Monday, November 3, 2008


Pioneer releases it's first Kuro LCD in Europe. This LCD may be available next year in North America. The bulk of this 37" 1920x1080 TV is manufactured by Sharp. About 18 months ago Sharp invested about $400 million in Pioneer for an 18% ownership stake. The Pioneer Kuro LCD product line is joint venture with Sharp and is available in 32", 37", and 46" sizes. Pioneer color filters and some Pioneer electronics are used. The MSRP for the KRL-37V is $1721 USD. Technically this LCD HDTV isn't a ninth generation (9G) plasma panel but it is part of the current Kuro product line.

A standard Cold Cathode Florescent (CCFL) backlit as is common on Sharp LCD panels was used in the KRL-37V. This HDTV has Pioneer's PureCinema processing feature and 100 Hz processing which is common with European TVs (think 50 Hz AC power lines). PureCinema has a "smooth" option which interpolates and operates at 100 Hz and it also has a mode that detects the 2:3 pull down of 24 FPS movies. On the Kuro plasma's this detected 24 Hz film source is run at a native 72 Hz 3:3 sequence which eliminates pull down judder. It is unknown if the KRL-37V LCD does this or if it runs detected film sources at a 100 Hz frame rate. Since 100 does not evenly divide by 24 this will create some sort of frame rate mismatch. Not sure of the benefits of 100 Hz.

  • 3 HDMI 1.3a
  • 1 YPbPr
  • 1 S-Video
  • 1 composite
  • 2 SCART
  • optical Toslink ouput
There isn't a USB or Ethernet jack so no DLNA and no Home Media Guide (HMG). The remote control looks a lot like the one that comes with the 5020 and 6020. Pioneer's purple high contrast filter improves the black level while not reducing the bright white level.

  • black levels
  • accurate colors

  • heavy aluminum chassis
  • standard LCD motion blur issues
  • standard LCD off-axis viewing angle problems
  • lack of a native 24 Hz multiple frame rate

The specifications for the KRL-37V seem very similar to the Sharp Aquos LC37D64U 37-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV which is available for $857. The Sharp LCD model has DLNA but it is missing all of the Pioneer modifications. Do these additions make it worth an almost $900 premium?

The reviewer said that the KRL-37V had very good performance for an LCD but lacks having a "truly groundbreaking black level response." Unfortunately reviewer said that the KRL-37V does not live up to the Kuro name.


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