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Pioneer PDP-LX508D Calibration
Looking at the following graphs (CCT on the left; RGB tracking on the right), one could be forgiven for thinking that they are captured after calibration:
They were, in fact, the pre-calibration measurements of the Pioneer PDP-LX508D in [Movie] mode. Not only did the greyscale track extremely well with delta errors (dEs) of less than 4 from 20% stimulus onwards, overall gamma was also around the desired 2.22:
|[Movie] mode gamma||[Movie] mode gamma tracking|
Although there remained a slight dip in gamma tracking below 20% stimulus which meant that shadow detail was a tad darker than it should be, this configuration yielded a superior quality of "pop" compared to most other flat panel televisions. I briefly experimented with other picture presets such as [Standard] and [User]; none delivered as good a gamma profile as the [Movie] mode.
Being a perfectionist, of course I tried to improve the greyscale even further by adjusting the colour temperature manually to bring the dEs by and large below 2:
|Post-calibration CCT||Post-calibration RGB Tracking|
I'll be the first to put my hands up and admit that the difference was negligible (dEs of less than 4 are generally accepted as outside the limits of human perception). To obtain images that are very near to the D65 standard, engaging the [Movie] mode should be enough for users who don't have access to light measuring instruments or professional calibrators.
If [Colour] was left to its default value of -6 in [Movie] mode, [Colour Space] 1 generated an oversaturated gamut while [Colour Space] 2 gave an undersaturated one:
Pre-calibration [Colour Space] 1
Pre-calibration [Colour Space] 2
Regular readers of this website will recall that I complained about the severe 0% to 75% saturation deficit in [Colour Space] 2 on the Pioneer PDP-508XD, but things were better on the PDP-LX508D. Probably because the baseline greyscale and gamma were more accurate compared to the PDP-508XD, I could move the primary and secondary colour points to conform with HD Rec. 709 reference without drastically spoiling the circa 2.22 gamma configuration:
|Post-calibration CIE chart with reference to Rec. 709|
Post-calibration [Colour Space] 2 remained a touch undersaturated between 0% to 75% saturation, but nowhere near as bad as on the PDP-508XD (hence my decision to calibrate the 508XD in [Colour Space] 1). Boosting [Colour] could rectify the undersaturation, but then colour decoding would go awry... in the end I did not push the issue.
Benchmark Test Results
|Overscanning on HDMI||0% in [Dot-By-Dot] mode|
|Blacker than black||Passed|
|Black level||Only surpassed by Samsung F96's true blacks|
|Black level retention||Stable|
|Primary chromaticity||Excellent if tweaked using [Colour Space] 2
|Video mode deinterlacing||Excellent|
|Film mode deinterlacing||Passed 3:2/ 2:2 cadence detection|
|Viewing angle||Excellent (> 160°)|
|Digital noise||Less PWM noise than PDP-508XD & PDP-4280XD|
|Sharpness||Defeatable edge enhancement|
|Image retention||Virtually none|
|1080p/24 capability (PS3)||Accepts 24fps; no telecine judder|
I have seen only one other flat screen television that could beat the blacks rendered by the Pioneer PDP-LX508D – the Samsung LE52F96BD local dimming LED LCD TV which can achieve true 0 cd/m2 black level depending on the content on screen, although there are other issues that detract from the F96's picture quality compared to the Kuros.
Detail & Resolution
Engaging the [Dot-By-Dot] mode through the [Aspect Ratio] button on the remote control allowed the Pioneer PDP-LX508D to attain 1:1 pixel mapping when fed with 1080 source over HDMI (zero overscan) and component (very very slight – probably 0.1% – overscan). When tested with vertical (1920) and horizontal (1080) single-pixel patterns, the Pioneer PDP-LX508D did not resolve the lines as cleanly as the best LCD examples such as the Sony KDL40X3500 or the Samsung LE52F96BD.
The Pioneer PDP-LX508D cleaned up jaggies superbly, attesting to the excellent video mode deinterlacing that we have come to expect from Pioneer plasmas. The PDP-LX508D also dealt with 3:2 and 2:2 cadences competently, but only if [PureCinema] > [Film Mode] was set to anything but "Off".
Edging out the PDP-508XD, the quality of scaling on the Pioneer PDP-LX508D was the best I have seen from any flat panel television so far, resulting in sharpish halo-free images from lower resolution source without the aid of superfluous edge enhancement.
My Pioneer PDP-LX508D review set also exhibited less PWM (pulse-width modulation) noise than the PDP-508XD beside it, contributing to a cleaner and more stable picture. The various [Noise Reduction] controls tended to truncate fine detail however slight, so I left them all off.
Just like its predecessors, mixed edit detection was tricky on the Pioneer PDP-LX508D – scrolling text (e.g. scrolling ticker on Sky News) would comb and judder intermittently if film mode deinterlacing was enabled. This could be prevented either by setting [Film Mode] to "Off" or engaging [Text Optimisation] for the appropriate content.
Running the motion resolution test pattern from Chapter 31 of the "FPD Benchmark Software" merely reaffirms plasma televisions' superiority over LCD TVs (even those equipped with motion compensation technology from what I've seen so far) in the area of motion handling. Just like the Panasonic TH42PZ70B plasma, the Pioneer PDP-LX508D clearly delineated the 1080 lines scrolling horizontally at 6.5 ppf (pixels per frame), indicating minimal loss in resolution at this panning speed.
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