Second-generation Pioneer KURO unveiled: 5x deeper black levels

Quite a lot has gone on in Pioneer's world since it wowed us all with the Project KURO at CES, but one thing hasn't changed: it's dedication to world-class black levels. Announced alongside several other fine pieces of kit today in NYC, the 2008 KURO family will posses black levels "five times deeper than the previous KURO." According to company bigwig Paul Meyhoefer, the ultimate goal is "pure, absolute black," and it's well on its way with the latest line. You'll also find a feature dubbed Optimum Mode, which "simultaneously monitors video and room light conditions" and then makes the most appropriate adjustments based on what it senses. Sadly, most of the nitty-gritty details have been omitted for now, but you can count on the June-bound models checking in at just 3.7-inches thick, sporting 1080p panels alone (no 720p), coming in 50- ($4,000) / 60-inch ($5,500) sizes (no 42-inch) and arriving with a new remote / redesigned HD interface. Jump on past the break for the full release, but we're warning you, there's an awful lot of gloating down there.



Pioneer's 2008 KURO Displays Boast Industry Leading Black Levels and Richer Color to Create an Unmatched Emotional Entertainment Experience

NEW YORK (May 7, 2008) – Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today announces a new line of KURO plasma displays featuring black levels five times deeper than the previous award-winning KURO. Widely recognized for its commitment to creating entertainment experiences that transcend the ordinary, Pioneer takes yet another groundbreaking step towards HDTV perfection with this new line of 2008 KURO flat panel televisions.

"The game-changing performance our KURO displays brought to the marke last year revitalized the landscape of high end home theater in a way that was never thought possible. The introduction of this year's KURO televisions is another step toward our ultimate goal of pure, absolute black that will fulfill the true potential and all the promise of high-definition entertainment," said Paul Meyhoefer, vice president of display marketing and product planning, home entertainment business solutions group, Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. "Our goal is to listen and fully understand the minds of creative professionals and their craft. When great entertainment comes together something truly magical happens, the boundaries of technology fall away and you're left with a truly unique experience. This is the hidden key to the power that KURO possesses and ensures the integrity of the artist's vision is never compromised."

Pioneer's Philosophy is Absolute Black
The philosophy behind Pioneer's Project KURO and the driving force is to achieve absolute, pure black. True, deep black creates a picture unlike any other that possesses finer detail, greater contrast, and more importantly, the ability to produce deeper colors not achievable before. This year, Pioneer pushes ever closer to their goal of absolute black by further reducing the idle luminance and improving black levels five times over the previous 2007 KURO models. This has enabled Pioneer to accurately reproduce deeper colors within the high-definition color spectrum and outdistance other display manufacturers.

Pioneer understands that color is a vital tool that creative professionals – from visual artists to film and television producers – use freely to evoke emotion and arouse our senses. With varying techniques from the most subtle to intense manipulation of color, artists can induce a very specific feeling within their audience. That feeling can be lost or diluted if a television cannot produce true, pure deep blacks and in turn reproduce an accurate color spectrum. The end result cannot be imitated and is beyond compare.

Evoking Emotion through Sound
Pioneer has incorporated six unique sound settings associated with each of the KURO video settings – standard, movie, sports, performance, game, dynamic – to ensure a customized listening experience that is specifically in tune with the type of programming on-screen.

The television employs an auto volume stabilization feature that further
controls the television's volume level when switching between different types of programming; including network shows and commercials, broadcast channels or different input types to insure each experience remains true and distinct from one another.

Pioneer has included the most advanced SRS® WOW HD technology in the new KURO models by incorporating SRS Definition, a high frequency enhancement that provides finer control and adjustment to manage low, mid and high audio frequencies. The result adds to the virtual surround sound effect and produces clearer, more precise audio in mid to high frequency levels.

A Truly Intelligent Television
The KURO employs a unique automatic adjustment feature called Optimum Mode that simultaneously monitors video and room light conditions. The KURO then seamlessly adjusts the picture and sound settings by even the slightest variation to provide an experience specially tailored to each type of programming. The result is movies that reproduce a film-like quality, sports that feel like you're on the field and crisp clear narration from newscasts that focus on the reporter, not ambient background noise.

While many consumers will rely on this unique feature, the 2008 KURO models still have the ability to switch between six finely tuned pre-set modes including: standard, movie, sports, performance, game, dynamic for consumers who prefer the ability to manually adjust their KURO television according to their particular taste.

Enhanced Consumer Convenience Features
The introduction of the 2008 KURO 1080p line creates the perfect synergy between film, video and high quality sound, helping blend these into a new world of seeing and hearing like never before. Pioneer has built a reputation for providing best-in-class products that evoke emotion and surpass typical high- quality sight and sound specifications, adding enhanced features such as these to the 2008 KURO line:

• Pioneer KURO televisions are now only 3.7 Inches thick, reduced by nearly 20 percent
• New remote control and redesigned high definition graphic user interface for ease-of-use and seamless integration with other a/v equipment
• Networked Home Media Gallery for playback of digital assets such as HD movie, music and photos from a PC or via USB
• Pioneer KURO televisions are DLNA compatible and Windows PlaysForSure™ compatible