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NEC PlasmaSync 42XR4 Brochure

Nec plasmasync 42xr4: product brochure
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BY ROBERT HERON
he NEC 42XR4 ($3,995 list) is the
T
most impressive a 42-inch plas-
ma display panel that PC Maga-
zine has tested to date. It doesn't
include many extras, and its advanced
picture controls demand professional
setup, but with some tweaking, this
TV's accurate and faithful video repro-
duction is a pleasure for the eyes.
Except for the power cord and remote
control, all accessories for the 42XR4,
such as speakers and mounting hard-
ware, must be purchased separately. The
benefit of this à la carte arrangement is
that owners don't pay extra for things
they may not want or use. The downside,
of course, is that they must consider their
setup needs and purchase the appropri-
ate hardware for the display. For our re-
view, NEC provided the remarkably
sturdy PX-ST2U ($292 list) swivel table
stand, which offers about 10 degrees of
rotation left and right (20 degrees total).
This is definitely not a plug-and-play dis-
play; securing the 60-pound 42XR4 onto
its new perch is best accomplished with
the aid of a second pair of hands. Com-
fortable handholds on the rear of the
42XR4 helped reduce the risk of damage
to the display (or to the people lifting it)
during setup.
The 42XR4's thin black bezel has a
matte finish, which helps suppress the re-
flection of ambient light sources. Silver
"The NEC
42XR4 offers
the best

picture quality

of any 42-
inch plasma
TV we have
seen to date."
NEC 42XR4
THE INDEPENDENT GUIDE TO TECHNOLOGY
trim outlining the edge of the display was
attractive yet not distracting. The on-dis-
play controls located under the left side of
the 42XR4 are slightly recessed into the
frame, keeping them out of sight but still
accessible. A small power indicator light
on the bottom right edge was appropriate-
ly unnoticeable unless you looked for it.
The included remote control is a slender,
comfortable device with relatively few but-
tons. The remote performed flawlessly
when we tried it from various angles and
distances, but as it has no backlight and the
keys don't glow, it's pretty hard to use in
dimly lit environments.
All A/V inputs on the 42XR4 are
grouped on a downward-facing block
on the rear of the display. The selection
of connections includes two HDMI in-
puts, a pair of component video inputs,
and a VGA input for PC use. The tight
clearance between the inputs and the
top of the table stand required our pre-
mium cables to make a 90-degree bend
close to the connection. But this con-
figuration did prevent the cables from
being visible from the front of the dis-
play. The 42XR4 is officially labeled a
monitor, since it lacks a television tuner
(DTV or otherwise). For cable and
satellite set-top box users, the lack of a
tuner is mostly irrelevant. But an inte-
EDITOR RATING
VERY GOOD
MARCH 22, 2006
grated DTV tuner would have been a
useful inclusion for those who enjoy
the superb quality of digital broadcast
television.
The 42XR4 has a native resolution of
1,024 by 768 pixels. That means that it
has 150,000 fewer pixels than a standard
720p broadcast signal. In general, 42-
inch plasma TVs such as the 42XR4 are
considered high-definition displays,
since they offer at least 720 lines of ver-
tical resolution. Horizontal resolution is
not a factor in the established definition
of what counts as "HD."
After connecting our standard and
high-definition sources, I found the
42XR4's default brightness (black
level) settings caused the darker de-
tails of the picture to disappear into
the background. Color saturation ap-
peared good, but the monitor's default
color temperature resulted in whites
appearing a bit cool (bluish). The de-
fault picture settings for displays are
rarely optimal (except for standing out
on a store shelf ), so increasing the
42XR4's brightness and adjusting the

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  Summary of Contents for NEC PlasmaSync 42XR4

  • Page 1: Picture Quality

    NEC 42XR4 THE INDEPENDENT GUIDE TO TECHNOLOGY BY ROBERT HERON he NEC 42XR4 ($3,995 list) is the most impressive a 42-inch plas- ma display panel that PC Maga- zine has tested to date. It doesn't include many extras, and its advanced...
  • Page 2 NEC Visual Systems Division www.necvisualsystems.com : The NEC 42XR4 offers the best picture OTTOM quality of any 42-inch plasma TV we have seen to date. But its premium price doesn't include many extras, the remote is near-useless in the dark, and to get the most out of it you'll need to have it professionally calibrated.

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