Pioneer Elite PRO-X5FD Series LED TVs Preview
- Product Name: Elite PRO-X5FD Series Plasma TVs
- Manufacturer: Pioneer
- Review Date: September 09, 2011 09:50
- MSRP: $5,999 - $8,499
- First Impression: Gotta Have It!
- Intelligent Variable Contrast
- RGB+Y yellow sub-pixel
- Precision Color Plus
- FluidMotion 120Hz system + 120Hz scanning backlight
- Gen 10 Sharp UV2A Panel
- Full Array LED
- Local Dimming
- Connectivity to Netflix, CinemaNow, YouTube and Pandora
- 3D-Functionality with 2 sets of professional-grade 3D glasses
- Elite Advantage Live customer support via Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet
Pioneer did an excellent and convincing demo of their new Elite PRO-X5FD series LED backlit TVs in 60" & 70" sizes. Pioneer is (openly) partnering with Sharp and these new TVs make use of the company's 10th generation LCD panels. They were awarded both 2D and 3D THX certification (meaning they paid money to THX and got some tweaks and a logo). The new televisions include Smart TV functionality with Netflix, VUDU, Blockbuster (yeah, they'll be around long!), Skype and more (there was no mention as to the methodology for acquiring a compatible camera). The demo placed a lot of emphasis on black levels and contrast ratio - both of which were designed to specifically take on and surpass the Kuro look, which was the starting point for these TVs. The Kuro was the best TV I'd ever seen. These TVs were very bit as good as I remembered those being.
What gave the demo some flair was the fact that the left TV appeared to be off during the time we were gathering into the room. Turns out it was on - and it wasn't just that the panel was completely dimmed down, either - lots of cheap LED backlit TVs can do that. No, when the Pioneer rep put up some dynamic images of punctuated light, the surrounding black stayed black. Black as night. This is a stunning set. Both Sharp and Pioneer are excited about the technology behind this, called IVC, or Intelligently Variable Contrast. IVC allows the TV to raise the bright parts of the screen without affecting black levels. And it does it in a way that is customizable and better than plain local dimming. Pioneer claims that the RGB+Y is the reason, that bright additional Yellow sub-pixel really allows bright images to pop like never before.
With the RGB+Y system, the display panel effectively has new dots, for 8 million total - and it looks really, well, Sharp as a result. They went with full array LED because they couldn't get edge-lit to do what they wanted without compromising the performance of the set. I don't really see an issue - it's still remarkably thin and looks great.
Colors looked 'off the charts' good, and black levels, as we mentioned, were exceptional. And Pioneer demoed some very tough material, not easy stills or slow-moving, less dynamic video. I mean, they had fireworks and cityscapes at night and the images were simply dazzling and intense. I want this TV.
There are a myriad of display (picture) modes including Elite Pure and Movie THX mode (the Elite Mode looked better, by the way). Pioneer claims that the Energy Star sticker will show $22 per year on their 70" model!
The Elite televisions will come with two pairs of active 3D shutter glasses. The TV also does 2D to 3D conversion in real time and the effect is adjustable, so you can minimize it to avoid seasickness. It also has a brightness adjustment to compensate for the loss in light from the shutter glasses.
Finally, their new Elite Advantage Live service comes with these TVs and gives real (human) customer support for the TV and adjustments can be made remotely if it's networked. This is for the life of the television.
- Intelligent Variable Contrast (IVC)
Technology developed specifically for Elite televisions, automatically controls brightness and backlight to create incredible depth of color
In addition to the standard red/green/blue sub-pixel components, Elite LED LCD TVs add a yellow sub-pixel to create higher brightness with less power and to accurately depict vivid yellows and golds
- Precision Color Plus
With four sub-pixels, Elite LED LCD TVs have smaller dots, creating more than 8 million dots per screen for a much smoother, more appealing and detailed image
Combining an advanced 120Hz system with Elite’s unique scanning backlight technology, creates a greater than 240 Hz effect, which improves picture clarity and smoothness in movies and sports contents
- Gen 10 Panel
Uses Sharp’s proprietary UV2A technology to achieve unprecedented high aperture levels, more than 20% higher than conventional LCD panels, enabling extreme high brightness
- Full Array LED
A full array of Light Emitting Diodes are evenly dispersed behind a diffuser, resulting in more uniform and brighter lighting than an edge-lit LED TV
- Local Dimming
Elite panels can dim or brighten individual zones, creating deep, inky blacks
Elite LED LCD TVs are fully connected, offering Netflix, CinemaNow, YouTube and Pandora, among many others
Features 3D technology and includes two sets of professional-grade 3D glasses
- Elite Advantage Live
With unprecedented levels of customer support, purchasers can connect to the Elite Service Center to receive remote assistance via Wi-Fi or wired Ethernet
Both televisions are going to be available at select high-end retailers and custom installation companies. The Elite LED LCD TV 60" class will retail for $5,999 and the Elite LED LCD TV 70” class will retail for $8,499.
For more information ease visit www.elitelcdtvs.com.
Maybe Pioneer shouldn't have sold their plasma technology to Panasonic. Maybe like what they did with Sharp, they should have collaborated with Panasonic instead to produce the Panasonic Kuro. Right now, Panasonic owns the blackest blacks with the VT series (although FlatPanlsHD said that the B&O 7-55 and LG LE8500 LCDs are blacker which I dont believe) but they have been having problems with floating and rising blacks. Obviously they haven't used Kuro tech on their sets, otherwise, they will not have these problems. If Pio and Panny worked together, we would have had the perfect plasma by now.
I never liked LCD TVs because they have this soap opera effect in them that makes lighting and people look unnatural but if this TV doesn't have this effect then I think Sharp (and Pioneer) has perfected the LCD and caught up with plasma in all levels. If they make a 42" next year and make the price reasonable, I'll replace my current Panasonic G10 in my bedroom. Right now I have my sights set on a Panny VT55 for the living room at less than $2k.
They should be: http://elitelcdtv.com [elitelcdtv.com] (not ...tvs.com)
Wow this TV sounds wicked. =( i can't afford it
I've an older Elite I got on a close-out just before the Kuros arrived on scene, which in turn was just before Pioneer gracefully bowed out. The story I got from multiple sources was the TVs were too expensive to produce (more hands-on labor than other brands, higher component costs) and they weren't moving fast enough at profit sustaining prices. The inferior competition was eating their lunch in a slumping economy, literally in the face of people who couldn't or wouldn't pay for the difference. If these new TVs are again substantially more expensive than the best of the rest, what's to say the entire cycle doesn't begin again?