Pros Crystal clear, judder free image. Deep blacks and rich colors.
Cons Somewhat more expensive than comparable Panasonics. Not 1080p.
Summary I researched TVs for quite a few months before purchasing this Pioneer. After deciding that Plasma would be the best bet for my needs, I looked at quite a few. The Pioneer 5070hd kept coming out on top. Then they released the 5080hd. I don't know how much difference there really is, but I think the black levels are something of an improvement.
Now that I have it home, I just can't believe how beautiful it is. I love the elegant piano-black frame. The picture is absolutely exquisite, particularly with a 1080 signal (although it deals surprisingly well with standard def signals). So far, I love everything about this set. Just amazing!
I purchased mine from www.access2.digital.com for about $2500, including shipping to my door. They are an authorized Pioneer dealer, so it came with the warranty, etc. They also persuaded me to purchase a three-year extended warranty for an extra $400 or so. Probably worth it, given how much I'm spending!
All in all, just a fantastic TV. Go look at your local store and compare it to all the other TVs on the wall. You'll be able to see its smoother image and superior detail in dark scenes.
Frankly, I think this thing is a perfect 10. The only reason I'm giving it a 9 is because it's not 1080p (not that I can see any difference...it looked better than the 1080p Panasonic it was next to at the store), and because it's a hair more expensive than the competition.
But worth absolutely every penny!
Pros Unbelievable picture quality, lots of controls, easy to setup and use.
Cons It is a little slow in adjusting screen size with the Auto setting. Not impressed with the 4:3 ratio or the zoom setting (but who cares you aren't going to be using that format anyway).
Summary I researched TVs extensively for probably way too long. It finally came down to the Sony XBR4 LCD (40") and the Pinoeer Plasma (42"). What finally put me over the top was the superior handling of Standard Definition programming by the Pioneer. With only about 25 HD channels available right now most of my TV viewing is still coming in SD. For most SD channels I couldn't see a discernable difference between the plasma and my old CRT. Except when the SD was broadcast in wide screen then it looked better on the plasma. I found the XBR was grainy and a little washed out when showing SD. The Pioneer also had much richer colours and deeper blacks than the XBR.
The quality of the HD will not disappoint you. I find my self watching the most ridiculous shows just because they are in HD! The National Geographic channel is a must!! And PBS has great shows for the kids in the morning! The set up was really simple and all the HDMI inputs greatly reduce the amount of cable clutter. I honestly don't think I could be any happier with this purchase.
Pros color clarity & differentiation, gret sound system, rapid refresh rate yields great performance in fast action movies & games
Cons More cumbersom to move than an LCD, user menu could be better
Summary Very pleased with both the picture quality & sound fidelity. I have a dedicated video room and placed the Pioneer side-by-side with a 46" Samsung LN-T4665F LCD (also a very good flat screen tv). After manually setting both systems for optimal performance given the room's lighting conditions, I simultaneously played the movie 300 using a pair of Oppo DV-970HD DVD players. I must say that both flat screens performed extremely well and the differences took several long minutes before they they (shyly) reveled themselves. In the end the Pioneer displayed notably better performance in color depth, modestly superior tracking/refreshing and appreciably superior sound quality (I assessed sound on the flat screen system speakers only). Had I not viewed them side-by-side, I probably couldn't have rated one superior to the other; both the Pioneer & the Samsung are very high quality performers. My goal was to determine which system to put on center stage in the video room, and the 50" Pioneer plasma seemed to surpass the 46" Samsung LCD in overall performance. Dollar for dollar I'm not sure which has the better value, given the higher price tag for the PDP-5080HD, but strictly within the performance dimension I would recommend the Pioneer.
Pros Superb black levels, stunning, jaw dropping picture in HD
Cons Piano gloss plastic finish, Pioneer's lousy support
Summary After a couple months use, everything about this plasma spells quality, except for the piano gloss plastic bezel and Pioneer's customer service, two factors you should weigh before buying.
Pioneer and other manufacturers are using a piano gloss plastic finish for their products.
Canon is one notable using this finish for their latest line of scanners. The Kuro has it too, and why? Because it looks nice. But the downside of this plastic finish is that it picks up hundreds of fine scratches. A few specks of dust, even when cleaned with a microfiber cloth, can result in scratches.
Viewed from a distance, you don't know they're there, but take a close look and it's a different story.
Why is this a negative point?
I upgrade TV's every year or two, and sometimes up to every 4 years, and there's nothing that defrays the upgrade cost like being able to resell your TV and apply the proceeds to the new one you've got your eyes on. Personally, I'd like to be able to say my Kuro is cosmetically in mint condition, because that's a strong point when selling a used TV. Imagine the difference to a potential buyer if you say, this TV is cosmetically mint, or this TV is cosmetically nice, but up close, there are fine scratches on that piano gloss.
My Kuro arrived and the box was perfect. I was surprised to see it looking absolutely factory fresh, especially since my Panasonic 60u (now in my bedroom)arrived with the box dinged and dented and looking like it had made a rough trip and then some.
Upon opening the Kuro box, and carefully setting it up, I saw these fine scratches in the piano gloss, and of course, Pioneer's warranty doesn't cover anything cosmetic, even if it occured in packing on their end, which a Pioneer rep told me it had. Apparently, some piano gloss scratching isn't uncommon when they pack this TV.
Is it a big deal, or worth complaining to Pioneer about? That depends on you. If you plan to resell later and want it to stay nice, it does, or you can look at it from the hey, for $3000, I should get a little more quality control, point of view. Both are valid.
The other negative is that Pioneer's support is wretched. When I thought my TV might have an issue, and phoned them, it took 45 minutes and I was told that I'd have to arrange my own in home service call and Pioneer would pay for it.
I then called back and was told that rep was mistaken, and they set up a service call, even though the tech didn't show up. Instead he did the support over the phone, and told me to call back if I needed to.
"Very DIM Images"on by beaverboy56
Pros great black levels
Cons dim image achieves black level
Summary Sure the image quality is great, if you live in a cave. The image is really dim, I bought a set brought it home plugged it in, played a dvd, blu-ray, hd-dvd, hd cable, and sd cable. 2 days later packed it up and took it right back. The image it produces is very very dim, which may be how it achieves its "great black levels" if you turn the brightness up which would be a simple solution, the ENTIRE picture recieves a grayish tint and all that glory of wonderful black is completely lost. I even pulled the sales assiociate at the store on the side and had him try the same thing with the set in the store to see if I was wrong we tried everything but only recieved a dim faded image...I can't even imagine how dim the image will become as the set gets half way toward its half life. Steer away, buy a panasonic plasma, or get an XBR lcd from Sony.