Pi­o­neer Kuro

Sound + Image - - Second Decade -

Was it only for four years — 2007 un­til 2010 — that Pi­o­neer Kuro TVs were avail­able here in Aus­tralia? It’s al­most a leg­end to­day, though in truth there had been seven gen­er­a­tions of Pi­o­neer plasma be­fore it (our pre­vi­ous plasma award win­ner was the PDP-5000EX, the first 50-inch full-HD plasma TV, at $12,999). But the Kuro name brought ku­dos to the four mod­els re­leased in 2007, ‘kuro’ be­ing a Ja­panese word mean­ing black (or ‘deep’, or ‘pen­e­trat­ing’, ap­par­ently, but we’ll go with black for this pur­pose), the 50-inch ar­riv­ing at a rather friend­lier $7999. This penul­ti­mate pin­na­cle of plasma tech­nol­ogy got blacker with each gen­er­a­tion un­til fi­nally de­feated by power reg­u­la­tions, mass mar­ket LCD, and fi­nan­cial trou­bles at Pi­o­neer which ended pro­duc­tion in March 2010. By then many of the en­gi­neers in­volved in Kuro had jumped ship to Pana­sonic, whose plas­mas sub­se­quently led the pack — and ru­mour has it that some of the low-light tech­niques de­vel­oped then have re-sur­faced in the very lat­est OLED TVs from Pana­sonic

fea­tured this is­sue. Per­haps we can say ‘Long live the Kuro!’

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