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If I'm honest, when I first heard Pioneer mention that it was going to start making LCD TVs to go alongside its world-beating plasma TVs, it sounded like a mistake.

After all, Pioneer can hardly expect me or anyone else with even a passing interesting in AV technology to forget overnight all the pro-plasma, anti-LCD rhetoric the brand has been presenting to the world for years now. So immediately there's the question of whether Pioneer's debut LCD TVs can suddenly be so good that they justify the brand flying in the face of its own philosophy.

Pioneer's decision to ‘go LCD' also initially struck me as an admission of failure; a tacit admission that however persuasive its plasma arguments - not to mention its KURO plasma TVs - the sheer weight of market support for LCD had finally made it impossible for Pioneer to avoid its ‘hated' rival format.

As one further and most pressing concern, I couldn't help but fear that Pioneer's switch to LCD might end up devaluing the ‘expensive but worth it' status the brand has been so carefully building over the past couple of years. After all, Pioneer doesn't make its own LCD screens (they're sourced from part owner, Sharp), and hasn't had anywhere near as long to develop a clear performance advantage with LCD as it has with plasma.

With all this in mind, it's fair to say that the first Pioneer LCD TV to cross the threshold of our test facilities has a hell of a lot of pressure on its shoulders. Just as well, then, that the KRL-37V starts alleviating that pressure - and some of the near hysteria surrounding the whole Pioneer LCD decision - almost immediately, simply by virtue of its size.

For at 37in across, it's currently the largest of Pioneer's LCD models (ahead of an upcoming 46in model). And as such it suddenly becomes prosaically clear that the 37V doesn't actually represent Pioneer caving in to the LCD crowd, but rather it's simply Pioneer catering for people who want a Pioneer screen but can't fit/don't want a 50in or bigger screen in their homes (Pioneer's 42in plasmas have pretty much disappeared now).

So with Pioneer's LCD decision so extensively depoliticised before we've even really got the TV out of its box, the only things really left for me to worry about are whether the TV justifies its relatively premium price point, and whether it does the Pioneer name proud. Both of which essentially boil down to me simply deciding if the TV is actually any good!

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November 3, 2008, 7:23 pm

I've got to ask - if you had to go for a 37" screen (due to size restrictions for example), would it be this one? What would you also consider? Just happens to be what I'm looking for...


November 3, 2008, 8:26 pm

RE: MarioM's - yes, I think that is a very valid question. I think the high-end/32-40 inch lcd market is largely ignored for the 40 inchers and higher. Since I have relatively little space between my viewing position and my TV, buying anything larger than a 40 inch TV would be overkill, and also may diminish the quality in some respects.

For me, the choice lies with Philips Cineos 37PFL9603D and not much else! I would love to have a comparison chart, or even better yet, have TR tell me which 32-37 to buy. ;-)


November 3, 2008, 8:26 pm

MarioM, a quick search on shows that the Panasonic TH-37PX80B and Panasonic Viera TX-37LZD800 both get excellent reviews.


November 3, 2008, 8:52 pm

@ LinguisticPedant - If it is between 32-37&#8221 LCDs, then I would recommend the Sony KDL-32W4000. I have one myself and love it. I would stay away from the Phillips as generally the picture quality isn't as good as the other manufacturers such as Sony, Samsung etc.

I have read good things about the Pioneer too, besides this review, so if you had to go for the best 37" LCD, then I would say the Pioneer KRL-37V.

Derek Martin

November 3, 2008, 9:58 pm

Panasonic Viera for me - fantastic quality and half the price!

AJ 1

November 4, 2008, 12:57 am

This weekend I was shopping for a 37". I did look at the KRL-37V in two shops, as I loved the brushed look (must LCD's are glossy piano black nowadays, I don't like the new Sony's open slot), but found the picture quality disappointing. Sitting straight in front of the TV, you get a perfect picture (as long as the image didn't pan to much) but stepping sideways picture quality quickly went down. And I don't want my guests to have a crappy view. As for the coming year most of my content is standard-def anyway, I picked up a Panasonic 37PX80 instead. Maybe in two years I'll shop for a full HD LCD again

AJ 1

November 4, 2008, 5:05 am

Recommendation in short after trying some 37" models in a shop: If you want the best of LCD and want to use it for HD content (such as blu-ray) this Kuro is the probably best available at this moment. Looks and build quality are excellent.

If you have mostly standard-def content you are probably better off with the Panasonic 37PX80 plasma. Half the price and better on high action, larger viewing angles.

For me 37px80 is 'best of current generation technology' while the Kuro is the way of the future.

Sven Lundquist

December 2, 2008, 2:18 am

I I got myself the KRL 46V just a few weeks ago. So far I am very happy with all that this sets provides. The design, although in this test it received only "8",I must conclude that to me this score is an example of no taste. I also checked some of the new Samsungs in the store, which happened to receive 10. Dear friends, there is no comparison, the look of this TV is stunning luxurious where as the Samsung looks really kitschy cheap. The features, it is hard for me to judge based on comparisons as I had no chance to really play with too many features on other sets, but the TV options provide enough to play with, giving all you need for adjusting just about everything one can imagine, on top of this, the menu is very easy to navigate in. Image quality, this set provides the best picture I have seen on an LCD TV, sure from really wide angle wider than 160 you are loosing some contrast and color, but, it is not dramatic, still allowing to watch the set quite comfortably. Concerning the colors, white and black are once again the best I have seen on any LCD set and would not hesitate to say as good as on plasma TVs. The deepness of black is really stunning. Sound quality, the sets sounds very good and I completely understand why the Pionner engineers did not make it sound even better, basically I wonder why it should have a sound at all. Who ever decides to spill out two grand for a TV, probably has an amp and set of nice speakers to hook it up to. Please do not be afraid of the received '8'. Over all value, Sure it is an expensive set which is not for everyone, yes there are sets which may come close with the picture quality and are somewhat cheaper. Comparing this TV with Samsung or even Panasonic is like you want to compare Audi A6 with Skoda Superb. I choose to be the Audi driver.

I really recommend this set because I know you will not be disappointed.


February 13, 2009, 5:54 pm

Despite the fact that Pioneer are ceasing TV production, I bought a KRL-37V earlier in the week. I am immensely impressed, and would say that at around &#163850 the set is good value for money. The build quality is truly fantastic, as is the picture over SD and HD, and the set oozes class with its understated design. I highly recommend taking a look at one if you are in the market for a 37-40" set.

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