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Pioneer KURO PDP-5010FD 50-inch Plasma HDTV Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 December 2007
Article Index
Pioneer KURO PDP-5010FD 50-inch Plasma HDTV
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The Downside
This might be a first for me but, from a performance standpoint, I can’t come up with any significant downsides to the PDP-5010FD. The deinterlacing of 480i content wasn’t the most consistent I’ve seen; the TV passed my Gladiator torture test, but failed with The Bourne Identity (Universal Home Video) and some complex cadences. Still, I saw very few artifacts with everyday content.

My few concerns are ergonomic in nature. For one, the panel has a fairly audible buzz, which may not be noticeable at an average volume level, but I was aware of it during quieter passages. The PDP-5010FD was slower than average to switch between resolutions when using HDMI for my DirecTV HD box, and the Auto Size feature only functions correctly if the HDMI signal’s aspect ratio has been correctly flagged, which was seldom the case with my DirecTV signal. Finally, while I understand the benefits of gray sidebars in a plasma, I still prefer black ones, which is not an option in this TV.

While light output is good and screen reflections are minimized, I’d still be mindful of placing this TV in the path of direct sunlight. Ironically enough, light reflections were less of an issue here than they were with the glossy Samsung LED LCD screen I just reviewed. That TV is another flat panel capable of rendering deep blacks and a beautifully rich image, as long as you view it straight on. With the PDP-5010FD, you can sit anywhere in the room and still enjoy its gorgeous picture quality.

The PDP-5010FD is a high-end item. Its $5,000 asking price is almost twice that of some 50-inch 1080p plasmas on the market. This TV isn’t expensive because it carries a high-end brand name or is targeted at the super-wealthy. It’s expensive because its performance is spectacular, the finest example of the form, no matter what type of signal you feed it or where you place it in your room. The average consumer may not care enough about picture quality to step that far up in price; however, if you’re a video enthusiast who wants the best flat panel money can buy, you need look no further than Pioneer’s KURO.

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