Pioneer stuns with new Kuro plasmas and LCD TVs

The Feedster

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Jun 26, 2007
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Pioneer hasconfirmed its position as the UK’s premier plasma TV maker with a range of Kurodisplays unveiled at a London launch today.
The biggest newshowever is that Pioneer is now touting its own LCD TVs, with panels supplied by TVmaker Sharp. Pioneer also took the wraps off a new high-end D-ILA projector.
Pioneer’s expansion into LCD TV territory shouldn’t come as a surprise - it’sbeen hinting that it would make the move since CES 2008 in January.
Pioneer’s strategy shift
Pioneer’s handhas also been forced by continuing losses in its plasma business. This resulted inits decision in March to hand over plasma panel manufacture to Panasonic.
The company alsolaunched a range of home cinema systems today, dubbed the LX range. These have beendesigned to work seamlessly with the Kuro and follow on from the existing LX01.
The integrationdoesn’t stop at the CEC control level either, but extends right through tothe component level.
The technology inside the Kuro compliments the technology in Pioneer’s Blu-rayplayer to give you an even better viewing experience.
Pioneer’s JimCatcheside puts it like this: “we don’t make our plasmas to work with PanasonicBlu-ray players. We make them to work with our Blu-ray players.”
Pioneer Kuro in display shoot-out
Catcheside thenshowed off the Pioneer Kuro’s superiority in display technology, comparing itto a Panasonic Viera plasma display with 30,000:1 contrast ratio, and a 52-inchSamsung LCD TV with a claimed contract of 500,000:1.
Pioneer, ofcourse, no longer quotes contrast levels - Catcheside says its G9 TVs have suchdeep black levels that quoting a contrast level is meaningless. Even lastyear’s breath-taking G8 plasmas pale significantly by comparison.
Much ofPioneer’s emphasis during its presentation was on how black levels enhanced themovie viewing experience for home cinema aficionados - i.e. the kind of peoplewho sit in a very dark room to watch a movie - and it’s proud to be a nicheplayer in this respect.
Discerning entertainment junkies
Its obsessionwith black levels won’t matter a jot to your average TV buyer though - especially those who’re likely to buy a LCDTV because they are significantly cheaper.
That doesn’tmatter to Pioneer. Spokeswoman Heidi Johnson-Cash said Pioneer was only reallyinterested in what it called ‘discerning entertainment junkies’ - people whocan afford to pay the premium prices that Pioneer’s display products command.
We have to saythough Pioneer’s Kuro plasmas do display absolutely stunning pictures, whichare matched by the sound emanating from its new home cinema receiver range.
Pioneer’s 2008product line-up.
Pioneerannounced two new G9 plasma panels today - the 50-inch PDP-LX5090 and 60-inchPDP-LX6090, both of which will be available in June.
Pioneer has beenable to improve the black level of these new sets by over five times whencompared to 2007’s G8 sets.
Pioneer alsoannounced three Kuro-branded LCD TVs - the 32-inch KRL-32V, 37-inch KRL-37V and46-inch KRL-42V. All threecome with an anti-reflective filter, three HDMI 1.3 ports and a100Hz frame mode to offer ‘an unmatched fast moving picture performance’.
The Pioneer LCDTVs also feature glossy aluminium bezels to distinguish them from the all-backsurrounds of the Kuro plasmas.
The 32-inch and37-inch LCD TVs go on sale in August. Availability for the 46-inch version hasyet to be confirmed.
Pioneer D-ILA projector
Finally Pioneerbranched into previously uncharted territory with the launch of its first D-ILAprojector, the KRF-9000FD.
It's capable ofdisplaying images from 60-inches to 200-inches in size and includes LCOS 1080ptechnology, plus three 0.7-inch D-ILA processors.
The D-ILAprojector also has a wide variable lens shift and twin HDMI 1.3 ports andboasts 1920 x 1080p resolution at 50Hz. It's available now.