Pioneer KURO PDP-C509A plasma television
This 'entry-level' Pioneer plasma TV offers near-perfect image quality
- Very similar picture quality to the flagship Pioneer KURO PDP-LX609A plasma TV but a much lower price, great in-built tuner
- No networking or multimedia features, still expensive
The KURO PDP-C509A plasma TV lets you enjoy Pioneer’s class-leading picture quality and black levels at less than half the price of the class-topping Pioneer PDP-LX609A. That makes it fantastic value, despite the television’s lack of multimedia features.
Price$ 5,499.00 (AUD)
The Pioneer KURO PDP-C509A is a 50in television that utilises the ninth and final generation of Pioneer’s KURO plasma panel technology. Despite having a price half that of the company's flagship KURO PDP-LX609A, it delivers almost-peerless picture quality and image handling (though it omits some of the multimedia connectivity of the PDP-LX609A).
The Pioneer KURO PDP-C509A plasma TV uses a different finish to the outlandishly expensive (and outlandishly glossy) Pioneer KURO PDP-LX609A, with the designers opting for a matte black bezel. We actually found this bezel to be better in a room with multiple light sources; the coating doesn’t reflect and distract you like the KURO PDP-LX609A’s. It does look slightly cheaper and less exotic.
A notable exclusion is the side-mounted speakers, with the 50in display integrating them into the chassis. If you’re really hanging out (excuse the pun) for external speakers then it’s important to note than even the luxury 50in model — the Pioneer KURO PDP-LX509A — doesn’t have them.
The biggest difference between the KURO PDP-LX609A and the KURO PDP-LX509A is the exclusion of USB and Ethernet multimedia connectivity. This means you can't connect the Pioneer KURO PDP-C509A to your home network and stream music or videos to it. The USB port remains, but it is only used for servicing and firmware updates rather than for multimedia storage. As big fans of Windows-based media centres we’re not fussed about this; there are always alternatives for watching digital media on your television, especially given Internet-enabled devices like the Panasonic DMR-BW850. Still, it remains a sticking point that televisions costing significantly less than the KURO PDP-C509A have a bevy of multimedia features.
One point we loved about the Pioneer KURO PDP-C509A was its exceptionally good tuner. It has its 1080p plasma panel to thank for the best picture quality we’ve ever seen on standard- and high-definition television — scaling is all but flawless even from DVD-quality sources — and we were also impressed by the ease and speed with which the KURO PDP-C509A changed channels.
The panel shows detail even in incredibly dark areas of the screen. If you buy this television, we think it should be mandatory to own a Blu-ray copy of Batman Begins, just so you can show your friends. Detail is similarly well shown in light areas of the screen, and the panel was also able to perform well in a brightly lit room (an area in which plasmas are often criticised). Motion is well handled, with the plasma panel displaying seamless pans and fast motion sequences.
Pioneer’s KURO PDP-C509A is cheaper than the luxury model for similar picture quality, doesn’t lose out too much in features and actually performs better with scaling low-resolution content. We’d say it was a no-brainer purchase, but we don’t have $5499 to throw around. If you do, though...
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 2 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
- 3 Portable power: Venom Blackbook 13 Zero review
- 4 Alcatel Idol 4S review: King of the mid-range?
- 5 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Review
Latest News Articles
- Japan starts 8K TV broadcasts in time for Rio Olympics
- Android TV's universal search feature finally works with Netflix
- Vizio’s latest 4K TVs make eye-popping HDR more affordable
- Netflix flips the switch on eye-popping HDR video streaming
- Sony’s pricey Ultra video-streaming service goes live today, but you'll need a new high-end 4K Sony TV to use it
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- CCSenior Infrastrcture Project ManagerACT
- CCBI Reporting AnalystACT
- FTCarrier/ Industrial Network ConsultantsWA
- CCContract Systems Analyst (IT Security) 160928/JP/653Asia
- CCTest Manager (HP Quality Centre / Kronos)NSW
- FTInfrastructure Solutions ArchitectACT
- FTPositive Vetted ICT positions - Defence intelligence and information securityACT
- FTNetApp Storage ConsultantWA
- CCNetwork and Security EngineerNSW
- CCData Analyst | Data Management Framework | Experience in RNSW
- FTMDM EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical Support Engineer | Cloud | Automation techsNSW
- FTCertification and Accreditation Security ConsultantACT
- CCBusiness Analyst - Telecom ProjectNSW
- CCSolutions ArchitectACT
- CCSecurity Cleared IT Professionals - Expression of InterestSA
- CCLAN ConsultantWA
- FTTeam Leader Full Stack, Python, FinanceNSW
- CCContract Web Developer (160915/WD/vmp)Asia
- FTBusiness Development Manager | ICT intelligent systems integrationVIC
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperVIC
- FTCustomer Solutions Engineer | Voice | Data | TelcoNSW
- CCiOS DeveloperNSW
- CCVideo Conference Support Officer- VoIP, LAN, WAN, RemedyNSW
- CCBusiness ArchitectNSW