Plasma News: Could the Kuro’s days be numbered?

March 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product News

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We’ve said it before: the Pioneer Kuro line of Plasma HDTV units are among the best in the industry, but the industry is rapidly closing the gap with small leaps in technology being seen recently. Now Panasonic advances have possibly dethroned Kuro from the king of plasma screens.

At an event in New York City last week they announced a breakthrough in dark levels on Plasma units, telling the press that Panasonic’s new VT30 line will match the black levels of the 2009 (that’s 2 years ago!) Pioneer Kuros. The key (after reading through all the mumbo jumbo) is the new and improved louver structure of the filter that blocks reflective light from coming in, which in turn blocks ambient light — and Kuro fans around the globe moan in sadness as its king possibly falls.

We’ll have to wait to see if this indeed comes to pass, with the odd note that it took 2 years before a company caught up in this category to where Pioneer was previously.

Pioneer Again: Disguised as a Sharp?

January 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, Pioneer, Sharp, TV Brands

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It seems coming back from the dead is pretty popular these days, and Pioneer is doing a reappearance once again – but as Sharp rebadged HDTV units, if reports are to be believed. We were quite sad when Pioneer closed their Kuro brand, but good news could be coming. More here:

It was a dark day when Pioneer announced its mighty Kuro HDTVs would be no more, but the Pioneer Elite brand still has significant cachet and will return in 2011 on new high end TVs. The bad news? They will be LCDs, not plasmas, manufactured by its partner Sharp, a not entirely surprising move since this was actually the original plan for the Kuro brand back in 2008. Apparently both see potential as Sharp will gain access to higher-end AV salesrooms and integrators for its products, while Pioneer will have TVs to match its continuing Pioneer Elite Blu-ray player and receiver lines. Despite an impressive local dimming demo at CES we’re still not sure Sharp can create enough new pixels to replace what we once had, but we should find out for sure when the new models arrive the end of the year.

We’re unsure if Sharp can make a TV like Pioneer could, but seeing is believing. We’ll report if the Sharp models are up to snuff.

Elite Hi-Def: Pioneer’s new line of Blu-Ray players finally available

December 24, 2010 by  
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Pioneer is recognized as one of the leading voices in the plasma/hi-def revolution, and releases of their Elite equipment are always highly anticipated by the gadget geeks out there. So its with great pleasure we bring you this news:

After debuting quietly at CEDIA Pioneer’s 2010 line of Blu-ray players is finally available for purchase, including the low end BDP-430 and its two Elite cousins, the BDP-41FD and BDP-43FD. Other than the obvious addition of Blu-ray 3D compatibility, key upgrades from 2009 include WiFi readiness with optional dongle, streaming from YouTube (after a firmware update), Netflix and Pandora, an expanded continue mode to make sure you start The Twilight Saga: Eclipse right where you left it and the return of Pioneer’s iControlAV remote app for iOS devices. Starting price? $299 for the BDP-430, $399 for the BDP-41FD and its home automation-friendly RS-232 port, while $499 is required to bring home the “armored chassis” of the BDP-43FD.

Not cheap, but sometimes the old adage “you get what you pay for” really is true.

The Fight Is On: LCD vs. Plasma

April 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

Let’s face it: 2009 was a pretty bad year for Plasma in general. Prices went lower (a good thing), but how else could you describe a year where the ‘king of plasmas’ exits the marketplace for good, purposely?

It was hard enough when Kuro lovers learned that Panasonic would be manufacturing them instead of illustrious Plasma makers Pioneer, and its a good thing Panasonic, Samsung and LG continued on and didn’t hang their heads when Vizio joined the Plasma quitters club  — Panasonic even opened the biggest ever Plasma plant in 2009 which should continue the Plasma tradition for quite awhile to come.

We aren’t sure who will win the HDTV format wars for the next few years, but its looking apparent that LCD has huge favor with many large companies, and Plasma will have an uphill battle to regain its lost market share.

Opinion: What’s the best Blu-Ray player out there?

October 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News

toshiba-blu-ray-playerSince we assume many of our HD loving brethren watch their movies on Blu-Ray, we’re wondering: What’s the best option for a blu-ray player out there right now?

Yes, the Sony PS3 includes a BR player along with being able to play games, but ya know, it doesn’t include all the extra stuff that BR is really known for, and has been known not to perform as well as stand alone players. So what company/model offers the very best that BR has to offer? LG, Sony, Pioneer? All have their supporters and upsides, but we’d love to hear from you, our readers. What model do you like and why?

We look forward to hearing from all of you.

Best Plasma in 2009: Readers Speak Out!

July 22, 2009 by  
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pioneer-pdp-6070hd-plasmaSo many of you may be looking for a new HDTV to adorn your living space. Some of you may even be on the lookout for a Plasma, due to reading this blog where we’ve talked about how cool Plasmas can be, and their advantages over LCD in several areas. But what is the best Plasma TV to grab here in 2009?

Here’s where we ask you, our knowledgeable readers to give advice about those models you may have heard about that offer the best picture, most features or best reliability. The Pioneer Kuro? One of the Panasonic models we’ve covered here? There are still a wealth of options to choose from.

We look forward to your opinions. For those of you eager to read other opinions, read on here.

Offically Official deal done: Pioneer/Sharp Blu-Ray venture

June 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News, Pioneer, Sharp, TV Brands

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sharp_pioneerWe actually reported on this happening soon a few months ago, but now we’re receiving word that this joint venture has completed setup, and is official. Officially.

Pioneer and Sharp have finalized their long-talked about deal to combine both of their Blu-ray operations together, completing the joint agreement planned since Pioneer started slowly exiting out of the Plasma business.

The PDF here has all the details and geeky info, but the important points are as follows: Pioneer will hold 66% ownership and 3 of 5 seats on the big wig board of the 450-employee venture, which is planned to start up October 1st. Its goal will be to develop new disc technologies and players, mostly Blu-Ray.

All of this means lower priced players and better technology for HDTVs in the long term, two things we’re quite fond of at Screen Sleuth.

Breaking: Pioneer and Sharp to join together in Blu-Ray agreement

April 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News, Pioneer, Sharp, TV Brands

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blu-ray-discAs was mentioned during Pioneer’s “reorganization” (read: laying off people and realizing they need to adapt to survive), it’s joining forces in the Blu-Ray biz with Sharp, and have signed a tentative agreement to start joining brains October 1.

What this means right now for both companies with their existing players isn’t really clear, but odds are the players that come of this agreement will be first class, and hopefully help to strengthen both companies position in the disc market.

Negotiations are still happening and a final agreement with full details are expected by June 25th or so. Hopefully, their meeting of forces will help to push BR discs to the general populace and help it to gain more of a foothold.

Shattered Dreams: Pioneer plasmas showing up with cracked screens

March 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Industry News, Pioneer, TV Brands

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6-25-08-krp600mPioneer needs to hire a new shipping company perhaps? It seems that way, as a high amount of complaints have been pouring in about Pioneer plasma TVs showing up with cracked screens. There’s even threads on several AV sites complaining about the issue, which isn’t a good thing for a high-end product such as this.

The Pioneer KRP-600M is the culprit right now, and on one thread 11 responders have seen their plasma TV arrive with a cracked screen, while 18 received their model in good shape — a really poor ratio to say the least. Hopefully it isn’t the materials or a defective lot, which could really take a bite out of Pioneer’s bottom line.

No big alarm necessary yet, but has anyone else had this trouble?

Inside Stuff: Pioneer exec addresses their exit from TV business, future plans

February 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Pioneer, TV Brands

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pioneer-logoAnnounced here, Pioneer is exiting the TV/Plasma business for good by March 2010, and since their TV’s were rated among the top Plasmas available on the market right now, so it was a real head-scratcher.

It appears from the interview that Pioneer just wanted to focus their business on their A/V receivers and other related items, and felt the display business was diverting their funds and attention from that goal. It’s still sad to someone go out while still on top, but from a business standpoint, its not hard to see where they’re coming from.

With the impending layoffs for Pioneer coming (10,000+ layoffs over the next year or so), they probably figured they couldn’t give the products the attention they deserved. Their next-gen display design (a partnership with Panasonic) has been scrapped.

They did say they planned on going ahead with DVD/Blu-Ray players on the drawing board, so it isn’t as if Pioneer is shutting their doors altogether.

More of the (mostly self-promoting) interview here.

Pioneer ending HDTV production, selling off DVD business

February 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Pioneer, Technology News, TV Brands

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pioneer-logoIn yet another business blow for the battered electronics industry, Pioneer, electronics giant, is ending all HDTV and TV production as of now.The Nikkei in Japan is reporting this despite a strong resurgance in profits from the company, it still posted over a billion in losses, and will shut down all TV production.

The DVD business it owns will be spun off and/or sold off in a deal with Sharp, and several thousands employees will be laid off in a plan it had begun to implement anyway to shut down plants in Europe.

Hey, it was bad enough news when they let LaserDisc die on the vine, but the company feared the worsening economic climate would push them towards more losses in the next quarter.

RIP Pioneer TV (and Laserdisc, a Pioneer player of which I owned in the 6th grade and was quite proud to own).

Gallery Of HDTV Deals For May 2008

May 7, 2008 by  
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Experience The Best In Sight And Sound From The Pioneer KURO PDP-5010FD 50″ Plasma HDTV


Watch Television In Cinema Style With The LG 52LB5D 52″ LCD HDTV


Get Your Game On In HD With The Sharp AQUOS LC-32GP1U 32″ Gaming LCD HDTV


Enhance Your View With The Fujitsu Plasmavision P55XTA51UB 55″ Plasma HDTV


Get More Screen In A Smaller Space With The Toshiba REGZA 40RF350U 40″ LCD HDTV


Pay A Small Price For the Large Westinghouse TX47F430S 47″ LCD HDTV


Experience Superior Sight and Sound From The Hitachi Ultravision 55HDS69 55″ Plasma HDTV


See Bigger And Better Images On The Sharp AQUOS LC65SE94U 65″ LCD HDTV



Get An Extra Clear Picture With The Panasonic TH-46PZ85U 46″ Plasma HDTV


Experience The Best In Sight And Sound From The Pioneer KURO PDP-5010FD 50″ Plasma HDTV

May 1, 2008 by  
Filed under Pioneer


Pioneer PDP-5010FD KURO Plasma HDTV

Why have just a television that you simply watch and listen, when you can have an auditory and visual experience that rivals any cinema with the Pioneer KURO PDP-5010FD plasma HD television. This large 50″ widescreen HDTV displays big images that are bright with incredible color and contrast complemented by intensely deep blacks that will make every image feel much more real. This HD Plasma will let you view high-definition programming the way it was intended, because it comes with a built-in digital tuner that will allow you to view Full HD broadcasts in clear1080p resolution, as well as the current non digital broadcasts through the analog tuner. The KURO PDP-5010FD will provide you with more than just a feast for the eyes, because you’ll experience crisp sound from the detachable speakers with subwoofer that only get better with a great surround sound system. If you need more than just passive sound and sight, this Pioneer HDTV can connect to your camera, pc and other digital devices through the USB port allowing you more options for expanded use. No matter what you’re viewing you’ll always be able to see images on this Pioneer clearly, thanks to the optical light sensor that automatically adjusts the picture depending on the light conditions and program content. When you want the best sight and sound experience for your media room, then you’ll want to buy the Pioneer KURO PDP-5010FD 50″ Plasma HDTV to satisfy your eyes and ears.

Gallery of TV Deals For March

March 19, 2008 by  
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See A Better Picture With The Mitsubishi LT-52144 52″ LCD HDTV


Pioneer KURO PDP-6010FD 60″ Plasma HDTV




Samsung HP-T5064 50″ Plasma HDTV


Hitachi L47V651 47″ V-Series LCD HDTV




Toshiba REGZA 40RF350U 40″ LCD HDTV


Sony Bravia KDL-37M3000 37″ LCD HDTV



Sceptre X42gv-Komodo 42″ LCD HDTV


Pioneer KURO PDP-6010FD 60″ Plasma HDTV

March 12, 2008 by  
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Pioneer PDP-6010FD 60″ Diagonal 1080p Plasma HDTV TV

If you’ve always wanted to own the best plasma television available, then you should know that Pioneer, which makes the designer-label of plasma televisions, plans to exit the market with these amazing high-end TVs. Although, Pioneer will stop making plasma televisions, they will continue making great LCD televisions, so if you have your heart set on a plasma you’ll need to be prepared to buy your Pioneer plasma television soon.

This KURO PDP-6010FD is more than just a 60″ plasma television, because it produces an on-screen picture that transports you directly into the action of everything you watch. With its room light sensor, the PDP-6010FD has the ability to produce the deepest blacks and the brightest whites no matter how the room lighting changes. The Pioneer KURO PDP-6010FD has all the connection features you expect like a port for your computer and USB port for other electronics like cameras and media players. You’ll also get features not found on other sets that include a CableCARD connector and subwoofer output with detachable speaker system. With features like these and many more, you’ll understand why the Pioneer KURO plasma is the ultimate in television viewing.

This is a plasma television that not only produces great sound and crisp video images, but will look great in any media room, even when it’s turned off. Don’t wait too long to buy the Pioneer KURO PDP-6010FD 60″ HDTV, because you’ll want to own the television that set a new standard by which all others plasma TVs are measured before they’re all gone. With this TV you can expect to spend plenty of quality time getting reacquainted with your favorite shows and movies.