Pioneer KURO KRL-37V 37in LCD TV - Pioneer Kuro KRL-37V

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


Aesthetically the 37V doesn't do all that much for me, truth be told. Sure, it's exceptionally well made, using a brushed aluminium finish that confidently overwhelms the glossy plastic of practically every other LCD TV around these days. And it's perfectly matched with the similar high-quality finish of Pioneer's new Blu-ray players and AV receivers, making it a potentially essential purchase for Pioneer completists.

But although the quality is there once you get up close enough to touch the 37V, somehow the metal finish just doesn't help the TV stand out from the crowd as much as I would have liked from a merely visual viewpoint - at least at the sort of distance most people will be watching a 37in TV from.

There's a practical issue with the brushed aluminium finish too, in that it makes the 37V extremely heavy by LCD standards. This runs rather counter to the ‘lighter is better' boasts associated with Pioneer's KURO plasma screens, and could potentially make wall-mounting the TV an issue in some homes.

Turning to the 37V's rear, there's another mild disappointment in store as I turn up only three v1.3 HDMI sockets when many much cheaper TVs are now starting to offer four. What's more, there's also no sign of a USB or SD card slot. This is particularly surprising given that Pioneer's KURO plasmas are renowned for not only carrying a USB port, but also carrying Pioneer's superb Home Gallery photo browsing interface.

It's hard not to see this as an early reminder that the 37V heralds to some extent from Sharp rather than Pioneer - but I'm keen not to sound prejudicial by labouring this Sharp issue, so I'll move swiftly on!

Positive connection discoveries include an RS-232 port for system builders to use (essential on a premium TV like this one), an optical digital audio output, and a D-Sub PC port.

As you'd hope of any 37in LCD TV these days, the 37V carries a Full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Plus it's got 100Hz processing to counter LCD's traditional motion-handling problems, and Pioneer's renowned PureCinema feature for auto-detecting video and film sources and adjusting the TV's progressive scan processing accordingly.

That's kind of it on the processing front, though. And with nowhere near as much to talk about in terms of innovations in the TV's core construction as we get with Pioneer's plasma TVs, I'm starting to feel concerned about exactly when the 37V is going to start persuading me that it's really worth comfortably more than most other 37in LCD TVs. Thankfully, though, the 37V does have one potentially crucial point of differentiation versus rival LCDs: a high contrast front filter.

Using technology similar to that found on Pioneer's plasma TVs, this filter over the 37V's pictures has the potential to greatly increase the picture's contrast range, shadow detailing and colour response versus what we might expect from a normal TFT-style LCD screen design.


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” 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 𨀊 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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