At 60 inches, this screen is well over double the size that Freeview was designed for. It's easy to forget that when the UK's digital TV system was introduced 10 years ago, the average TV was between 20 and 28 inches. For that reason, watching a highly-compressed MPEG-2 channel is far from pleasant.
But this isn't the fault of the LX6090 and it actually does a very respectable job with a Freeview picture. Obviously, compression artefacts are exacerbated by its size, but you could watch Hollyoaks on it from time to time without missing too many subtleties in Nancy's hair.
Pop a DVD in your player and you'll see what this TV can manage with a higher bit rate. We played our tried and tested X-Men DVD on our Sony BDP-S500 Blu-ray player, keeping it set to 'source direct'. This meant the TV was doing both scaling and de-interlacing on the picture. The quality was superb. On long shots, there was occasionally a lack of detail in faces, but plenty of gloriously fine detail in close ups. Sit a reasonable distance away from this TV and it will make your DVDs look amazing.
Blu-ray and HD DVD material on this TV looked unbelievable. Watching portions of Casino Royale and our old favourite Serenity simply blew us away. The level of detail in the pictures and fantastic colour reproduction are amazing. We spotted sweat on the brows of the Serenity crew and some flaky skin in Daniel Craig's ear, details we didn't even notice in the cinema.
Of course, no Kuro TV review would be complete without passing judgement on the black levels. As we expected, the black levels and contrast were phenomenal. We've spent a lot of time extolling the virtues of Panasonic's plasmas, but Pioneer really shows us what is possible with the technology. The LX6090 is clearly in a different league.
In a slightly cheeky move, the TV's speakers are an optional extra. Still, it's a fair assumption on Pioneer's part that the people spending as much as half of a car's price on a television will have it hooked up to an amazing high-end stereo system or a 5.1/7.1 AV amp. We'd agree: anyone who doesn't needs to examine their priorities. There's absolutely no point spending £4,300 on a TV and bolting on some cheap speakers. That said, the optional side-mounted speakers are very good, offering a very balanced sound. Movie soundtracks have plenty of low-end punch and dialogue is clear as a bell.
If you want projector-quality size without the hassle of instalation and the accessories, we honestly can't think of a better TV. Pioneer has excelled in creating a TV that produces rich and realistic blacks, vibrant colours and unbelievable levels of detail. Obviously, if you're looking for something for watching Freeview, there are better, more realistically-sized TVs that will do that job for significantly less wonga.
Still, there's nothing this TV does badly. If you're a movie fan with access to HD material, this TV is likely to impress the pants off you. For a competitor, look to the larger Panasonic plasmas or possibly even the bigger LCD panels from Sony and Samsung.
Edited by Shannon Doubleday