Pioneer's 2007 line of KURO plasmas drew rave reviews pretty much across the board. The smallest and least expensive of the KURO lineup, the PDP-4280HD has a 42-inch screen size and a 1024 x 768 resolution. The generous connection panel includes four HDMI, two component video, and one PC input, as well as a CableCARD slot and dual RF inputs to access the internal ATSC, NTSC, and Clear-QAM tuners. The HDMI inputs accept both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24. Picture-in-picture and the TV Guide on Screen program guide are available. A USB port allows you to access Pioneer's Home Gallery feature to view digital photos.
The PDP-4280HD offers a lot of useful image adjustments, including six picture modes and three color-temperature settings. Using a light sensor, the Optimum picture mode automatically adjusts the image to suit your viewing conditions. The menu includes some advanced picture controls, like adjustable gamma and multiple types of noise reduction; however, it lacks the ISF calibration options you'll find in the higher-end Elite KURO models. An Orbiter feature is available to help prevent short-term image retention. There are five aspect-ratio options.
The PDP-4280HD features a speaker bar that runs along the bottom of the unit. The back panel includes a subwoofer output to send bass information to an external subwoofer. Treble, bass, and balance controls are available, and SRS WOW audio processing is also included.
• KURO models produce the deepest black levels in the flat-panel world, resulting in a beautifully rich, three-dimensional image.
• The PDP-4280HD does an equally good job with high-def and standard-def sources.
• Because it is a plasma, it doesn't suffer from motion blur or viewing-angle issues.
• The PureCinema film mode includes an Advance mode that converts 24-frames-per-second film to 72 fps to reduce film judder, as well as a Smooth mode that renders even smoother motion.
• This TV does not have a full 1920 x 1080 resolution. Its 768p image is still nicely detailed but not as sharp as you'll see elsewhere.
• Even though it's the least expensive KURO model, the PDP-4280HD's asking price is still fairly high for a 768p, 42-inch panel.
• The anti-reflective screen helps minimize light reflections off the glass panel, but plasma generally is not as bright as LCD and is not the best choice for a really bright room.
The PDP-4280HD is the most cost-effective way to add a gorgeous KURO plasma to your home entertainment system, and it boasts a ton of worthy features and connections, to boot.