Pioneer Kuro PDP-LX5090 50in Plasma TV - Pioneer Kuro PDP-LX5090

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Editors choice
Pioneer Kuro PDP-LX5090 50in Plasma TV


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We won't bore you with all the other, continuing production elements that go into making ‘the KURO effect', as we've done them to death in previous Pioneer reviews. But suffice it to say they're all very much still there, doing their bit.

Other bits and bobs about the LX5090 we will quickly mention, though, are its unusual amount of progressive scan flexibility, including a 72Hz mode for enhanced 1080p/24Hz playback (72Hz being a neat 3x multiple of 24Hz); new 100Hz processing for enhanced image stability; an extravagant amount of ultra-flexible noise reduction tools, including specialist MPEG blocking and mosquito noise options; and all manner of automatic picture optimisers, including one that can assess via a sensor not only the brightness but also the colour tone of light around the TV, and adjust the picture accordingly.

The only even slightly bum-note about the LX5090 so far - except for its hefty price - is the fact that it's rather complicated to set up, thanks to some obscure feature names and menu labels. Also, I couldn't help but feel the pain of technophobes as I had to delve deep into the LX5090's menus just to ‘enable' its HDMI connections.

Oh well - at least the remote control used to probe the menus is an absolute peach, combining a great layout with a superbly tactile, weighty and cool metallic finish.

As you can probably imagine, I'm getting pretty eager by now to find out just what black levels five times as good as those witnessed on previous KURO TVs look like. And the short answer is: absolutely, jaw-droppingly, not-far-off-pant-wettingly amazing.

It's possible, I guess, that you might find this fact boring; just another example of a journalist waxing lyrical as part of a general media/Pioneer love-in. But hopefully you've read enough of my reviews on TrustedReviews by now to realise that I don't have any political or technological agendas, or any favoured brands. So when I tell you now that the LX5090's black levels are by a country mile the finest I've ever seen on a flat TV, I'm simply telling the truth. What's more, it's a truth you certainly don't have to be a trained technology journalist to see.

Even if you sit the LX5090 alongside one of Pioneer's own 8th-generation panels and feed them both something with lots of darkness, such as the opening credits to Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street on Blu-ray, the extra depth to the LX5090's black levels positively shouts out at you. So you can imagine how striking the impact is against any other flat TV you care to mention.

It's possible, I guess, that some of you are thinking that we're putting too much weight on the LX5090's black level response; there are, after all, many other elements to a picture besides black level.

But in this reviewer's humble opinion, black level is the single most fundamental part of a TV's picture performance, the foundation from which nearly everything else is built. And as perfect evidence to support this point of view, it just so happens that the LX5090 also excels - to class-leading effect - in other picture areas, too.


August 6, 2008, 6:29 am

I'm beginning to get aroused...Is that wrong?


August 6, 2008, 7:00 am

Normally, yes. But with a Kuro....


August 6, 2008, 11:05 am

they're putting up a 50 incher up at work, below the last gen one. the black levels on the old one were enough to make me think the set was off half the time. i'm expecting the new one to melt my head :D


August 6, 2008, 2:26 pm

It's a general rule of thumb that if a tech journalist actually puts his hand in his pocket and buys a tech product, it must be seriously good, and I actually bought one of these!

Right now, there are no better TVs on the market and if you take your high definition movies/gaming seriously, you want a Kuro. As always, black is the new black!


August 6, 2008, 3:52 pm

to TRs,

please I will like to see an editorial article on which is better in this current generation of projectors and huge flat screen televisions. With TVs boasting a lot of contrast ratio and black levels, it will be interesting just to know where the better image quality usually lies. A comparison of entry-level to high-end level will be absolutely great.

I hope sometime in the future (not too far away) we get you guys accredited opinions.



August 6, 2008, 5:43 pm

"I couldn't help but feel the pain of technophobes as I had to delve deep into the LX5090's menus just to ‘enable' its HDMI connections."

Come on John, it takes about 3 seconds to do this:-)

And on the upside pricewise it has come in at over � less than the set it replaces.


August 6, 2008, 8:23 pm

Riyad! When are you inviting me over??? :)

Tommy K

August 7, 2008, 1:42 am

is there any way to post any photos of comparing the picture to the old kuro and another make of 50inch tv? I would like to see some pictures :)


August 7, 2008, 3:11 am

Actually I had the same problem as John, since the TV comes out of the box with only one HDMI port configured. Then the manual tells you to configure HDMI, but doesn't tell you that you need to have to manually select each input before you're allowed to select HDMI.

And no invites until I get a decent sound system sorted to go with the TV :)


August 8, 2008, 7:22 am

Oh my goodness, gracious me - Big Bad Mr. Kuro is back IN BLACK!





I was already sold by the reassurance that they've managed to supersede the black level of the last masterpiece, which, as soon as I saw it, blew me away. But this observation on the monstrously bad '10,000 B.C.' seals the deal for me :

"honestly, the detail levels are so extreme, pure and noiseless that they're almost enough to make you forget about 10,000 B.C.'s awful acting, story and staging"

You're joking, right? I would have thought the Devil Himself couldn't sell me that kind of bad.

I'm also glad you've addressed a growing concern of mine that as amazing as the darkness may be, the brightness of whiteness may be a comparative disappointment, which would be a shame since I believe this element is just as crucial to justify the 10, if not even more so given the constant explosions in blockbusters. I'm so happy you then said :

"consider also the picture's unprecedented dynamism, which finds some of the purest, richest whites we've seen resting right alongside the deepest, most natural and most profound blacks in town"

I hope you're right. A few things I can think of that would confirm this if I were viewing it, would be any viewing of the plain white Pixar logo with those little dainty black letters, and a number of obvious set pieces from the sci-fi thriller 'Sunshine', which would really confirm bright white and colour (I think that's on BD, but not sure).

If we could entertain the idea that I had this kind of cash to play with, I think this line would make me a plasma loyalist consumer. Please do try and prove otherwise though, if you can hunt down an LCD 50 incher to rival it. They tend to be a bit cheaper, right?

D C Burnside

August 11, 2008, 4:44 pm

It's nice to see the "death of plasma" nonsense that tends to fly around the internet take a swift kick in the teeth from monsters like this. I'll be buying this thing's replacement in a year or so, that's for sure.


November 3, 2008, 7:48 pm

I bought my 36 inch Toshiba three years ago because i thought the picture quality of plasma and LCD, especially on off air programming, was vastly superior. I want to increase size as well so, will this TV give me the quality I want off air as well as with other scources? Also what is the warranty term with this set; the Panasonic is 5 years?


January 3, 2009, 2:01 am

Hi all

In response to Roger's question regarding the gurantee Pioneer are offering a free 5 year warranty on this product if purchased from one of their reccomended dealers before 31/01/09 which is just great news. I just managed to get myself the TV with a 5yr warranty for � froma local dealer which is a bargain.

I have just upgraded from an older 42" Pioneer and I am looking forward to seeing the difference for myself when my new TV arrives tomorrow.

Tristan Summers

January 13, 2009, 1:27 am

I think it's abut time we stopped reviewing things based on a compressed format like Blu-Ray. Is it only me that thinks someone should feed an uncompressed 10bit image into a TV and then say how it fares?

Geoff Richards

January 13, 2009, 4:03 am

Nice idea, Tristan, but since consumers can't (or aren't going to) watch that sort of source material, isn't that a little meaningless? Products are tested in the way in which they will be used by people who buy them.


January 25, 2009, 2:39 am


I am going to buy this TV. I'm SO excited! But I need to find a corner tv cabinet for it. Thinking piano black to go with the tv, or maybe a light coloured wood, maybe oak. Would be greatful for an ideas?



March 2, 2009, 8:07 pm

I've been saving like crazy since 6th Aug 2008... one last question before I go forth and spend either my golf sub for the year or take an advance out of my season ticket for 2009/10 (not mentioning the club in case it biases any answers) :)

I’m a huge film buff and sport enthusiast, and any queries around the former can more or less be taken as sorted... so, how does the LX5090 handle sport and fast moving white spherical objects? Is the LX508D any better or not as brilliant?

(All digital signals are SD for now)


March 17, 2009, 8:49 pm

I'm buying one this month end.

Getting a great deal from my local supplier.....TV, undermounted speakers (I'm still have a full surround sound with my separates!) and stand 5 yr warranty and delivery for ٠k. = :-)


April 2, 2009, 2:15 pm

Just to add that if you buy a 5090 now you may get the H model as there are very limited D models available. The H models are being sourced by Pioneer UK from around Europe. Mine came as a H model with a Russian manual. My authorised dealer contacted Pioneer UK who were already aware of this and were advised that the correct manuals will be issued accordingly. A download is available for the correct manual from the Pioneer UK website in the meantime. The warranty offered (5 years) is {perfectly ok and will not be void by owning a H model.

Just thought I'd say this incase people are buying one now.

I think the price has gone up approx 𧹈 again now anyway....

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