Pioneer chose Kuro, which means "black" in Japanese, as the moniker for its latest line of plasma TVs in order to call attention to the sets' performance when displaying dark images. Pioneer says the HDTVs' black levels are 80 percent better than their predecessors'. The 50-inch model shown here, like the others in the Kuro line, also has what Pioneer calls Optimum Video Mode. An integrated room-light sensor not only monitors ambient lighting, but also appraises the content displayed and makes adjustments (such as noise reduction) accordingly. In addition, features like the four HDMI 1.3 ports, detachable side speakers, a CableCard slot, and a two-year warranty make this TV very appealing.
This model, like the 42-inch Kuro PRO-950HD, has a native resolution of 1365-by-768; for full 1920-by-1080 resolution, you'll need to graduate to its more pricey siblings, the Kuro PRO-110FD and the Kuro PRO-150FD.
-- By Greg Adler and Melissa J. Perenson, PC World
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