Pioneer Europe Adds LCD Panels, LCoS FP to Kuro Family
Written by Video Savant
Tuesday, 08 April 2008
Gizmodo is reporting that Pioneer Europe has announced, as expected, the addition of a range of LCD flat panels to its popular Kuro brand products:
Pigs officially fly today: Plasma king Pioneer has announced their LCD lineup for Europe, and yep, they're getting the coveted Kuro distinction (equivalent to a "best TV on earth" badge) as is the already released KRF-9000FD LCOS projector. The 1080p LCD sets are on the smaller side (leaving big boy TVs to plasma) in 32, 37 and 46-inch sizes, with a 100hz frame mode and a "specially tuned" picture quality. But do they live up to Kuro?
The addition of LCD panels to Pioneer's product line-up has pretty much been a foregone conclusion ever since Sharp purchased roughly a 20% share of struggling Pioneer in 2007. But there's been much speculation about whether the Pioneer LCDs would fall under the Kuro brand umbrella -- and with good reason. Kuro is the Japanese word for black, and Pioneer's recent Kuro plasmas have set the standard for black level performance; on the other hand, middling black level is a long-standing Achilles Heel for LCD displays.
The more interesting bit of news coming from the Pioneer Europe press release is that the company is also adding an LCoS-based 1080p front projector to the Kuro family:
Developed specifically for cinephiles with a dedicated home cinema room, the KURO projector is configured for screen sizes starting from 60 inches. Aside from displaying signature KURO style cosmetics, it supports advanced calibration and is in line with the KURO benchmark of deep black levels and rich colours, resulting in the unmistakable look of film. It incorporates LCOS 1080p technology, producing the highest native contrast ratio. Based on 3 x 0.7 inch D-ILA, it boasts a wide lens shift capacity and dual HDMI 1.3 support.
The addition of the LCoS projector seems a bit of a non-sequiter in that this is neither a Pioneer nor Sharp area of technology expertise. Reading between the lines, it appears that the Pioneer projector is based on the well-regarded JVC line of "D-ILA" projectors. LCoS is a non-proprietary technology, but the two leading companies pushing LCoS products are Sony and JVC. Sony has branded its LCoS products "SXRD," while JVC has long used the "D-ILA" moniker (Digital Direct Drive Image Light Amplifier).
Gizmodo indicates that there's no definitive word on whether other Pioneer regions will be following the European lead in bringing LCD and LCoS Kuro products to market.