A generic monitor not specifically designed for photography isn’t going to deliver the colour quality we seek. Processing images on the BenQ SW271 gives the user a stunningly vivid colour range.
- Brilliant blacks, incredibly crisp image, great colours, full 1080p, 24Hz capable
- Some minor noise evident in standard definition from close up, costly
To put it simply, Pioneer's PDP-LX608A is the best plasma around right now. While you certainly pay a hefty price if you can afford it, this TV will handle both high- and standard-definition content perfectly.
Price$ 11,999.00 (AUD)
They say that money can't buy happiness, however we beg to differ. Whoever exactly wrote that proverb clearly hadn't laid eyes upon Pioneer's PDP-LX608A. For the princely sum of nearly $12,000 you can have your own perfect little slice of home entertainment and let us assure you, happiness will most definitely follow.
This 60in, full 1080p plasma television is the best plasma we've had come through the office. We said the same thing about the last Pioneer TV we looked at, the KURO PDP-508XDA but the truth is they just keep on improving.
The image produced by the LX608A is nothing short of stunning. From the moment you power it up you are greeted by deep rich blacks which outdo those produced by any other model on the market. With a massive contrast ratio of 20,000:1 this is to be expected and in our film tests even the darkest areas were rendered with precision and detail.
It is difficult to put into words our experience during our HD tests. To put it simply we noticed no flaws at all. Colours were rich and vivid, but nothing was oversaturated. Edges were crisp and sharp and there were no artefacts or aberrations to be seen anywhere. We couldn't spot any grain or noise either while fast-paced motion was handled perfectly in our HD gaming tests.
The panel includes 24Hz support when running via 1080p which really helps smooth out the image. Most film is shot at a speed of 24 frames per second, and so when a regular television refreshes the image 50 or 60 times a second there can be a noticeable stutter at times. The 24Hz technology eliminates this problem and makes for a more natural viewing experience.
Standard definition was similarly impressive. It is always a trial for a full HD TV to properly render SD footage as there is an immense amount of scaling required. This did have an impact, in the form of a slightly noisier picture than normal. However, we could only notice this when sitting basically right in front of the panel and from any reasonable viewing distance the image was brilliant. There were none of the usual tell-tale scaling artefacts to be seen at all and the incredible black levels really stood out in our test scenes from The Matrix.
PC connectivity did exhibit some minor issues when connected via VGA. There was quite a bit of signal noise evident in some of the moire test patterns in DisplayMate Video Edition and we would occasionally get lines and aberrations appearing on the desktop itself, but both of these issues are largely symptomatic of the VGA medium itself rather than any flaws in the panel. We'd recommend anyone who wants to run a media centre using this display to connect via a DVI to HDMI cable to achieve the best possible picture. VGA also seems to limit you to 1366x768, which obviously isn't the panel's native resolution.
The included speakers produce good quality sound although you'd be doing yourself a great disservice not supporting this panel with a 5.1 surround setup. All the inputs you'd expect are present including three HDMI ports, and there are both analogue and digital tuners.
Aesthetically this model looks great, with a uniform, gloss black bezel and little in the way of gaudy extras. Also note that its size may make it impractical for many rooms. While it always feels like bigger is better, with televisions you do get to a point where something is just too large and if you have a small- or medium-sized room that may be the case with this model. You'll want at least a few metres viewing distance between the panel and your couch.
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