As always, the real test of an HD panel is its response to standard definition signals and the Pioneer does well. Britain’s Got Talent had the right gaudy brashness, Ant and Dec’s suits showing up as the most tasteful part of the evening. US ad-exec drama Mad Men gleamed with suitably retro colours and rich skin tones and bright-coloured lips – even on the men.
A reassuringly robust remote
However, there are some motion blur issues. Not consistently and not fatally, but some fast moving action wasn’t as sharp and well-defined as it should have been. On a lower-priced set this would have been grudgingly acceptable, but the KRL-37V is really not cheap. Even though you can find it online for around £900 – substantially less than the suggested £1,300 – it’s still more than you need to spend for a screen this size. A basic HD-ready screen from a big name can cost less than £500, with Full HD only £100 more.
Image conscious: what price this picture?
On the other hand, you just won’t find detail, depth and blackness to match this set on other LCDs. True, the latest LED screens have exceptional contrast for the technology, but none has yet obliterated the halo effect entirely. Undoubtedly, the Pioneer front filter works wonders, that other TVs don’t.
If you want to save money, there are plenty of ways to do so – maybe opt for a less discreet screen frame or make do with HD-ready instead of Full HD. As the price goes down, you’ll have to compromise on contrast and colour richness too. Moreover, with a flatpanel, the picture quality can owe an awful lot to the image processing, and the high achievers in this respect are the big name manufacturers. Pioneer is showing ingenuity with its exceptional high-contrast front filter and while the picture is enough to command a price premium, whether it’s strong enough to justify this much extra money, is a grey area. ®
More HD TV Reviews...
Pioneer Kuro KRL-37V LCD TV
Full HD (@Dan)
One good thing about Full HD is that 1080 content need not be resampled, and 720 content can be resampled very simply. Whereas it's all too easy to mess it up with a 1366x768 screen.
"Setup is simple enough – though as you plug in your Sky+ HD box, Blu-ray player and PS3 you’ll notice you’ve just used up all the HDMI sockets. For the price premium this set commands, a fourth socket on the side of the TV would have been expected, but no, three’s your lot."
You want four HDMI sockets? Why? Please explain why it should have 4?
3. Games console
What you plugging into the fourth that wouldn't actually replace one of the others?
Try finding an amp with 4 HDMI inputs for a reasonable price because that's what stands in between most sources and a high end panel.
It's as if you're just trying to find something to bitch about.
Re:Blu-ray AND PS3?
No, the PS3 does not piss over all but the very top end blu-ray players. Not even close. True when it first came out but not even close now. sony 350 and Panasonic BD35 both rated higher and both nowhere near top end.
They pulled out largely due to the strong Yen making it very expensive (and therefore unprofitable) for them to make the panels, not because they didn't think they were a success.
I've heard (unconfirmed) rumours that they will continue to make plasma TVs by sourcing the panels from other brands. If so, I have doubts about the quality of such.
The real question...
The consensus, at least until recently, was that full-HD was useless on anything below 42 inches. Nevertheless, manufacturers across the board added it to various TVs because gullible people wouldn't touch buy unless it had a full complement of mystery acronyms.
The real question is whether this is worth the extra money over the Panasonic 37PX80 plasma. The Panasonic is considered a bargain at £600-700, not least because it manages to keep the price down by avoiding un-necessary spec add-ons.
"After all, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Pioneer plasma smaller than 50 inches"
Umm - no, not all. Sorry, but all a bit nonsense that whole section about size.