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Pioneer Kuro PDP-5080 HD

by dealerbadger / February 20, 2008 1:50 AM PST

I am pretty much set on getting this television, but I am still trying to figure out if I would get a better picture by getting a television that is 1080p. From what I have read, it seems this television packs one of the best pictures available because of the level of blackness it produces. Also, I have read on a couple of sites that this television is a 720p, but I have seen other sites listing it as a 1080i. Does anyone know what this television really is or if there would be an improved picture by getting a 1080p plasma?

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You're on the right track
by jostenmeat / February 20, 2008 2:11 AM PST

need for 1080p is dependent on:
-how big the tv is
-how far you sit
-your vision
-your source

If you are not watching BluRay, etc, it doesn't matter. Hi-def TV is not 1080p btw. I don't know the tv's specs, but I would guess that it accepts 1080i and converts that to 720p (or 768p) etc.

- 50" tv
- how far do you sit
- how good is your vision
- are you going to use Bluray

I believe ISF rates resolution as only #5 or so, in regards to the particular abilities of any tv. Contrast, black level, color accuracy, color saturation, IIRC are all more important. 1080p is one of the most overrated things, at least for the typical sized tv's that many people buy.

And I would guess a good 720p is still always better than a crappy 1080p. I've seen both (probably the tv's video processor). GL.

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720p and 1080i...
by stuntman_mike / February 20, 2008 2:29 AM PST

are basically the same thing. When you talk about a TV nowadays, you talk about in in terms of its progressive capabilities. No current TV models do interlaced pictures. If you are getting a 1080i signal your TV will turn it into it's native progressive resolution. In the Kuro's case that would be 720p.

The above poster jostenmeat was on in what he says.

The Kuro is held by many professionals to be THE TV right now. Unless you are sitting rather close to the screen, you won't really be missing the extra resolution that you would be getting from a 1080p set.

You will notice the great black level and contrast no matter where you sit though so you should enjoy the TV.

I don't think that the 5080 is the only choice out there for a TV like some do, but it is easily one of the best TVs you can buy.

Good luck

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by dealerbadger / February 20, 2008 10:26 AM PST
In reply to: 720p and 1080i...

I actually went to a store and looked at this television today and asked some additional questions. To be really honest with you, the picture is not that superior if at all to televisions that cost $1500 less. Now, I don't know if the settings on the tv at the store have any effect on improving the picture, but I was not blown away as I expected I would be after doing research. Also, it seems there is a definitive advantage to getting a 1080p if you are going to hook up a Blu ray player to the television. I am planning on hooking up a PS3. The sales associate told me that currently there aren't any programs being broadcasted in 1080p. As a result, a 720 would be sufficient according to him. However, he said that the picture would be noticeably improved with Blu ray movies by going to a 1080p. Does anyone have any thoughts to support or refute this logic?

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by ns387241 / February 20, 2008 11:14 AM PST
In reply to: update

Pioneer will continue their 42" plasma displays for the 9th gen. They will be 1080p, like the rest of the 9g plasmas (rumored at this point, but logical). The 9G plasmas will come out in Summer '09, lots of time from now. Every day that passes makes the 5080HD a better value.

Settings are never correct at the dealer (or big box store). Most, if not all, are set to a "dynamic" or "vivid" picture mode, pumping up all aspects of the picture. This is by no means a fair representation of the TV's abilities when properly broken-in and ISF calibrated. The "dynamic" setting is not only the least accurate setting on the set, but also the most harmful (to both your eyes on a dark room and the set's lifespan) and holds the highest power consumption. One can have a more accurate and efficient picture that is less harmful quite easily.

720p will be adequite provided you are sitting more than 5.5ft from the screen (@50"). 1080p is a subtle difference at even 6ft, but if you have an extra $3k, why not? I have a 5080 in my 13x15 bedroom and am supremely satisfied with it's resolution. I also have (amoung other things) an 80GB PS3, which I use for games, DVD and BD. Incredible. I think the salesperson's logic applies for a very short viewing distance, where, 5ft and less, 1080p would be a logical choice. Yet this statement is idiodic, as nobody with a 50" screen would normally sit less than 5ft from it.

I have broken-in this television properly and have set it correctly, along with hooking it up to the appropriate equipment. This is vital to the television's performance and lifespan. I cannot tell you how many people regret not taking my advice after losing their investment. Please make sure to take all necessary steps to protect your investment (I can provide them if you need me to).

Aside from PS3, I watch Time Warner HD cable, HD over-the-air, and seldom VHS recordings. All aside from VHS (which normally looks like junk unless it's D-VHS) look fantastic.

I think that if you're given a chance, you will see that the Pioneer, when set to it's break-in mode (50% on all main adjustments, no pro adjustments activated), is far superior to any of the other sets out there. Color, contrast, black levels, shadow detail, flexibility to different environments, it has it all. You can occasionally find this TV for $2K on sale at Best Buy, which is a steal for any 50" plasma with the deepest blacks in the industry. Go get 'em.

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Blu ray on the pioneer
by gabereyes / February 20, 2008 12:39 PM PST
In reply to: update

most sells people will tell you that you need a 1080p set to get a better picture with bluray, but chances are they never hooked up a bluray player to a 720p set.

bluray will look better then standard HD broadcast every time, it doesnt matter if you have a 1080p or 720p set, BD disc always look better because it is a direct HD source, not a broadcast.

I am big on Colors and black level over resolution.

as for in the store, the store has crazy bright lighting thats makes TV's look all the same, but in the house they look very diffrent.
with the bright lighting in the store its hard to see the black level quality of any TV set and that makes it very hard to see any diffrents in colors and/or contrast.

good luck

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I own a 5080....
by kcfvegas / February 21, 2008 4:12 AM PST
In reply to: update

I understand your feelings about which way to go, so let me give you my experience and hopefully it'll help you out. I have a Pioneer 5080 in my family room and a Vizio 42" 1080p LCD in my bedroom, so I own both, a 1080p and 720p. The Vizio has a much more detailed picture but it has a much lower contrast ratio, so the picture lacks a lot of the depth or vividness of the 5080. When I'm watching the 5080 it has a fantastic picture quality due to its contrast ratio and black levels, but the picture definitely is missing some of the detail of a 1080p set, even when watching direcTV. By the way, the setting I watch my 5080 on is Optimum, which is the closest setting to perfect, and I sit about 12 feet from the set.

One thing that people writing about 1080p sets leave out when they say that broadcast TV is only 1080i, is the fact that 1080p sets up convert that 1080i signal to 1080p.

So having said all that, my suggestion would be to buy a 1080p set with a high contrast ratio. Weather it's a Panasonic or Pioneer plasma,(which I personally recommend), or a Sony or Samsung LCD, get a 1080p set.

Now just to confuse you even more, if you are not in a hurry to get a HD set right now, Mitsubishi and Sony are bringing out their new Laser TV sets later this year, and they are supposed to have a much better picture than either plasma or LCD, with very deep blacks and 100% better color reproduction. They will all be 1080p, and they will be 3D TV capable, so you will be able to watch movies and play video games in 3D, all for a lower price than the plasmas or LCDs.

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I own a 5080 too...
by ns387241 / February 21, 2008 7:32 AM PST
In reply to: I own a 5080....

The Mitsubishi laser TV's are a rear projection technology. They may have a higher contrast, but at the expense of viewing angles and lighting environmrnt capabilities. Why wait for the laser TV's when one could wait for Pioneer 9G plasmas? Sony is not involved with laser TV's. They have come out with a super-slim panel known as OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode). They have a model out already with 1,000,000:1 Contrast ratio. Impressive for an 11" screen, but the 2,500.00 price tag? Forget about it.

Any fixed-pixel display (Plasma, LCD, DLP, LCoS, essentially any non-CRT-based system) has to provide upscaling or downscaling to it's native resolution (which is always progressive, CRT is always interlaced). Without uscaling or downscaling to the native resolution of the set, the TV could not display a picture whatsoever. 1080p sets will upscale any signal they accept to 1080p. 720p sets will upscale or downscale any signal they accept to 720p. Example: The PDP-5080HD accepts 1080p. It then downscales that signal to 720p.

Your 42" Vizio set has a more deatiled picture because the screen is smaller and you are most likely sitting closer in your bedroom than you are in your living room, as comfortable distance for a 50" is further away than a 42". If this is not the case, then there is either a) something wrong with your settings (which there is, optimum runs the TV too hot and has too cool a color temp, so detail is lost. Try movie mode, you will see it behaves closest to ISF standards) or b)you have not properly broken-in the TV set and/or are not using adequite equipment (500-hr. break-in period for the 5080HD and appropriate equipment like power conditioner, ground loop isolator (for DirecTV), UPS, and adequitely rated high bandwidth cabling (that is, power cords, HDMI and component cables).)

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You better make your decision quickly
by tvimpaired2266 / February 20, 2008 4:28 AM PST

Pioneer is going to discontinue this model and I have had a hard time locating one.Moving forward Pioneer is only going to manufacture 1080p plasma's.In addition to discontinuing the 5080HD they are also not going to make a 42" screen size anymore.

So if you really want the 5080HD you should make a decision ASAP or you probably won't be able to find it anywhere.

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by Riverledge / February 20, 2008 10:44 AM PST

MORE TO FOLLOW...........


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by Riverledge / February 20, 2008 11:59 AM PST


YOU MAY HAVE MISSED IT. TRY "ONE CALL", none in stock but still offering them if they receive a standing order.

LOOK INTO THE NEW PANASONIC "8" MODELS. I believe, from what I've read
ALL NEW PANNYs will be 1080P as well. Don't take my word on that, but
do some basic research.

Piecing together all the HYPE I've gathered, PANASONIC, PIONEER, and
SONY will ONLY manufacture 1080P HDTVS in 2008. (Current production
models DO not have to meet that stipulation!!!)

Well, HELL'S BELLS......... MY PANNY TH-58PX600U is 720P/1080i and I
haven't had any issues.

But, believe me if and when ONE occurs, YOU ALL WILL BE THE FIRST TO


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new Panasonics...
by uabtim / February 21, 2008 1:35 AM PST

Actually Panasonic is still producing 720p sets. They will be hitting stores as early as next week.

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by Riverledge / February 22, 2008 7:54 AM PST
In reply to: new Panasonics...


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by Riverledge / February 20, 2008 12:32 PM PST




THE PDP-5080HD is a 720P/1080i model.

1080P............on sets smaller than 58" to 60", @ 10' to 15' feet.


Let us know, best wishes,


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As others have said...
by stuntman_mike / February 21, 2008 1:37 AM PST

you can't go by what you see in the store unless you adjust the settings yourself on the models that you are thinking about. Bring DVDs with you and ask the salesperson to hook up a DVD player. After that adjust the picture settings to your liking or just put them all on Movie mode. It is not a perfect comparison but it is still a better one than the out of the box Vivid settings.

As far a the salesperson telling you that you "need" a 1080p set to watch Blu-rays that's nonsense. Look at his/her title. Salesperson! A comparable 1080p set will always cost $300- 1000 more than it's 720p equivalent. If you have a great TV. which the 5080 is, it doesn't matter that much if it is 720 or 1080. You will not presumably notice any difference unless you sit close to the screen or have a TV that is larger than 50". Even then it is not like it is night and day. A great 720p TV trumps a good 1080p TV every time.

Having said that, I do not agree with some of the other posters that say that the 5080 is the best TV available hands down. I think that there are few TVs that are just as good and it is a matter of personal taste and what type of room you will be watching them in that determines which is best for you.

If you go to the store and do a proper comapsrison of the sets by bringing your own DVDs or having them hook up a BD player to each, after you have adjusted the settings, and you are still not in love with the 5080, then it is not the TV for you. But at least you will be making a better informed decision than just going by the in store settings.

Good luck

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panny 1080p vs pioneer 720p
by jay412 / February 21, 2008 11:16 AM PST
In reply to: As others have said...

i am having the same dilemma....the panny 1080p and the pioneer 720p are roughly the same price right now and the 1080p pioneer is significantly more in price, which i'm not sure i'm willing to pay...i went to best buy looking and the sales guy actually told me the pioneer 720p will "outperform" the panny's 1080p with bluray disc....especially at normal viewing's all very confusing...but i think it comes down to what everyone says on here that you need to view it yourself with similar settings and sources and determine for yuourself if the picture quality is what you want or can't really go wrong with either the panny's 1080's or the pioneer i don't think...both are considered top plasmas in their class and it really just comes down to personal preference.....

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My Best Buy experience...funny
by dealerbadger / February 21, 2008 2:34 PM PST

I visited a Best Buy again today and spoke to a sales guy at great length. He told me the exact opposite as your guy. It's frustrating and funny at the same time when looking for what is regarded as the best picture to fit your needs. I have come to the conclusion that I would not be disappointed in either television but the pictures are different. As a result, I will be getting the 1080p.

Not to be confrontational or say "my guy knows more than your guy" at all, but the guy I spoke to seemed very knowledgeable. He went on and on...and on about how he has been in the A/V industry for 23 years, what he has personally owned, customer reviews, etc. He totally fit the profile too in that he seemed like he didn't really have much of a personality and he would be the quietest guy in a room full of people until something A/V comes which point he would not shut up. All the same, I did really appreciate his insights. He explained some things that seemed very remedial but made a lot of sense after hearing it. As many people know, one of the key factors that affect a picture is the blackness. What some people may not know is that this is affected by the blackness produced as well as the screen color. The first thing he did was to turn off 4 televisions that were all next to each other and showed me a quite noticeable difference in the blackness of the screen. He said some screens that seem more green when off will have the greatest issues with presenting truer looking colors. Had I seen one of these televisions off all by its self, it would have looked black. But, when all were lined up and off at the same time there is a big difference. He also said that the PS3 (which I will be using for Blu ray) will have a much improved and enhanced picture over a 720 when viewing movies. He said that the 720 picture will be good, but compared the difference between 720 and 1080p to that of the difference between 480 and 720. When the difference in resolution between a 720 and a 1080 it does make sense that there would be an improved picture wit hthe 1080. He actually set up a Blu ray disc player on severala televisions to demonstrate this, and he was right. I don't know as though the difference was quite as he described, but I did see an improved picture with the 1080p.

While I appreciate everyone's opinions, after doing a lot of research and looking in person at televisions I wonder if some people providing thoughts just read a lot of reviews and think they are an authority on televisions. I don't say that to offend anyone, but some of the things I have seen and read are completely contradictory. At the end of the day, I think you have to go out and actually look at televisions in your budget and make your own decision. People can help provide some direction, but others will steer you wrong unintentionally for sure. Also, I highly doubt there are any televisions on the competitive market that can command a price tag in the $2,000 range that will leave you disappointed when you get it home.

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Premium for a small improvement
by noahjwhite / February 21, 2008 10:45 PM PST

You'll hear contradictions all the time. I would never trust a salesman not matter how "knowledgeable" he seems. 1080p is mostly hype. Whether or not it provides a better picture is very dependent on several factors but the most important are this:

1. Source
2. Viewing distance
3. Super vision

1. Source. You are covered with the PS3. If don't have a blu-ray or HD-DVD player, you will see very little if any difference. Even then... the movie you are watching will have to be a REALLY good looking movie. The average blu-ray just isn't detailed enough to matter.

2 & 3 are really the same thing. If you sit 4 feet from a 50" TV you might see a benefit with 1080p. Unfortunately, at that distance your neck will really start hurting and you'll get dizzy from moving your head around. Otherwise... if you have super vision Like 20/10, you can sit farther away and still see the difference. If your vision is less than 20/20 I wouldn't even think about it.

The bottom line is that 1080P IS technically better. But it's not 30% or more better. Which is usually the price difference. Individual results are different, but for me, It's about 5% better on a 50" at my normal viewing distance, with a good source, AND I have 20/15 vision.
I wouldn't pay 30% more for a 5% improvement. But if money is no object I'd definitely go 1080P, unfortunately most of us have to live within a budget and I can think of a thousand things I'd rather spend that extra $1000 on.

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by gretzkyv99 / February 21, 2008 11:38 PM PST

Post like this crack me up, everyone see's the tv's different.Therefore I always recommend when people are comparing tv's that if you dont see what makes the tv so expensive buy the cheaper one. You can argue all day about 720vs1080p and the fact remains that at 10ft its virtually impossible to see the difference yet at the same time, others will swear that they can.

BUY what you like! Pioneers or Panasonics are both excellant, cant go wrong with either one.

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RE: Kuro
by HHaller2 / February 22, 2008 2:22 AM PST

I just brought this set home last night, I had to ask Best Buy to order it from one of their other stores.

Obviously I have not had a lot of time to play with the TV yet, but my first impression is this: it's a very good plasma (potentially excellent) but from what I've seen so far it's not a life-changing event when you turn it on, as many would have you believe. HD DVD's and HD cable look great. Standard def is acceptible, if a little overly smoothed out.

It does dark scenes beautifully, with tons of detail, but I've noticed that it doesn't have the same color "pop" that my old Samsung plasma had. (My perspective may be a little skewed as I've gone from plasma to LCD to plasma over the last two weeks, though) Whether I get that performance after calibration or tinkering, I'll let you know.

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Optimum is the best setting
by kcfvegas / February 22, 2008 5:05 AM PST
In reply to: RE: Kuro

HH2, my recommendation for your TV setting is optimum, if you're not already using it. When I had my 5080 calibrated the tech told me that optimum is the closest setting to perfect. It was off by only 10% from his calibration on user. I find that I usually watch TV on the optimum setting more, but I watch HD DVDs and DVDs on the calibrated user setting more, because optimum has a little brighter picture due to it having more blue in it.
Buy the way, having paid for the calibration, I don't recommend spending the extra money for it. There isn't enough difference in the picture quality to justify the $200.00.

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by HHaller2 / February 22, 2008 5:13 AM PST

I'll play around with Optimum when i have a chance. I've heard a lot of people talking about using Standard or User as well. I was a bit surprised to see that Movie mode didn't provide the picture I was expecting, given the fact that every professional reviewer loves it.

I've been debating about spending that money on calibration as well, but I think the only real problem is the slight red push. I've read that you can calibrate that out in the service menu, but I'm not sure if i'm brave enough to try that yet.

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I don't have that set...
by stuntman_mike / February 22, 2008 6:55 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks...

so I can't say how great the user controls are.

My advice would be to get a calibration disc like Digital Video Essentials or to look at the picture settings that Dave Katz used in his review of the set. His settings are in a dark room, but if you start with his settings and then tweak them to fit the brightness of your room, you would be better off than you are now.

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by ns387241 / February 24, 2008 7:07 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks...

I have owned a 5080HD since last September. I should have you know there is approximately a 500hr break-in period, in which the properties of the 5080 are constantly changing. I would recommend you leve your TV on the settings I describe below, as settings like dynamic and optimim, although bright, are harmful to your television at it's current stage of life and will adversely affect performance and lifespan. Brightness is not quality.

You are used to your Samsung's oversaturated picture. The settings below will reveal a natural picture, one that is not designed to give the most, rather take the least from your viewing experience. Utilizing this setting with the appropriate equipment should yield close to 100,000hrs of life. Good Luck.

picture mode: USER

Contrast, brightness, sharpness, etc. 50%
Pure Cinema:
Film mode: advance
Text Optomization: off

Picture Detail:
DRE Picture:off, Black Level: off, ACL: off, Enhancer mode: off, gamma:off.

Color Detail:
Color temp: warm

Noise Reduction:
3DNR: High
field NR: off

Power Control:
Power save: mode 2
no-signal tun off: on
no-operation turn off:on

Orbiter: on

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