@Kochegarova - You seem to have got your facts slightly scrambled. There were certainly no production faciltiies for Panasonic to buy from Pioneer - they were closed down the year before Pioneer exited the market (2008 ) when they announced the 2009 Kuro TVs would use Panasonic panels.
Then the recession hit and Panasonic scaled back its own production - leaving no capacity for the Pioneer panels to be produced. Cue Pioneer exit from the TV market Panasonic's move forcing their hand in an already ultra-competitve, economic-hit market.
Yes, there was some swapping of R&D - and engineers - between the two companies, actually while Pioneer was still in the business, ahead of the expected 2009 partnership between the two companies. And no, I didn't hear that from a 'rep', but directly from the president of Panasonic, Fumio Otsubo, when I interviewed him in September 2008.
Anyway, that's all industry politics and engineering detail from some three years ago - TVs have moved on incredibly in the intervening time, and every single modern model (from any company) deserves to be judged on its own performance merits, not myths of its engineering origin.
The Kuros were - and still are - damn marvellous TVs, but you can buy better performance in 2011; the technology world has evolved.
"In fact, we’d bet the VT30’s black levels beat Pioneer’s much-acclaimed (but long defunct) Kuro sets, which is high praise indeed."
I hold What HI-Fi in high regard with it's reviews and opinions so it saddens me to have to write this due to a lack of research by the columnist.
The Panasonic TX-65VT30 was produced USING Pioneers Kuro Chipset. Pioneer exited the high end TV market selling it's patients to Panasonic thus enabling them to produce the TX-65VT30. Is the picture quality better than Pioneers Kuro? No, it's the same, not similar, it's identical, it is, what once was Pioneers chipset producing the glorious picture that is now displayed by Panasonic.
Is the TX-65VT30 a better TV than Pioneers Kuro? Yes, it produces THE SAME picture but with an extra 5" expance, it has more HDMI connections, more USB connections a built in freesat reciever and it's also 3D capable, if that kinda thing floats your boat.
Is it worth £4500? Well the final series of Pioneer Kuro's definately were, I own one, so this must be. Greater connectivity, more gizmo's and more choice of format (3D) all for the same price. If my TV broke down tomorrow this would be top of my shopping list.
...Although when Panasonic's engineers were asked this question directly when I was in Japan earlier this year for the announcement of these TVs, they said they were producing technology which was capable of better results than the Pioneers, not using Pioneer technology directly. But what do they know, eh?
maybe I'm a bit cynical, maybe I'm too presumtuous, maybe I've a good grip on reality, maybe Panasonic did buy the patients to Pioneer's Kuro technology knowing it was unsurpassable by rival manufacturers for many years, then continue and purchase Pioneer's development and production facilities and hire the Kuro workforce, then 12 months later decieded that black levels better than 0.02Cd/m2 and whites greater than that which eminate from George Michaels teeth were a necessary expense in the midst of a world recession, then go even further and spent a small fortune on designing and producing a new chipsets for the plasma market which makes up only 14% (and constantly declining) share of their TV sales and a lot less of their overall sales with arguably the lowest profit margin of any of their products. I find all this very difficult to comprehend as a viable buisness model especially as Japan was hit so hard in the current recession. As for claiming 'picture quality is better' that's merely subjective and arguable by personal preference, maybe they just used different glass and claim they prefer it? If there is independant test figures to back the claim could we see them please? You think with bold claims would come evidence of them, it's a great selling point and one always pushed by Pioneer. It's all in the wording of the Q&A, define 'directly'. If Kuro tech was sold and re-branded before being used in another device then the new owner would be within their legal right to say they did not use Pioneers technology, they used their own the patiented technology.
I don't buy what I'm sold by others, regardless of weather it's in a store, at an Expo or at a product launch, I research tech for myself objectively then make an educated decision based on the facts available. No doubt this is currently the best TV on the market and deserved of very high praise indeed but statements made by product manufatures need to be properly evaluated and objectively reported on, be it in the electronics industry, automotive industry or any other. Many claims on performance or predicitve capability can often be 'coulorful' at best and it lies to those reporting on these products to put the claims to the test otherwise we leave ourselves at the mercy of the sales and marketing departments who's main concern is turning a profit.
I hope you didn't travel the whole way to Japan to report on what a 'rep' (sorry, technition) had to say to you did you? A phone call to Panasonic would have sufficed, you could've bought and tested the TV for the price of that trip, then you could've been the first to put the claims to the test and reported the facts to us, the consumer.
Got to admire the fact you pulled a holiday to Japan out of that one though in the middle of the country's biggest ever recession, but then what do I know, eh? Teach me oh wise one.
No, it didn't.
Panasonic still believes plasma is viable as the superior picture technolgy.
They were asked whether the new TVs use Kuro technology. They said 'no'. Fail to see how one could get a more precise definition of 'direct'.
Stupid comment. No holiday – three days on the ground spent in factory visits and meetings. As you may have noticed if you'd read the blogs from the trip.
And if you are daft enough to dismiss first-hand information from the engineers in favour of your own prejudices, then there seems little point discussing with you. You, of course, know better than the facts, as is clear from your dismissal of the engineers as 'a rep'.
I find your entire response in this matter totally bizarre.
And by the way, there isn't 'a Kuro chipset': Kuro was always a range of technologies, from picture processing to screen construction. I know, I was there at the holiday in Rome orginal Kuro launch.
Now that Samsung has a 64 inch that is finally competitive in technical terms and costs just £2500, this TV is off my shopping list until it gets a minimum 1 grand price cut. And fixing the problems that What HiFi and others don't feel the need to report is required too. ie screen flicker, 50Hz bug and floating brightness.
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