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TVS & LARGE DISPLAY / PLASMA
Fujitsu P63XHA51AS
Company: Fujitsu

Pros: Outstanding HD performance; svelte looks

Cons: Few video-friendly features; only one HDMI input

Product Rating:

4.5 Star Rating: Recommended

Editor Rating 4.5

User Rating 3.5

Whopping Fujitsu 63-inch Plasma Impresses

By SmartHouse Team | Thursday | 15/03/2007

Fujitsu is out to make our big-screen cinema dreams come true with its 63-inch plasma monitor.

Everyone knows that to get the ultimate home cinema experience you really need to get hold of a projector. But of course, the problems of installing a projector in a normal home - the need for perpetual darkness, long cable runs, a place to site the unit where it's not in the way, etc - make such a dream big-screen scenario impractical for the majority of us out there.


Click to enlarge
Which is where flatscreens like Fujitsu's monumental P63XHA51AS come in, giving you a huge 63 inches of image whilst hanging on or sitting flush to your wall.

The P63XHA51AS goes out of its way to make as little impact on your décor as possible, thanks to a screen frame so thin you wonder how it can support the huge quantity of glass it surrounds. Not that we have any real concerns about the P63XHA51AS's build quality; on the contrary, it actually feels very robust.

Sound advice

Part of the reason for the screen's svelte looks is the fact that it comes with neither built-in nor bolt-on speakers; if you want Fujitsu's matching pair, you'll have to pay extra.

Another thing the P63XHA51AS notably lacks is a tuner. Like much of the Fujitsu range, the model is a monitor design, aimed as much at the corporate and custom-install trade as the home cinema enthusiast. For high-end installations, this tuner omission is of little consequence. Anyone spending $TBA on a screen will surely be running it with at least a Foxtel box, not to mention assorted miscellaneous sources.

Connections and features

While it may not have a tuner, the P63XHA51AS does manage a couple of Scarts, a VGA (RGBHV) PC jack, and the usual 'HD Ready' requirements of component video and HDMI sockets. It's a pity, though, that we're only talking about both these HD options in the singular; surely such a potentially HD-friendly super-screen like this could have run to at least two HDMIs? Oh well. If you can afford $xxx for the screen you can probably also afford an external HDMI switchbox...

The P63XHA51AS's onscreen menus house few video-friendly features. The only things we could find worth even a passing mention were separate Drive and Signal contrast adjustments, and a handful of video presets. But, thankfully, working behind the scenes under the name of AVM II, is a proprietary technology cocktail that suggests that Fujitsu really does care very much about how the screen is going to look with video sources.

Advanced Video Movement, to give it its full title, is essentially a motion-adaptive deinterlacing and video processing system that works on a number of different aspects of the picture, delivering such improvements as jaggie-free contours; less MPEG block noise; less mosquito noise; and sharper, ghost-free edges.

What's more, for this latest version of AVM, Fujitsu has reworked the internal algorithms to enhance the video-mode detection that is particularly important for HD broadcasts. It now also has pixel-by-pixel processing and detection, and four-frame referencing to cope with the complex calculations demanded by HD signals. The new AVM engine claims to process standard-definition signals up to four times faster than most rivals, delivering improvements with that, too.

Performance

With HD footage, the Fujitsu's picture is outstanding, as a number of different traits join forces to make images look almost overwhelmingly natural and involving.


Click to enlarge

The first of these concerns colour - more specifically, the exceptional subtlety with which the screen portrays even the finest, most infinitesimal difference in shade. This helps pictures look realistic and solid, ensuring there's little sign of the 'striping' effect still seen with many plasmas.

The AVM II system is presumably responsible for its outstanding suppression of fizzing noise artefacts over horizontal motion. Moving objects look very smooth, too.

The sheer enormity of the 63-inch screen highlights another of this Fujitsu's image strengths: a fine detail delivery that exceeds expectations (the P63XHA51AS has a 1366x768 resolution, which on paper fares poorly against the 'Full HD' 1920x1080 of some competitors). The clarity and sharpness of a high-quality HD source is a sight to behold, reminding us of just what a difference HD can make to a truly big-screen viewing experience when the screen is up to the job.

There is considerable finesse in dark areas as even the subtlest of shadow details and greyscale shifts is shown with utter precision and delicacy. It does no harm that the black level gets much deeper and enjoys a more natural tone than previous generations of super-screens from the brand.

Another aspect where the P63XHA51AS improves substantially over previous Fujitsu giants - as well as some of the company's current smaller models - is with its colour fidelity. This is because high-definition signals enjoy eminently natural shades free of any over-ripeness even during dark scenes. Out of the box, we measured colour temperature at 10000K but after calibration we got a more manageable 7800K.

One or two colour issues occasionally creep in when you step down to standard definition, though, with reds in particular appearing a little bit orange. Also, SD images reveal faint traces of motion-noise so notable by its absence with high-definition. Otherwise, the pictures hold their own surprisingly well - at least via a digital source such as a DVD player or digital TV receiver.

Conclusion

Not everyone will be looking for a monitor of this size, but there's no doubting the drama and majesty of this screen. Without doubt, Fujitsu's P63XHA51AS is a startling example of plasma technology.

Fujitsu P63XHA51AS | $24,999 |  | See: www.fujitsugeneral.com.au 
For: Outstanding HD performance; svelte looks
Against: Few video-friendly features; only one HDMI input
Verdict: A strong choice for the home cinema enthusiast
___________________________________________________________

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Fujitsu P63XHA51AS Reviewed by SmartHouse Team Rating: 4.5