Pioneer Elite PRO-111FD Plasma TV User Interface
Pioneer changed the design of the Kuro remote this year, and it's a step backward for the most part. The buttons are smaller and more uniform in size and shape, which makes them harder to find by feel. It's illuminated, but some of the labels are on the body, so they can't be seen in the dark even with the backlight on.
Like last year, the remote is a universal type that can control up to six devices in addition to the TV. However, the buttons for other devices are now on the main body, not behind a flip-down lid, making the button layout more cluttered. At least it still has dedicated input-selection buttons, though the HDMI buttons are not identified as they are on the PRO-110FD remote—the input buttons are identified only by number.
Some functions can be called up directly with dedicated buttons. These functions are also available in an abbreviated menu by pressing the Tools button, which is redundant. Of more interest is the fact that the Tools button also lets you see the image before and after you change a setting—very nice! However, if you prefer the "before" image, you can't simply select it—you must exit this mode from the "after" image and reset the control manually.
This year, there is no button for accessing Home Media Gallery—it is accessed from the menu. Speaking of which, the menu system has been slightly redesigned, and like the remote, it's a step backward. Whereas the picture controls were buried fairly deep last year, they are even deeper this year, taking many button pushes to get just about anywhere you want.
One interesting new twist is that the first two menu levels appear in the left half of the screen while the displayed image is visible on the right. Otherwise, the organization of the picture controls is identical with that of the 8G models.