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

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


There are other features worth noting too - albeit nothing unique. For instance, it's great to find the 37V retaining Sharp's innovation whereby the HDMI sockets automatically detect what device is attached to them. And so, for instance, if you connect a PS3, the HDMI you've used will automatically be relabelled PS3. Nice.

This ultra-friendly approach couldn't present a greater contrast with the extremely unhelpful approach to HDMI activation employed on Pioneer's KURO plasmas. The set also has an automatic backlight adjustment facility like those found on pretty much any LCD TV these days, and there's a light sensor built into the TV so that you can get the TV to adjust its picture settings in response to the ambient light levels of your living room.

At this point I have to say that as I was exploring the 37V's feature count, I couldn't help but feel that the set's menus were rather reminiscent of those of Sharp's TVs. And there was me saying earlier that I wouldn't labour the Sharp heritage point! Oops.

The 37V's remote, at least, is all Pioneer's work, combining the usual gorgeously heavyweight design and intuitive layout.

Let's now turn, at last, to the key issue of the 37V's performance. Is it really better than Sharp's LCD TVs? Is it good enough to justify the TV's premium price? And could it even be as good as Pioneer's KURO plasmas?

With relatively little else to distinguish the 37V from other brands of LCD, it's clearly up to the high contrast filter to really make a difference. And thankfully, it does. My first awareness of what Pioneer's filter was bringing to the party was really just a vague feeling that somehow I was connecting more directly to the picture than happens with most rival LCDs - including, tellingly, those from Sharp.

Trying to analyse where this feeling was coming from, the first specific point I noted was that black levels look slightly deeper, richer and definitely filled with more shadow detail than is commonly the case in the LCD world.

Then I noticed that colours are better than usual, too, with sumptuously rich saturations going hand in hand with some startling tonal richness and subtlety. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that the 37V's colours when watching HD are among the most expressive and accurate I've seen on any LCD TV to date. This was one facet of the Pioneer high contrast filter that I really hadn't expected to be so impressed by, but I'm happy to be proved wrong.

The 37V's HD pictures also look slightly sharper and more detailed than those of many other LCD TVs. This is particularly true during dark scenes, where the high contrast filter's impact on the key combination of brightness and contrast in the picture helps the set produce enhanced greyscale and shadow detail subtleties that work wonders during dark sequences such as those aboard the star cruiser at the start of Sky's HD broadcast of Star Wars: Episode III.

With startlingly bright peak white reproduction also helping the 37V produce a really dynamic picture range, the combined benefits of the high contrast filter comfortably exceed my expectations, and make the 37V what it needs to be: not only one of the finest LCD picture performers around, but one which uncannily delivers the sort of subtle strengths revered by the AV cognoscenti rather than the more vulgar charms seen on cheaper models.


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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