Even though I knew Pioneer had just introduced this plasma, it hasn't really been on my radar in terms of my own quest for a bigger display, because I want more than 60."
However, I just encountered the new Pioneer 6070HD in my local Future Shop (a best-buy like shop in Canada). WOW! Holy cow did this thing impress me!
It was in a dimly lit "cove" with a Panasonic 50" (600 if I remember), LG 50" and Sony LCD playing the same familiar seen-it-a-bilion-times HD demo feed. And of course the feed is split among practically every display in the store. All the plasmas were clearly in out of the box torch mode. So I had to make mental allowances for the types of defects in each that can be attributed to the "vivid" modes, and to source problems.
But all that taken into account, the new Pioneer was absolutely stunning. The color was certainly pushed up, but nonetheless the color detail in general was incredible. So was the contrast! It looked like the ANSI contrast (ability to hold deep blacks/bright whites simultaneously) was tremendous. And in fact the black levels looked fantastic too! In fact, in staring at lots of different material which had many dark scenes (e.g. clips from the latest X-men movie), the Pioneer actually gave the subjective impression of as deep or often deeper looking blacks than the Panasonic. Only in between source feed changes, when the screens all went to black, did the Pioneer's black levels appear discernibly higher than the Panasonic.
But otherwise, the sense of rich contrast handily exceeded the Panasonic.
As did the over-all sense of dimensionality. In fact, this was perhaps the most realistically dimensional image I've seen on a plasma. It made all the other displays around it looked slightly artificially flattened. It just performed so impressively on a range of HD images that have, unfortunately for my sanity, been burned into my brain through repetition. Scenes that have always looked detailed, but flat (e.g. guys climbing on huge sheets of mountain ice, zoomed in images) on even good HD displays, found another level of dimensionality on the Pioneer.
And, again, those scenes from X-Men were just blow-away in terms of color richness, color detail, punch, sharpness and gorgeous-looking contrast over-all.
It's hard for me to think of a display that impressed me so much on those counts.
(Again, making allowances for the crushed blacks I was seeing, and I think there was likely some DNR setting on the Pioneer that was sometimes rubbing away finer details which were evident in the smaller plasmas. But aside from that, in this viewing set-up the big Pioneer spanked the Panny in almost every way).
Man, if this display came in 65" I'd be seriously tempted. And if it were 1080p...whew! But even though it's not 1080p I'm sure this plasma would look out-of-this-world with a good HD-DVD source.
I'd love to do a more controlled viewing of that display, but first impressions struck me as enormously promising.
It's too bad it doesn't come in 65", because for me 65" seems to be the threshold point that crosses from "watching a great TV" to a cinematic experience.
However, anyone considering a plasma around this size should check this thing out! (And yes, if this thing performed as I think it would when properly set-up, I have a feeling I'd take it over the Panasonic 50"....but I'd need to see a side-by-side for sure).