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AVS › Reviews › Displays › Plasma HDTV › Pioneer PDP-5020FD 50-Inch 1080p KURO Plasma HDTV

Pioneer PDP-5020FD 50-Inch 1080p KURO Plasma HDTV


Pros: Excellent image quality, Natural color, Performance undiminished after 4 years of use, Excellent room heater

Cons: Excellent room heater, Makes electric meter spin faster, Expensive - sold several body parts to afford purchase.

Ah, would ye be castin' your minds back now to the dark days of recession ... way back to May of 2009. The spring thaw never came, gas and grocery prices kept risin', homeless men sat on street corners with cardboard signs that said "Will Wurk 4 Beer" and, worst of all, me girlfriend bought orange underwear and said t'was all she could afford. I tell ya, lads, the wail of a banshee woulda been more welcome than the sight o' them orange knickers in the cold mornin' light. It seemed there was no respite to the painful assault on eye and mind of all and even meself, the most broadminded of men.

Then it happened. We were surfin' on the inter-web thing when all of a sudden-like, we saw it. A Pioneer KURO - the Holy Grail for all seekers of truth in imagin' and detail. Aye, you've guessed already. "Twas a 2-day-only sale event at breast-bye.com. It seems they had a shed-full of these four-thousand-dollar beauties that had to go so they were sellin'em off at half price, to be sure. Completing the seduction, as if they could read our minds, they allowed as how we might be stretchin' the cost over a year and more without payin' a penny extra. "This is the Devil's work. Don't be taken in by it!" cautioned the girlfriend.

But, after a long moment of resisting temptation, we did the dirty deed anyways and, before you could say 'tangerine undergarment', the shiny beast was ensconced in heart and hearth of our humble abode. Having pressed the power button me girlfriend stroked the long, black remote control stick with both hands and said "Look, this thing's twice as long as your ... " "Oh, look", I said, "It's ESPN! ..."

"There's so many picture settings. Which one should we choose, I wonder?" asked the girlfriend. So, onto the inter-web thing once more to seek advice and decided to search for "kuro temptation". This led me to a secret portal with an strange magical name - avsforum. There were runes which, when translated, said Ye shall burn-in thy KURO for ten hours of the clock each day on the Movie pre-set even if ye be not watching it that whole time. Ye shall rinse and repeat the burn-in for twenty days and two. Then shall ye seek Digital Video Essentials or its brethren.

And so it was done, and we were anointed by proxy of Joe Kane, and the images were sharp, and the color was true, and the living room was warm to the touch.

For four years and more have we basked in the glow of KURO with blacker blacks, whiter whites and many-hued rainbows of Blu-ray and live sports. There has been nary a judder nor yet the ghost of slow response time. We have slid slowly but irrevocably into decadence, wallowing in waves of close-up details as we munch our popcorn slathered in melted butter.

"Wow", said meself, "She is smokin' hot. Just look at those buns!". "Hah!", said the girlfriend, "She's obviously had a butt-lift. Just look at those scars!" I looked again and, sure enough, there were tiny scars visible. Later, we switched over to a football game. Again, the girlfriend was starin' intently at the screen and her breathin' seemed a bit rapid. "Never knew you liked football this much", said I. "Ah", she replied, "It's not that a'tall a'tall, but I'm suddenly findin' an attraction for them big men in tight pants." Well, it was very warm in the livin' room, to be sure, and we didn't see much of the game after that.

So, my advice to you all? Don't be allowin' yourselves to be seduced by KURO temptation, lest ye find yourselves wastin' valuable TV-watchin' time with decadent food and love-makin' on the sofa ... in the warm livin' room ... in the glow of the KURO ...........



Pros: Beautiful Image When New

Cons: Careful Prudent Use Results in Notorious Burn-In After Images

There are many glowing reviews about the most important feature the infamous KURO deep black. But this display is over 5 years from its initial release date (and no longer available except used) and you can bet it doesn't hold a candle to the myriad of features available on current displays. I won't bore you with a list of minimal features. It has the essentials you need for use as a display. The features that drew me to this display were the KURO reputation, 1080p (somewhat rare at the time this product came out), and 72Hz display of 24fps content. (Features-detail rating: 1 of 5 stars based on today's feature-laden newer displays. In its day - 2007 when I bought mine - I'd have rated it 4.5 o f 5 stars).

Dialing in the picture is a bit of a chore - no display wins in this category - but this display does offer professional calibration if you need it. I found professional reviews online and used the settings recommended. I don't have the patience to tweak for perfection. (Setup-detail rating: 3 of 5 stars).

3) User Interface—
The text-based menu is a boring but functional user interface. I found the shocking transition to the broadcast TV Guide programming guide (two distinct user interfaces) jarring and offensive. An integrated GUI was expected at this price point. (User interface-detail rating 2.5 of 5 stars).

4) Performance—
Not having anything else in the house worth mentioning for comparison (a cheap 32" LCD) it is an understatement to say the PDP-5020FD blew the socks off everything else I've watched. However I was very disappointed when after less than a year of ownership the dreaded burn-in ghosting after image problem arrived. All care was taken to avoid this problem. The settings include an ORBIT to oscillate plasma cells to (supposedly) reduce burn-in risk. There is a Video Pattern setting that scrolls a solid white bar for an hour and was recommended to be used frequently during the first 100 hours of use and there-after when any after image or ghosting showed up. This setting was used frequently to no avail. This display was NEVER used for gaming and was only used to watch OTA digital broadcasts, Blu-ray or DVD movies, and Netflix. The result after a year of intermittent use is a pale reddish-colored rectangle centered in the display (visible during dark scenes or when no signal present). The edges of the burned in reddish ghost image are bordered by and correspond to the black bars of widescreen content or black pillars of 4:3 content. Very, very disappointing. (Performance-details rating 0.5 of 5 stars).


Pros: great blacks and color

Cons: it gets warm. the market is FINALLY catching up. High Price?

I cant tell you the horrible feeling I had in my gut when Pioneer announced they would no longer be making TVs. At the time, Pioneer was getting rave reviews. Even those folks choosing other TVs, were deciding on price alone. For YEARS, Pioneer TVs were setting the bar high. There was Pioneer and then there was everything else.

Taking a look at the fit and finish, this TV is loaded with features in a gorgeous container. The piano black bezel gives a high end look. Over the years, the modern design of less bezel, has started to give these older beauties a more dated look. At about 4" thick, it again doesnt match up to the much younger displays now on the market.

It flaunts 3 HDMI inputs, a gaggle of legacy analog inputs and speaker outputs for the detachable speaker bar. One of the HDMI ports is on the side, which is nice for quick or temporary setups.

The remote was very useful. My only real complaint is that its difficult to you in low light. It has so many buttons that you really need to be looking at it for anything more complicated than the direct input selection or volume controls that are intuitively placed.

I dont use alot of fancy tools to judge and/or tweak PQ. I use my eyes. I've watched many different TVs, and I would still put this TV up against just about all of the TVs that I've seen. The black is quite simply "just black". After years of viewing TV/movies on this, it makes the gray of other TVs very noticeable. This 1080p display makes the source material look as good as anything that I have seen. When we watch a movie or show in lowish light, we can still get "wows" from our guests. Side by side comparisons will be difficult now with none being sold in stores. But if you havent ever seen what a Pioneer TV can do, find one, and see where the bar was set, and what displays now are aspiring to surpass.


As time goes by, its safe to assume that more and more Tvs will pass this by in terms of quality, performance and value. In an 18 month period, I bought this and its 60" high society brother, the Pro-141fd. It was way more TV than i could really afford, but at the time I just wanted the best. I could have spent alot less, but once I saw what Pioneer was doing with their displays, I just couldnt have anything less. If you are one who is inclined to nitpick the color presentation, black levels, and motion sensitivity, then this TV presented some value. In the same way that a European luxury car does vs. a nice american family sedan. They can just do things that others cant, and you pay for that performance.

When i find myself looking at TVs in the big box stores in at my local AV specialty store, i wish that Pioneer was still making TVs. If they decide to do it again, I'll be one of the first to get in line.
Pioneer PDP-5020FD 50-Inch 1080p KURO Plasma HDTV

Discover for yourself what happens when sight and sound come together in the most extraordinary, beautiful and amazing way of ways in the new Pioneer KURO PDP-5020FD. It's a world so vivid - so lifelike, so incredibly stimulating, everything is completely changed. This is a world where everything you see and hear, performs in ways previously unimagined. A new slimmer body profile paves the way to the future. But elegance and flawless design are only the beginning. With an all-new Optimum Mode, the KURO lets you enjoy entertainment as it was meant to be. No need to toggle through or change settings for each type of programming. Built -in intelligence seamlessly monitors content and room light, and then automatically adjusts both audio and video settings for an immaculate picture and pristine sound. Together they become something remarkable and unlike any other experience. Sports come alive, news casts are crisp and clear and movies take on a life all their own. The new KURO features a totally redesigned GUI (graphical user interface) for ease of navigation. A universe of advanced picture-in-picture settings and game control preferences ensures your experience is unique and tailored to your specific tastes. Improved video processing for both standard and high-definition content surpasses our highest standards and provides you with the best viewing experience possible today. But there's more to this world than meets the eye. It sounds different too - thanks to a fully integrated digital amplifier and detachable bottom speaker, improved audio and clarity have become the norm.

Feature50-Inch Class KURO High-Definition Flat Panel Television, High-Definition 1080p Resolution (1920 x 1080p) 1080 Progressive Image Reproduction with ability to accept 480i/480p/720p/1080i/1080p signals New Deeper Blacks for Unmatched Contrast (5x Previous Generation) New Thinner Cosmetic Design New Home Media Gallery Home Network Connectivity ¿ Improved filter for enhanced contrast in bright environments
Item Height28.5 inches
Item Length3.7 inches
Item Width48.5 inches
Package Height20 inches
Package Length52.5 inches
Package Weight116 pounds
Package Width38.5 inches
ProductGroupHome Theater
TitlePioneer PDP-5020FD 50-Inch 1080p KURO Plasma HDTV
UPCList - UPCListElement012562887098
Item Weight74.5 pounds
CatalogNumberList - CatalogNumberListElementPDP-5020FD
ColorGloss Black
Warranty1 year parts and labor
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
AVS › Reviews › Displays › Plasma HDTV › Pioneer PDP-5020FD 50-Inch 1080p KURO Plasma HDTV