Extracting the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma TV from its well-protected box is a chore in itself. Don’t expect to uncrate this set on your own. In all honesty I would expect those out there who are dropping in the area of $7500 on a plasma HDTV are going to be having it professionally installed anyhow. That said if you are the do-it-yourself type be sure you have a pal on hand, this set weighs 113 pounds and measures in at a whopping 57 7/8” x 34 5/8” x 4 5/8” without the detachable speakers. The only thing worse that getting a hernia trying to lift your 60” plasma HDTV onto your entertainment center is breaking your 60” plasma whilst giving yourself the hernia.
The Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma is so large that it doesn’t come out of the box connected to the table top stand, you have to attach it to that assuming you are not wall mounting the behemoth. The stand is quite sturdy and again it will certainly take two people to mount the stand to the TV, which is done by picking the TV up, and setting it on the metal “L” shaped supports sticking out of the top of the tabletop stand and then securing the TV to it with the provided bolts.
Thankfully Pioneer included two attached handles on the rear of the TV so you do have a place to grab when moving the set around and placing it on your entertainment center. Again when putting the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma onto your entertainment center be sure the furniture is up to the task. This is a very large and heavy set and you don’t want to break your entertainment center and damage your TV.
After I had the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma on the base stand and set up (I opted to not use my entertainment center as it wasn’t rated for the weight of the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma) I connected the set to my Sudden Link HD DVR box to test out the image quality as well as my Denon S-301 home theater.
Pioneer gives good connectivity options on the rear and side of the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma. You get two HDMI inputs, component RGB HV (2 rear, 1 side), Composite (2 rear, 1 side), S-video (2 rear), SR in/out, RSC-232C, Ethernet jack, USB port, dual coax inputs, and a input for PC connectivity. Both HDMI inputs use 10-bit processing and are capable of accepting a full 1080p/24Hz signal. The Ethernet port on the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma can be use din conjunction with your Windows XP or Media Center Edition PC allowing you to view HD content like video and images from your PC directly on the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma via Home Media Gallery. There is also a Cable Card slot for those who don’t want a cable box sitting around as well as a SPDIF digital optical output.
Image quality is simply fantastic on the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma. I have tested many TVs and have several HDTV sets in my home and nothing compares to the color reproduction and accuracy the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma provides. The colors displayed on the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma are so rich and deep that other TV sets pale in comparison. To get these superb color reproduction characteristics Pioneer used an exclusive first surface PRO color filter that reduces the light reflection on the screen and enhances contrast and color reproduction. If you buy the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma from an Elite dealer you can also have the set custom calibrated by trained technicians for day and night time watching.
Pioneer also uses improved red and blue phosphors that give the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma brighter and purer colors able to reproduce a wider color space. Turn on a HD program that has brightly colored outdoor spaces and you will feel like you are actually there. Pioneer also added some tech to deepen black levels with a crystal emissive layer, which also increases brightness of images on screen. This technology works so well that even my wife noticed right away that this was by far the brightest picture we have seen on TVs that come through our home.
Gray scale rendering is often on of the problem areas in plasma and LCD TV sets. This problem usually rears its head in the form of blocky pixilated areas on screen when the image is dark and has many gray tones. This is most evident on movie scenes where the actor is surrounded by dark with only a small light area. Think Lost when they are walking through the dark jungle with only one torch to light the scene. The sections of screen where the torch light wane tend to get blocky and lose resolution on many sets. This was a bit of an issue on the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma, but ever so much better than the vast majority of sets I have reviewed.
Pioneer’s Advanced Pure Cinema uses a 3:3 pull down so film-based materials on DVD, video tape and standard TV look more smooth and natural like they do in the theater. Movie watching on the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma with a quality upscaling DVD player like the Denon S-301 I use for testing is awesome. I watched the movie “The Guardian” on this set and upscaled to 1080i with the bass booming the crashing waves while watching on the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma was the best movie watching experience I have had in my home to date. The native display resolution for the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma is 1365 x 768 with a 16:9 screen aspect ratio. The set is capable of displaying every TV resolution available from 480i up to full 1080p.
Pioneer also includes a set of removable speakers with the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma as well. These speakers look very nice and add about twelve inches of width to the TV overall. Sound quality is decent with these speakers thanks to the SRS/WOW/FOCUS surround sound capability the set has. I used the speakers to get an idea of how well they performed and they do a good job. That said I don’t see most users of a HDTV of this caliber using these speakers, the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma is destined to be connected to a strong home theater setup and the detachable speakers are most likely going to sit in a closet somewhere. They do a decent job of reproducing sounds, though they were a bit bass lean for my tastes.
The Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma is simply one of the best performing HDTV sets on the market period. If you have the budget for the best big screen plasma around you want the Pioneer Elite 60” PureVision Plasma.
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Leading our review center, Shane McGlaun (Google) knows technology inside out. His extensive experience in testing computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
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