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Pioneer PDP-506XDE, size: 12.7 MB
User reviews and opinions
|Jens Maurer||3:55am on Monday, July 5th, 2010|
|I bought the Pioneer PDP-506FDE plasma TV after looking at many on the market, from the Panasonic to the Philips.|
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Digital and analogue tuners; 4,000:1 contrast ratio; 1,100cd/m2 brightness; 75/100Hz switchable; multiple prog scan settings; photo viewing; seven-day EPG support; PureBlack screen system; PureDrive II processing suite; Direct Colour Filter design; teletext; picture-in-picture facilities CONNECTIONS HDMI in x2; component video in; Scart x3 (2 RGB); S-video in; VGA PC in; composite video in; subwoofer out; optical digital audio out; digital CAM slot; PC digital photo card slot; headphone jack; stereo audio in; RF loopthrough system; stereo audio out; control port x2; service port CONTACT 500 www.pioneer.co.uk
Colours are almost miraculous, with sublimely natural tones and extraordinarily vivid saturations
THE FLAT FACTS
I 50IN PLASMA I 3,800 I HD-READY: YES I RESOLUTION 1,280 x 768 I SPEAKERS: YES I TV TUNER: YES (DIGITAL) I SCARTS: 3 (2 RGB)
any people, including us, thought that Pioneers last generation of plasmas was good. Very good. But apparently the brand wasnt satisfied, for its researchers and engineers have gone into overdrive to deliver improvements for its latest (sixth) plasma generation. We havent got nearly enough space to cover all these improvements in full, but well give you a flavour of them. For starters, the PDP-506XDEs plasma panel is built using a new Deep Waffle Rib structure, to reduce light and colour leakage between adjacent cells. Also new is a Crystal Emissive Layer, which apparently improves discharge stability and efficiency in each plasma chamber (or pixel), and increases UV radiation to deliver deeper blacks, higher brightness levels and more energy efficiency.
This box includes two HDMI jacks, three Scarts, component video inputs, a CAM slot and digital audio output for the TVs built-in digital TV tuner, a standard PC input and slots for adding digital camera cards, so you can view photos directly on the screen.
Pioneers efforts pay handsome dividends, as the PDP-506XDEs pictures are nothing short of spectacular. First, during the shots of Captain Sparrows dungeon in Pirates of the Caribbean, even the darkest corners were perfectly black, with not a trace of the grey mist or blue toning issues seen on so many rival plasmas. Colours, meanwhile, were almost miraculous. The rich lustre of the sea, vegetation, various flags and naval uniforms during Sparrows arrival at the fort looked breathtaking from start to finish, with natural tones and extraordinarily vivid saturations. The Pioneer has fine detail in spades, too. During Pirates shots of ships crashing through the sea, the amount of detail in the sea spray and rippling waves and the accuracy with which it was rendered was a joy to behold. This is especially true when we viewed an unscaled HD feed which was really sensational but impressively the Pioneer holds on to plenty of detail with standard-def sources, too. Other tip-top stuff includes: the complete suppression of common plasma issues like fizzing over motion and colour banding;
smear-free, smooth motion; immaculate rendering of even harshly contrasted edges; astoundingly good greyscaling in dark areas; a sense of three-dimensionality and no loss of quality when the set is viewed off-axis. Is there anything bad about the PDP-506XDEs pictures? Um, no, there actually isnt. And come to think of it, theres nothing bad to say about its audio either. The screens accompanying speakers delivered Pirates of the Caribbeans numerous action scenes with the sort of power, finesse and clarity wed generally only hear from a dedicated speaker system. As you may have gathered, were really rather blown away by the PDP-506XDE. Panasonics TH-50PV500 may be great, but this ones even better and more than a grand cheaper. All in all, this TV is so damn good that its almost revolutionary. WP
Pioneer has been beavering away at its picture processing too. PureDrive II offers, among other things, improved noise reduction without impacting sharpness, sophisticated colour management, better processing of tuner images, improved digital colour transients and all manner of tricks for enhancing contrast and black level. A I-Clear Drive system, meanwhile, uses high-power processing and image analysis to dish up enhanced colour gradations and depth. The PDP-506XDE houses some of these technical advances in its sumptuous screen, and the rest in an external connections box.
PICTURE.##### SOUND.##### CONNECTIONS.##### FEATURES.##### EASE OF USE.##### VALUE.##### The best plasma we have ever seen, at an unbelievably low price for the quality
54 WHAT PLASMA & LCD TV
HEAD-TO-HEAD TEST>50in plasma screens
This screens fully HD Ready
The build quality is excellent for such an affordable machine.
##### EASE OF USE ####$ FEATURES ##### PICTURE ####$ SOUND ####$ VALUE ##### OVERALL ####$
LG 50PX4 vs Pioneer PDP-506XDE
In which the LG model turns out to be very good but still comes second to the best plasma TV weve ever seen
For many movie fans, a 50in plasma TV is the dream ticket. But, the high prices of such screens ensure that they remain a dream for most people. Today, though, weve found two new 50in models, LGs 50PX4 and Pioneers PDP-506XDE, each selling for comfortably under 4k and so, potentially, bring the joys of truly huge flatscreen viewing to a whole new market. Aesthetically, both push all the right buttons, actually looking quite similar in their plush combinations of glossy, black screen surrounds with metallic silver trim. If we had to choose, wed probably plump for the Pioneer on account of its extra svelteness.
AT A GLANCE
FEATURES 50in 16:9 plasma TV HD Ready 1366 x 768 resolution Built-in digital tuner XD Engine II processing 10,000:1 claimed contrast ratio 1000cd/m2 claimed brightness 2 x 15W built-in speakers picture in picture tools DCDi by Faroudja noise reduction 8-day EPG X-Studio multimedia card reader Various anti-screenburn measures CONNECTIONS HDMI input RS-232 control jack VGA D-Sub port PC audio in IR in Composite video in Two S-video in Three Scarts (one RGB) Component video input RF input RF output CAM slot Multimedia card slots www.lge.co.uk 0870 6075544
IN FEATURE TERMS, THE LG AGAIN SETS A HIGH STANDARD
this is backed up by a 7-day electronic programme guide (EPG). The TV is also fully HD-Ready, and boasts a picture-in-picture system; various anti-screenburn measures; a colour adjuster specifically for skin tones; normal and MPEG noise reduction routines; Faroudja DCDi de-interlacing for improved scaling and contouring; and XD Engine. This proprietary LG technology now in its second full generation applies picture processing in six key areas: image clarity, colour saturations/tone, contrast, brightness, colour gradation/grayscaling and frame rate handling when watching movies.
Impressive though the LGs feature count is, Pioneers PDP-506XDE goes a little further still. For instance, while the Pioneers digital tuner also supports a 7-day EPG, it additionally lets you set timer recordings directly
Get yourself connected
The Pioneer wins out when it comes to connections, though. The LG isnt at all bad, with key highlights including an HDMI input; component video inputs; a VGA PC jack; a CAM slot to back up a built-in digital tuner; multimedia card slots for playing JPEG digital photos and MP3s; and three Scarts. But, the Pioneer adds to all these a deeply excellent second HDMI, a subwoofer output and an optical digital audio output. In terms of features, the LG again sets a pretty high bar. For starters, as we indicated earlier, the LG comes with a built-in digital TV tuner and
from it and permits genre filtering. There are more picture tweaks on the Pioneer too, with key extra tricks including 75Hz/100Hz switching and multiple progressive scan settings. Inevitably, the Pioneer doesnt boast LGs XD Engine II picture processing, but it has plenty of proprietary Pioneer technology on board instead. PureDrive 2 HD, for instance, applies 10-bit processing to pictures to boost numerous aspects of their appearance, including colour and fine detail response. Pioneer has also added a new crystal emissive layer to each plasma cell to improve colour stability, vibrancy, and black levels. Then theres the Pioneers unique deep waffle rib panel design, which reduces the chances of colour and light bleed between separate plasma cells. Plus, the PDP-506XDE sees the return of Pioneers impressive Direct Colour Filter, which removes the customary thick glass panel from the screens front to reduce light reflection from your room and eliminates secondary edging when viewing off axis.
One of two of the LGs S-video inputs
Component video input for high-quality pictures.
Another stylish control remote
46 WHC JANUARY 2006
50in plasma screens>HEAD-TO-HEAD TEST
We started the test part of this head to head with a run-through of The Fifth Element on the LG. For starters, the LGs contrast is immensely impressive, dishing up clean, bright whites and exceptionally profound black levels that greatly benefit dark scenes like those where the Federation ship ill-advisedly nukes the evil planet. Even better, the black levels arent just empty holes; theyre given genuine depth and subtlety thanks to good greyscaling and fine shadow detailing. Talking of detailing, the LG also scores points for its sharpness, rendering ultra-textured shots, like those of the hieroglyphics at The Fifth Elements start, with excellent accuracy and precision. Whats more, this sharpness does not come at the expense of any grain or dot crawl. The LG 50PX4 handles those common plasma hiccups of fizzing over motion, colour striping, and greyish dot crawl over dark areas well, too. In fact, theyre all but completely absent. The LG 50PX4s colour response, meanwhile, does Fifth Elements sets proud, while maintaining a mostly pleasingly natural tonewhile watching in high definition. Step down to SD and the colour tone loses some of its naturalism, lustre and dynamism. We should also mention that the LG 50PX4 can suffer traces of MPEG blocking noise with HDMI feeds and digital tuner programmes. None of these points stop the LG 50PX4 impressing us greatly for such an affordable 50in TV, though.
This Pioneer is equipped with Direct Colour Filter A second HDMI input is also featured An excellent remote control
STYLE FEATURES PICTURE SOUND VALUE OVERALL EASE OF USE ####$
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But, theyre also rather emphasised by the all-round splendour of what the Pioneer has to offer.
And more besides
Lets not beat around the bush here: the Pioneer PDP-506XDE produces the finest pictures weve ever seen on a flat panel TV. The colours are absolutely superb: wonderfully punchy saturations (youll need sunglasses for the OTT Fifth Element scenes aboard the space Pleasure Cruiser) combine with an authenticity of skin tones that surpasses any other plasma TV. Then theres the sets talent with black levels. The PDP-506XDE easily matches the also-excellent LG in terms of the depth of black it can hit without succumbing to any greying over. And it surpasses the LGs black levels by filling them with more shadow detail and colour subtleties and by suffering less from ambient light reflections on the screen.
A SIMPLY IMPERIOUS OFFERING FROM PIONEER THAT RAISES THE BAR AGAIN
All that glitters
Fine detail levels are scintillating too, showing, for instance, seemingly every individual speck of orange glitter on the walls of the bizarre room where Leeloo is first regenerated.
While this fine detail talent is particularly noticeable with high definition viewing, this Pioneer also proves unusually flexible, in that its pictures still look sharp and clean and immaculately coloured, come to that with any source you feed it. With so much show-boating splendour on display in the PDP506XDEs pictures, it almost goes without saying that it doesnt succumb to old-school plasma problems with motion noise or colour banding. Plus, you feel like youre getting completely immersed in what youre watching, thanks to the exceptional depth and scale of the image; and you can watch it from off-axis without any ghost images appearing. Although we tried to find some weaknesses in the Pioneers pictures, we drew a blank. Sadly for the LG, although its sonics are pretty good, the Pioneer performs better, delivering a wider soundstage, greater power and a more dynamic and expansive frequency range. We really do feel sorry for the LG 50PX4. Its a appealing TV that, under normal circumstances, would very likely have romped home to victory in a head-to-head. But today it had the misfortune to come up against a simply imperious offering from Pioneer that lifts the plasma performance bar to a completely new level of excellence I
> >The Fifth Element
The cityscape and the flying police vehicles look great, but the Pioneers colour tone and black levels give the scene a definite edge.
FEATURES 50in 16:9 plasma TV HD Ready 1280 x 768 resolution Built-in digital tuner 4000:1 contrast ratio 1100cd/m2 brightness 75/100Hz switchable digital photoviewing 7-day EPG support, with timer setting and genre filters PureBlack screen system PureDrive II processing suite Direct Colour Filter design picture in picture facilities CONNECTIONS Two HDMI inputs Component video input S-video input Three Scarts (two RGB) VGA PC input Composite video input Subwoofer output Optical digital audio output Digital CAM slot PC digital photo card slot Headphone jack Stereo audio input RF loopthrough system Stereo audio ouput Two control ports One service port www.pioneer.co.uk 01753 789500
The screen uses all kinds of new construction features
The Pioneers speakers look small, but sound big
WHC JANUARY 2006 47
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