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

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


The 37V is not without its picture problems, however. First, although colours are terrific with HD, bizarrely I spotted a number of slightly odd colour tones during standard definition viewing.

Next, despite the screen carrying 100Hz processing, I still noticed signs of motion blur at times, with HD and standard def alike.

Another issue is the TV's viewing angle, as black levels and colour tones drop off markedly as you move down the TV's sides; a fact which is thrown into particular relief if you see the 37V alongside any of Pioneer's ‘angle-independent' plasma TVs.

This viewing angle issue affects the vast majority of other LCD TVs, too, of course. But some stupidly optimistic part of me had held out a hope that the high contrast filter might miraculously get round this traditional LCD failing.

Finally, and probably most controversially, although the 37V's black levels are good, I still felt there was room for further improvement. For they still suffer sporadic moments of gentle greyness over dark corners, at least where those dark corners are having to coexist in the frame with bright image elements. In this black level respect more than any other there's simply no denying that the 37V's LCD technology is no match for Pioneer's KURO plasma technology.

To some extent this is arguably not a very relevant point, as Pioneer's LCD TVs are, as we said earlier, just being offered to fill in the considerable size ‘gap' at the bottom of Pioneer's current TV offerings, and not as rivals for the plasma TVs.

But it does make me wonder if it was really a wise decision for Pioneer to launch the LCD TVs under the same KURO branding as the plasma sets. After all, KURO is Japanese for ‘black', and was introduced as a sub-brand name for the plasma TVs to reflect their truly groundbreaking black level response. Yet while good, the black level response on the 37V is certainly not ‘truly groundbreaking'.

Turning to the 37V's audio, the levels of volume possible are fine, and the mid-range is excellent, helping vocals sound realistic and well-rounded. There's plenty of definition in the treble register too. But I was slightly surprised - given Pioneer's usual audio prowess - to find a lack of bass leaving some of the treble information sounding a bit harsh and isolated, and denying me that satisfying bass ‘whump' during explosions.


Is Pioneer's first KURO LCD TV good? Yes it is. Does it produce better pictures than the Sharp TVs it shares its heritage with? Definitely. Does it produce better pictures than most other LCD TVs period? Yes.

However, at the same time it's not as spectacular - either in itself, or in comparison with the absolute best of its rivals - as Pioneer's KURO plasmas. Therefore, unless you're really keen on getting a TV aesthetically matched to your growing pile of Pioneer AV kit, you might argue that ultimately it doesn't quite do enough to justify its premium price.


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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