Pros Black levels and Colors
Cons Wouldn't change a thing!
Summary I enjoy reading David Katzmaier reviews and was anxious to read this one on the Pioneer-6020. I have to admit that I'm wondering if he didn't make a mistake by giving this TV an 8.4 rating. Last year he gave the Pioneer-5080 an 8.7 rating. He gave the new Panasonic an 8.7 rating. Then in his review of the Pioneer-6020 he gave this TV an 8.4 rating, after it beat the Pioneer- 5080, the Panasonic and the Samsung in almost all of his head to head comparison tests. In Black Levels, he wrote the Pioneer-6020 has the deepest black levels they have ever seen among TV's larger than 11 inches, the best Shadow Detail, the best antireflective screen for combatting bright lighting, and scored the best at the standard definition tests. As far as knocking it on its color accuracy and lack of adjustability....David wrote that the combination of deep blacks and accurate color decoding allowed the Pioneer 6020 to BEAT THE REST OF THE DISPLAYS AT PRODUCING RICH, SATURATED COLORS!!!!! I think I have learned a lot through David Katzmaiers reviews and I hope he reconsiders his low rating of the PDP-6020. No where in his review did the Panasonic beat the Pioneer 8.7 to 8.4......except for the price factor. I dont think that justifies killing the score of the Pioneer. CNET reviews have never been based on price, just on quality! I hope to spur others to read his review and write to David Katzmaier and voice their concern over his low rating. At the least it should be an 8.7. I hope David writes back and explains himself and raises the score of the last true Pioneer Plasma.
Pros Astounding overall picture quality, surprisingly decent speakers
Cons None, at this point at least
Summary This review is coming from somebody who has owned every top-of-the line plasma/lcd HD TV in the past 6 years, including the LED backlit $14,000 Sony Qualia 005. I have owned the PDP-5020fd for exactly 1 week now, and I am in video heaven. I haven't done any major calibrations yet (want to wait at least 100hrs before doing that), but the out-of-the-box video quality is unbelievable. The black levels undoubtedly set a new bench mark, without sacrificing on overall picture quality in terms of contrast, brightness and color fidelity. And I thought my Qualia 005 was amazing, but this Pioneer is something else. I also compared the Pioneer against the latest Panasonic offerings, but there is just no competition. Worth every extra penny if you are a videophile - especially if you like watching movies in a pitch dark environment. You have to strain your eyes to see the black bars on the top and bottom of the screen - something that has always, always bugged my eyes all these years. The blu-ray playback via my PS3 is spectacular. I purchased my unit through beyondplasma.com for a shipped price of $3075.
"Amazing Picture!"on by azjazz
Pros Picture Quality and Inky Black Level
Cons No precision (Temperature, Gamma, etc.) picture adjustments
Summary Note: I did basic calibration of my picture using "MOVIE" mode and a calibration DVD. My settings were almost exactly the same values listed by David Katzmaier, which also were very close to the out-of-the-box settings by Pioneer for "MOVIE" mode.
This is my second HDTV, and could be my last! The picture quality of the PDP-6020FD constantly impresses me in both brightly lit and dark rooms. The Olympics looked fantastic (when not compressed), as well as standard DVDs that are being converted up by the Kuro.
The picture is truly photographic in quality, with a "3D-depth" that I haven't seen on many other HDTV panels.
I think that Mr. Katzmaier is very extreme in his review - For example, his comment about the image reflection off of the shiny frame had me concerned. I figured that I would see it all the time after he pointed it out (I'm pretty picky). Now, I can't see it unless I get really close to the screen, and look from the side. It is not noticeable under normal viewing, even when I was looking for it.
I'm not sure what axe he is trying to grind, but I would highly recommend that if you are interested (and can afford the best), be sure to put the PDP-5020FD/PDP-6020FD on your short list. You shouldn't simply dismiss it because of Mr. Katzmaier's few gripes.
IMHO, Pioneer has raised the bar pretty high - I find myself getting more absorbed into what I am watching. Watching DVDs are even more enjoyable than what I see in the theater - I now see greater depth and clarity than I see at the neighborhood "infiniplex".
The only (minor) minus - While the latest non-Elite Kuros do not allow for precision adjustments by Pioneer design, the "MOVIE" settings are so good (after minor tuning), any additional tweaks would bring minuscule changes in quality that should not be noticeable during normal viewing - if you allow yourself to be absorbed in "what" you are viewing instead of "how" you are viewing it.
And, that's what the Kuro lets me do like nothing else I've seen.
Pros Wonderful picture quality, solidly built, high-quality product. Speaker bar it includes is better than expected.
Cons Remote control design could be better, menus could be a bit more intuitive.
Summary Based on the CNET review I ended up finally buying this, after a fair bit of research. I am not disappointed. The CNET guy is right, the picture is amazing. It handles movie sources wonderfully. They look exactly how they are supposed to look, not processed or overly digital. It is also great for the xbox, with very smooth motion and none of that fast-motion blurring effect you sometimes see in low-end LCDs. I also think it does a really good job with both DVD and SD picture sources. One of the things that kept me on the fence for HD for so long is how lousy SD signals look on most HD TVs. Most TV is still in SD and will be for years, so you really want something that can make SD signals look decent and this really does a nice job, far better than most HD TVs I've seen. The auto-scaling thing also works very well on this TV. My wife has a cheaper LCD and that thing is always shifting and zooming the picture, so much that she had to turn it off. For some reason, this one seems less intrusive. It makes a decision and then leaves well enough alone, it isn't always trying to recalibrate when a commercial with black bars comes on the screen.
Yeah it is expensive, but I figure I am going to be watching this for a decade, so the difference in price between this and a lesser set really isn't that huge given how long I plan to own it. It does seem very well built - when you put the mounting brackets to mount it to the wall you get a sense that everything had a lot of engineering attention and great care was paid in making everything high-quality. So I am hopeful I will get a lot of years out of this thing.
The remote is a forest of really tiny buttons on a very long thing stalk. The menu system is certainly not horrible, but could be organized a little better. The manual is thick and you will find yourself digging into it just to figure out things that ought to be self-explanatory. I do like that there are buttons for each of the inputs for quick, direct selection (no scrolling through the slew of inputs it has) as well as a button that allows you to quickly scroll through the available picture modes.
I don't like that the OFF button on the TV itself is in a somewhat awkward place if you attach the speakers to the bottom of the TV.
I just read in the paper that Pioneer is thinking they might exit this business. They sell a very high-end product, and the distinctions between this and say a $1000 Vizio are kind of subtle, probably too subtle for most. But if you are fairly picky about picture quality and are willing to spend a little $$$, this is a pretty compelling choice.
Pros Use link for the Review
Cons Use link for the Review
Summary Use this link for the full Review (he reviewed the 6020FD but it applies to the 5020FD as well):