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Panasonic Uses Pioneer Kuro Tech to Make 5M:1 HDTV Line

Gordon Kelly


Panasonic Uses Pioneer Kuro Tech to Make 5M:1 HDTV Line

We've said it many times in the past and we'll say it again, Pioneer made the best TVs in the world. When it ceased production due to cost issues we shed a tear and hoped its agreement to share technology with Panasonic would eventually bear fruit. One year later, it has...

With the announcement of 'Viera G2' plasma series it seems Panasonic may finally have given us a genuine successor to Pioneer's remarkable Kuro models. Sporting Pioneer's PDP Black panel tech the new range claims contrast ratios of an incredible 5,000,000:1. They also sport Pioneer's built in sensors which measure a room's ambient lighting and automatically tweak the display's brightness and temperature settings appropriately.

42in, 46in and 50in models with a choice of black, brown and silver bezels will be made available, all with Full HD resolutions, three HDMI, one D4, three composite, an S-video and four RCA audio inputs plus VGA. An Ethernet port is also fitted which will support the acTVila online service plus an SD memory card slot, though we wait to hear if there will be expanded codec support for playing video content directly over a network.

Panasonic will begin shipping the Viera G2 series in Japan from February with an international roll-out expected to follow soon after. RRPs see the 42in, 46in and 50 inchers priced at $2,400 (£1,468), $2,870 (£1,756) and $3,530 (£2,472) respectfully which suggests even Panasonic's economies of scale can't bring down the cost of Pioneer's Kuro tech by much. Then again, the best the back.


via Impress (translated)


January 19, 2010, 7:24 pm

Brown bezel ? Brown !?


January 19, 2010, 7:31 pm

@G -not really our main point of interest, but yep. I think it looks quite nice.


January 19, 2010, 7:37 pm

Can these output Deep Colour/(16bit per colour channel) in that case?


January 19, 2010, 8:06 pm

The brown is the one I'm most intrigued by. I like when you get an unusual colour that sets other models apart. Plus I like the juxtaposition of an older retro style, with the latest tech. My only concern would be balancing that against the advantage of having a black bezel that more easily disappears in darkness - it's very satisfying when a image that takes up the whole screen just sort of floats in the air without a frame.

(By the way, this is a world where I could afford a Kuro. I have seen a few in the flesh though and the black level was every bit as incredible as TR promised.)


January 19, 2010, 8:26 pm

I've been waiting for years now to upgrade my Pioneer 50" plasma to a 60", but now there's no more 60"?? That's rather disappointing.


January 19, 2010, 8:28 pm

@Marcel - my heart bleeds for you ;)


January 19, 2010, 8:34 pm

just once i'd like panasonic to make a square tv. not a deal breaker... but i liked the square kuros of ancient times.

Ala Miah

January 19, 2010, 8:41 pm

Will TR be reviewing any of them anytime soon?

Would love to see how it compares to the original Kuro's.

Given the cost and how long a TV should last, i'm hoping for OLED TV's to take of soon because i've been waiting forever!


January 20, 2010, 3:44 am

I'd love a tv screen made of Bamboo


January 20, 2010, 4:05 am

Sounds good, but 50" is just to small, for me anyways. Has to be at least 60"


January 20, 2010, 7:18 am

@ilovethemonkeyhead: I'd second that mate. I just wish manufacturers would return to the discreet and angular designs of the earlier first generation plasmas.


January 20, 2010, 3:15 pm

@ilovethemonkeyhead & ffrankmccaffery: When I read square, I thought you meant the aspect ratio!

If you are on about bezel design, I'm not seeing the problem. I couldn't give a monkey's about the bezel/base design so long as it's black and unassuming.

@Ala Miah: We'll certainly get onto Panasonic right away. How long it will actually be until review samples arrive is something of an unknown right now.


January 21, 2010, 12:10 am

I would guess that Panasonic will come out with larger versions later. This is what they did with their current line. Hopefully they'll add a 65. I have two 50" Kuros and really need something for my family room.


January 21, 2010, 3:38 am

Glad that Pioneer gets credit for being the best.

However, their technology is now yester-year - one can't help wondering what Pioneer would have come up with by this time!! Shame we'll never know.


January 23, 2010, 9:36 am

Those prices better not be right. I'm dying to watch Jack Bauer kick asses twice as big and stab terrorists with knives four times as sharp. I've been waiting fervently for this very product announcement...

My Kuro-Killer :-) 36" Toshiba CRT is on it's last legs and despite many misleading reviews to the contrary (eg "The P46G10's black levels actually achieve KURO-esque levels of rich, pure darkness" Trusted Reviews, John Archer) the G10's blacks turned out to be pants. They may be good compared to other TVs on the market, but when spending a grand, I didn't expect better than unbearable. I assumed the phrase "pure darkness" was unequivocal, but it seems last time John Archer went potholing he forgot he was wearing a headtorch...

And don't get me started on the humming fan noise! WTF? I never expected the sound of a small fridge in my living room, and without so much as a cold beer by way of compensation.

Could you mention this kind of thing in future reviews please? The new ones better be silent or I might have to start reading books again.

I can't comment on the V10 which was/is impossible to purchase. But an extra grand for the 50" V10 replacement?! Please - say it ain't so.


January 23, 2010, 12:15 pm

I r confused.

You say G2 series, but photos have a "v" after the screen size?

If these are the same as upcoming G20/G25 surely those prices can't be right?

A 50" G10 was just £750 from a leading home shopping company in the Christmas sales - Please tell me they're not expecting me to pay OVER THREE TIMES THAT PRICE for its replacement?!

I assume it's supposed to be the V20/25 equivalent, but that's still a grand more than a 50" V10, even if you could find one in stock :-@

I was waiting to buy a 2010 "pseudo-Kuro" model but I'm starting to pan(ason)ic now...


May 21, 2010, 3:39 am

What's with tv manufacturer's that they insist of making glossy black bezels? Are they stupid for not knowing that glossy black bezels reflect light and therefore is very distracting when watching?

The bezel of this G series Panasonic is still ugly. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid!). Why not just make it flat and rectangular with no angles, curves or protrusions? It will look more elegant and sophisticated. I miss the Pioneer KURO, I wish I got the chance to buy one when the 50" dropped in price to $1500. I wish Panasonic reincarnates the Kuro and call it the Panasonic KURO!

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