Don't Know Which HDTV To Buy? Try Our HDTV Selector Tool

Sony LCD vs Pioneer Plasma

by Colin Tang
20 March 2007
Pioneer PDP4270XD Sony KDL40w2000
Pioneer PDP4270XD (left) vs. Sony KDL40W2000

Introduction

Many of our readers have asked us about the difference between the two display technology at the forefront of the flat panel race. So, I thought we'd do another shootout between our current sub-£1500 1080p LCD king, the Sony KDL40W2000 and a closely priced Plasma contender, the Pioneer PDP4270XD.

I am going to use Vincent's shootout methodology as it covers important areas that buyers should look out for before taking the plunge, so here goes...

Methodology

We sourced the HDTVs from our favourite online retailers with no prior contact with manufacturers to ensure impartiality.

We then calibrated each HDTV according to D65 imaging standards until we were satisfied that it was performing at its fullest potential. It is very important that HDTV are stripped off their dynamic settings as they are designed to appeal to your visual instinct and not image accuracy. We later compared the HDTVs with test patterns and a wide range of viewing materials, ranking them across 16 different subcategories that we thought would affect your daily enjoyment of the TV.

A scoring system will be used in a linear fashion to help you decide on the best display. The best performing TV for a subcategory will get 2 points, and the other 1 point. Some categories can be drawn and allocated equal points, subject to our review.

With that out of the way, let's move on to the categories.

Best Price > Sony KDL40W2000 & Pioneer PDP4270XD
Model
Merchant
Total
Pioneer PDP4270XD
Sony KDL40W2000
Use JUNE50G code at basket page for £50 discount

 

Questions/Comments

Bruno says: 03/20/2007 - 04:09

I watched the Pioneer PDP507XD playing HD from a blu-ray demo in a darkened room at 2 m distance. There was something that bothered me: the pixel grid (thin black lines next to the pixels) was clearly visible. I guess that I would be bothered by the Pioneer 42 as well (I haven't seen it). On the other hand, the Sony which has much smaller pixels might be better at hiding the pixel grid.
Colin Tang says: 03/20/2007 - 08:30

Yes the `screen door effect' or grid effect has been reported more on plasma screens than LCD. It's partly a function of screen size, native resolution, sitting distance and pixel matrix construction. Plasma's at 42 inch tend to have 1024x768 resolutions when you can find higher resolutions on LCD nowadays.

I personally wasn't bothered by the Pioneer 4270XD `gird effect at 8 feet but it may affect other users with a more discerning eye. Good point.
BOBBY says: 04/03/2007 - 12:49

PLEASE CAN YOU TELL ME THE ISF SETTINGS FOR THE PDP-4270XD.
Colin Tang says: 04/04/2007 - 05:46

@ Our settings are not endorsed by ISF but we try to get as close as possible. Just go to our picture quality page on PDP4270XD.
Jeff Hooper says: 04/07/2007 - 13:57

Firstly, these are the 2 TVs I've narrowed my choice down to so great to see this comparison review. I'm swayed by the Pioneer's looks but have a concern about it's native resolution. I will be using whichever unit I choose in conjunction with a Media Center PC so does the Sony's higher resolution mean that it will perform better when displaying PC images (eg digital still pictures)?
Colin Tang says: 04/10/2007 - 16:45

Yes Jeff...if you are a heavy Media Centre user, I would probably lean towards an LCD, especially with 1:1 mapping and higher picture brightness. It's a tough call...but it's really a personal decision.