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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The LX5090's colours, in particular, are simply in a different league to those of any other flat TV I can think of, delivering the sort of radiant intensity usually only found with LCD technology along with the sort of wide, natural colour palettes usually associated with plasma technology.

Add to this ‘best of both worlds' scenario immaculately subtle colour blends thanks to a combination of the screen's Full HD pixel count and Pioneer's really outstanding image processing, and you really are fully ensconced in AV heaven.

And that's without even touching on the LX5090's phenomenal knack with fine detail. Fed the impressively detailed Blu-ray transfer of truly terrible Blu-ray movie 10,000 B.C., the Pioneer effortlessly portrays every CGI hair on the sabre-tooth tiger's body, every grain of sand in the desolate landscapes, every pore on the faces of the Neanderthal-but-English-speaking actors… 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. And if there's any greater compliment you can pay a TV than that, I can't think of it!

If you need yet more justification for splurging well over two grand on an LX5090, then 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.

Then there's the remarkable astuteness of Pioneer's various ‘automatic' picture adjustment systems - very handy if you're too scared to tinker with all the picture options yourself. Or how about the gorgeous clarity and smoothness of its motion handling? And the outstanding effectiveness of the LX5090's various noise reduction systems, which are among the best I've ever seen at tackling noise without introducing nasty side effects?

Obviously you have to treat some of the Pioneer's image settings with care at times; for instance, I personally would advise you to deactivate all the noise reduction systems completely while viewing a good quality HD source. And I'd also advise you to keep adjusting the PureCinema mode according to what you're watching, rather than merely leaving it permanently on, say, Advanced (which I found to be the best mode to use with Blu-rays).

But with just a few simple precautions you'll be free to enjoy the absolute maximum benefit from a TV that outshines all of its rivals today by so great a margin that its initially steep-looking £2,350 or so asking price is suddenly turning into an absolute bargain.


Try as I might, nothing I can write in this review can do full justice to the truly extraordinary picture quality of the LX5090. You have to see it to fully believe it. So if I were you I'd start begging, borrowing or saving the necessary cash so that you can get one at home and start ‘seeing' it for yourself as soon as humanly possible.


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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