pioneer PDP-LX508D Review
If you've been following the reviews published on this website, you should realise by now how highly I regard Pioneer Kuro plasma televisions based on both objective measurements and subjective viewing (post-calibration of course). In fact, the only flat screen HDTVs to have earned HDTVTest's "Reference Level" award thus far are all Pioneer Kuros.
The HDTV I'm reviewing today, the Pioneer PDP-LX508D, boasts a true HD resolution of 1920 x 1080, but is also around £1,500 more expensive than its HD ready sibling the PDP-508XD. As I am fortunate enough to have these 2 plasma TVs side-by-side during my assessment, throughout this article you may find more than a few comments comparing the two.
Note: Pioneer has discontinued the PDP-LX508D. The current model (9th generation Kuro) available for sale is the PDP-LX5090.
Just like the rest of the Kuro plasmas I have tested, the Pioneer PDP-LX508D exhibits a minimalistic gloss black bezel, and extremely solid overall build quality. Compared to the PDP-508XD though, the master power button has been relocated to the rear of the panel, and the 2 recessed handgrips to a lower position presumably due to the PDP-LX508D's heavier weight.
The PDK-TS25B table top stand (sold separately) that I received together with the Pioneer PDP-LX508D is a quality piece of kit as well. Some time is needed to assemble the pedestal stand itself and then attach the plasma television onto it, but you are bound to be impressed by its sturdy weight, its polished surface coating to go with the bezel, and its swivelling and even tilting capabilities.
|Rear: 3 x Scarts, 1 x component, analogue, optical, subwoofer & speakers out
|Facing downwards: 3 x HDMI, VGA, serial port, CI slot, aerial and power socket
|Left: Svideo, comp, headphone, USB||Right: Control buttons|
The on-screen user menu, EPG and remote control on the PDP-LX508D are essentially the same as those on the Pioneer PDP-508XD, so I won't repeat the same elements here.
What sets the Pioneer PDP-LX508D apart from the PDP-508XD is the former's full HD 1920 x 1080 panel, which naturally raises the possibility of 1:1 pixel mapping when fed with a 1080 source. This can be achieved by engaging the "Dot-By-Dot" mode through the [Aspect Ratio] button on the remote control.
In terms of background noise, I thought the Pioneer PDP-LX508D emitted louder plasma buzzing than the PDP-508XD, probably because there are simply more pixels to drive. Although this is hardly representative of all the sets out there, on my review sample I could hear the buzz during quiet scenes from as far as 8 feet away. Sound from normal viewing and fan noise from the PS3 did mask the plasma buzz to a certain degree though, so I wasn't particularly bothered.