Where's the Black?
I'm a Home Theater subscriber, and I always read your blogs. I can't believe there are no plasmas with deep blacks similar to the Pioneer Kuros. I'm a happy owner of the PRO-110FD (family room) and PRO-111FD (master bedroom). What new model is closest to the Pioneer Kuros that you would recommend to a friend who is looking for a plasma or LCD?
Second question: Do the new JVC 3D projectors support anamorphic lenses? Are you aware of any 3D projector (other than Runco's, which is too expensive) that supports anamorphic lenses?
Israel Javier Alvarado-Suarez
I believe the reason there are no plasmas that can match the blacks of the Kurosand the reason Pioneer had to exit the plasma businessis that these sets cost so much to make and thus carried a price tag that was too high for most consumers to afford. This is also why there are no current plasmas that have Kuro-like blacks. The best we've seen so far in this regard are Panasonic's flagship plasmasfor example, the current VT30 (reviewed here) exhibited a black level of 0.006 foot-lamberts in our measurements, while last year's VT25 (reviewed here) measured 0.004fL, compared to the Kuro's 0.001fL.
The technology that comes closest to the Kuro in terms of black level is LED-backlit LCD with local dimmingthe LEDs behind dark portions of the image are dimmed, while the LEDs behind bright portions of the image are brightened, which greatly increases the perceived contrast. (Both LED-backlit and LED-edgelit LCDs can drop to complete black when displaying a black field simply by turning off the LEDs, but this rarely happens in real-world content, and when it does, it's obvious and distracting.) However, LED backlighting is not a panaceathe LEDs are grouped into independently dimmable "zones" that are much larger than small, bright objects such as stars in outer space, which can exhibit halos as a result.
Interestingly, I measured a black level of 0.003fL on the Samsung UN46D6000 LED-edgelit LCD (reviewed here) using a low-APL PLUGE pattern, which is a mostly black field with a slightly above-black stripe to keep the LEDs from completely shutting down. However, the black field was quite non-uniformthat is, different parts of the screen looked lighter than other parts, which is endemic to LED-edgelit sets. I measured the black level in the center of the screen, where it was darkest.
All of JVC's 3D projectors can be used with Panamorph anamorphic lenses. You're right that the Runco D-73d also supports anamorphic lenses, and so does the SIM2 C3X Lumis, both of which are mega-expensive. I don't know of any others for sure; perhaps our readers can chime in here…
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