This post may serve no functional purpose whatsoever, but after putting various 2013 (and some 2012) model televisions through their paces at numerous retailers providing a number of different viewing environments I persistently come back to one question...
...just how the hell did Pioneer manage to get it so damn right with the Kuro while every other manufacturer is still so far behind? Nothing -- and I mean NOTHING -- even comes close to the overall picture quality of the 101FD that I have sitting in my living room. Calibrators/reviewers can provide measurements of new televisions that make them look promising on paper, but in real-world viewing every last one lags far behind my display that was manufactured in 2009. To be fair, I'm merely tweaking the settings of the demo units via previous recommendations and/or my own experience/preferences, but then again my Kuro wasn't professionally calibrated either. Overall representation of color, (luminance, saturation, etc.) depth of picture, conveyed sharpness, motion handling... the overall package creates a natural viewing experience that simply can't be matched by any other display on the market -- PERIOD. Unless the ZT60 is somehow leagues beyond what the VT60 offers there is zero chance that Panasonic will catch up to Pioneer any time soon. Could they provide a lower black level measurement? Sure, but does it really matter if it's still failing to check the rest of the performance standard boxes? Many seem to promote black level as the measuring stick by which we should consider a panel a potential "Kuro killer," but when taking the entire PQ package into consideration I couldn't disagree more with this practice. To declare a successor based on measurements alone would be done out of either short-sightedness or pure ignorance.
In my (and I suspect that of many/most) ideal viewing environment of dim/controlled ambient lighting, I'm coming to terms with the evermore likely fact that the last-gen Kuros will simply never be topped by current large-screen technologies -- and certainly not within the current eco-friendly, app-obsessed, 3D-touting climate that currently plagues showroom floors. OLED or some unheard of technology could finally provide an option, but if the performance of cellphone screens is anything to consider then the former has a looooooong way to go before it's a viable candidate. Furthermore, I wholeheartedly believe that if manufacturers were able to close the performance gap between their offerings and the Kuro and if there was less of a disparity in quality with 1080p source content, (i.e. current major productions/transfers being held to the high standard of, say, a Disney) there would be absolutely zero want/need for 4K resolutions.
As someone who currently desires a larger screen, it's because of the above that I find the current television market so utterly disappointing. Fact: I will not find a 65-70" television that will function as a facsimile of my current 50" Kuro. At this point, I'm greatly considering getting the cheapest competent (see: reliable; Vizio need not apply) set that's offered in my ideal screen size. I've come to terms that I can only derive a sense of "wow factor" from size as any display that I could possibly buy would be a comparative disappointment from a picture quality standpoint. If/when 4K content becomes viable/standard, I could then purchase a new television and move the 65-70" to the bedroom or elsewhere without regret.
However, to relegate the Kuro to a secondary location would be criminal in my opinion. To have my more seldom-used display be superior to my primary? Madness, I say! My 101FD deserves to be front and center in someone's living/entertainment/media/etc. room and that's why it pains me to be considering a sale. I don't necessarily need the larger screen sure, but it is something that I desire and it would prove beneficial when I entertain guests. That isn't to say that my current television doesn't consistently draw praise and amazed confusion over why theirs doesn't look like mine, because it does. But I am admittedly one who does multitask often while watching broadcasts/movies and am often moving about the room while doing so taking me further from my ideal seat of 10 feet away -- a distance that many would consider a 50" panel too small by today's standards as it is. Unfortunately, I can't say that I entirely disagree with that sentiment.
So, fellow Kuro owners, knowing my inner monologue concerning the petty choice of what television to own, what would your recommendation be? Do I let my "too small" Kuro move on to a home where it can be fully appreciated or do you believe that going through with said decision would cause me to wake up at night uttering a Gob Bluth-esque "I've made a huge mistake" for years to come?