Earlier this year, Pioneer announced they would exit the plasma manufacturing business. They will continue to design and sell plasmas, but will be buying the plasma glass itself from Panasonic. But perhaps more surprising was the announcement that they would begin selling LCD televisions, in a partnership with Sharp, under the Pioneer KURO brand. The inky deep black levels on KURO plasmas is something that's difficult to match with LCD technology so the announcement was met with some skepticism in the CE journalism community.
We spotted the first three models in the KURO LCD HDTV line at the CEATEC show in Japan this week, and while they may not have completely lived up to their "KURO" namesake, they did look pretty impressive. In three sizes: the 32-inch KRL-32V, 37-inch KRL-37V and 46-inch KRL-46V, Pioneer's KURO LCD televisions will be introduced for the European market this year. Each features a Pioneer-designed anti-reflective screen which enhances black levels, 100 Hz processing for improved motion reproduction (the equivalent of 120 Hz processing in the US) and a wide viewing angle of 176 degrees.
A timetable for US and Japanese introduction has not yet been determined. Plasmas will remain in Pioneer's KURO line at the 50-inch and larger screen sizes for the foreseeable future.
Here's are some shots of the new KUROs: