NEC joined Hitachi, Fujitsu and Philips in January by announcing its departure from the Australian AV scene, a move that further decreases choice for buyers in the flat panel market. This leaves Pioneer pretty much alone in a landscape dominated by the big four – Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and LG – but fortunately for consumers it is expanding its range of class-beating Kuro plasma TVs.

The ninth generation 50 inch PDP-LX509A shares the same performance characteristics of its 60 inch cousin, which won the EISA ‘European Plasma TV 2008/2009 when it was released last year. In addition to the benchmark black levels made possible by the Kuro2 video engine’s advanced ASIC video processor, exclusive cell structure with crystal emissive layer and Direct Colour Filter, these include full HD resolution, DLNA-certified Ethernet port, KURO-Link , 24 frames per second processing and Home Gallery (JPEG Picture Viewer).

The $6,499 PDP-LX509A is supported by the PDP-C509A, which provides similar performance for a thousand dollars less. Click here to read our review of the Pioneer PDP-C509A plasma TV.

Win a Pioneer PDP-C509A plasma TV

GadgetGuy is also giving away a Pioneer PDP-C509A and a BDP-51FD Blu-ray player – click here to enter. The competition runs until 19 April, 2009.