Pioneer launches blackest plasma HDTV line

Posted by Mark Raby

Long Beach (CA) - Pioneer this week began shipping its latest slate of plasma televisions, claiming they have the darkest black levels of any plasma set.

The new HDTVs are under Pioneer's newly minted Kuro line.  According to the company, it was able to engineer a new technology that allows black levels that are 80% darker than its previous models.

An insufficient level of black contrast has been one of the biggest complaints about plasma since the induction of the plasma vs. LCD war.  Black levels affect the entire viewing experience by adding depth and vibrance to the picture.

Pioneer has launched four flagship Kuro HDTVs available in two sizes.  The 42" models with 1024 x 768 resolution start at $2700, while the 50" size carries a resolution of 1365 x 768 at a beginning price of $3500.

One of few companies to still exclusively offer plasma sets, Pioneer spoke at this year's CES saying the video format offered more potential expansion than LCD.

The new Kuro models will be available soon at retailers.