Pioneer Kuro PDP-6020FD Plasma
Sept 2008 Home Theater review info
On page 68-71 of the September 2008 Home Theater magazine, Thomas J Norton has written a review on the Pioneer KURO PDP-6020FD. Overall the picture quality is better on this new 9th generation display compared to the 8th generation display but the cheaper priced 9th generation comes at a cost with reduced features compared to last years model. In a prior post I went into details about the inputs in the back that were eliminated and other features that were eliminated to cut cost on the new 9th generation Pioneer's. Thomas J. Norton over at Homer Theater magazine mentions the remote control is not as good this year and the menus on the non Elite's this year offer no color-temp control and other menu settings are not included to simplify the menus. The new Elite and Signature series which cost more will offer these advanced adjustments.
An excellent feature that only Pioneer offers is that it is currently the only flat panel brand that will automatically turn on the true 1080P/24 film mode when one inputs a 1080P/24 signal from a BLU-RAY player, then the flat panel refreshes the image properly at 72HZ regardless of any menu settings. All other Plasma and LCD flat panel screens so far that I have seen and have read reviews of all require consumers to mess around with the motion features or other settings need to be changed in order to properly display 1080P/24 like a film projector. It is so nice and easy for the consumer to just place their BLU-RAY player on 1080P/24 and the Pioneer will automatically do the rest in terms of properly displaying the 72HZ film rate.
Highlights from the Home Theater review
However, if your program material is already at 1080p/24, the Pioneer automatically converts it to a display frame rate of 72fps (using repeated frames, not interpolation), regardless of the PureCinema control setting.
State-of-the-art black level, shadow detail, and contrast ratio
Color temperatures are inaccurate and cannot be calibrated
Some video processing artifacts
The Pioneer remote lacks backlighting, and it has smaller buttons than the remote that came with last year's model.
Pioneer clearly made a concerted effort to simplify the operation of its standard sets. However, this simplification comes at a price. The set includes few specialized controls:no color space options, no gamma settings, no noise reduction, no enhancements, and no other special tweaks.
Perhaps most important, none of the picture modes offers any color-temperature control. They don't even provide fixed settings such as Low, Middle, and High. Plus, according to Pioneer, you can't calibrate the gray scale, even via the hidden service menu. You just get what the factory ordered, no more and no less. This would not be a problem if one or more of the modes adhered closely to the D65 color temperature standard. But none of them does.
Potential buyers should know that the new Pioneer Elite sets and the new Signature Series monitors will offer extensive adjustments. Thankfully, they will both include full calibration controls for color temperature.
The Pioneer KURO PDP-6020FD excels in far more than just blacks. But I can't overstate the importance of rich blacks, particulary if you are a movie fan. I never once wished for deeper blacks or better shadow detail.
Yet, I do wish that the set's color temperature were more accurate. And I don't like to see any manufacturer eliminate the ablity to correct color-temperature deviations. I particularly don't like to see Pioneer do it, since its sets are arguably the best on the market. For that reason, my recommendation here is less enthusiastic than it might have been otherwise.
But unless another manufacturer springs an unexpected surprise, Pioneer's ninth-generation plasma will be the sets to beat this year.