Kudos to KURO

If black is the new black, then Pioneer is just about the hippest manufacturer in town. While their previous models of KURO plasmas were the talk of the town, the newest models, the Elite PDP-5020FD and PDP-6020FD can produce even blacker blacks, the ultimate test for any plasma display. Pioneer has said that these new Elite screens produce blacks that are five times deeper than previous 2007 models. Smarter than the average TV, the KURO has a calibration system called Optimum Mode that adjusts both audio and video settings based on the video and ambient lighting to optimize performance of movies, sports and even news, with dialogue enhanced and background sounds downplayed. Need more details?

Video isn't the only thing game for KURO. There are six sound processing modes designed to work with each of the KURO video modes: standard, movie, sports, performance, dynamic, and game to match your source. It also has a volume stabilizer that evens out the volume between listening sources. KURO also has SRS WOW HD for equalization enhancement. It's nice to know that Pioneer put as much thought into audio performance as they do for video.

Other notable features: Pioneer KURO televisions are now only 3.7 Inches thick, reduced by nearly 20 percent. The KURO has a networked home media gallery that will play HD movies, music, or photos from a connected PC or via USB. The KURO televisions are DLNA and Windows PlaysForSure compatible.

The KURO PDP-5020FD is the 50-inch model that will retail beginning in June for $4,000. The 60-inch version is the PDP-6020FD, and it will also sell in June for $5,500. Both have resolutions of 1080p, and come with a 1-year warranty.

Not happy with these outstanding models? Pioneer also will be releasing a new Signature KURO line designed for custom installations, complete with a certificate of excellence, as if looking at the screen wasn't proof enough.-Leslie Shapiro