Pioneer has announced details of its latest, ninth-generation range of Kuro TVs – including the last Pioneer-badged plasma sets to sport glass panels made by the company itself.

It has also revealed its first-ever LCD screens - developed, as we reported here earlier, in conjunction with Sharp - and confirmed its sub-50in sets will sit in this line-up, rather than its plasma family.

As of next year, Pioneer will adopt Panasonic-derived plasma panels, a move designed to help keep costs in check and ensure it can continue to produce competitively priced TVs.

In another big change, this year's G9 series 'Kuro' plasmas are available only in 50in and 60in screen sizes: the smaller 42in plasma previously offered by the company has been dropped, its place in the range taken by three new LCD sets, each of which uses LCD panel technology from Sharp.

More after the break

Every set in the range, from 32in LCD to 60in plasma, is offered with 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution, with the new KRL-32, 37 and 46in LCD sets also providing 100Hz picture processing.

Pioneer claims the Sharp-based LCDs - due from September - have been specially tweaked by the company's engineers to optimise black levels and overall image quality: just as well, given that the 32in set is expected to cost £1300, and the 37in model £1450.

The plasmas, meanwhile, boast still-better black levels and contrast, and are offered as both integrated 'one-body' sets (the PDP-LX5090 and PDP-LX6090 - in shops by June) and as two-element 'component' TVs, with a separate media receiver box just like Pioneer sets of old.

These latter models (dubbed KRP-500A and KRP-600A, and due later in the summer), also boast tweaked cosmetics and new, radically enhanced on-screen graphics.

In addition to Freeview tuners, they also include HD-capable satellite receivers, but sadly aren't Freesat compatible.

All four plasma panels are slimmer, at around 94mm, than last year's equivalent G8-series sets - as you can see from the picture below.

Prices are expected to be around £2400 for the 'LX5090 and £4200 for the 'LX6090, with the two-box component sets costing around £300 more in each screen size.

Look out for news of Pioneer's new Blu-ray player, receivers and systems in our home cinema section soon!

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