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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've taken possession of a 600M and I've been too busy watching it to get in here and review it for you. But now, without further ado..

Here’s some background. The current Pioneer KURO 60" models include:

PRO-151FD - Elite TV - $6500 MSRP
PRO-141FD - Elite Monitor - $7000 MSRP
KRP-600M - Other Plasmas - ? MSRP
PDP-6020FD - Pioneer TV - $5500 MSRP

The secret here is that the KRP-600M is basically the same as the PRO-141FD Elite Signature Series Monitor. The components of the Signature Monitors are "hand picked" and undergo a rigorous QC process that the M series may not. And the M series do not come with the ISFccc calibration controls. But the hardware is the same and the performance is basically the same. Which is to say world class.

The M series is not marketed to the public. It’s supposed to be for custom installers and the street prices on it are much lower than the Elite counterpart.

I got mine for less than $3000.

As you know, Pioneer is not making these any more. This was the ninth generation of KURO plasmas. Their 50" KRP-500M actually got some of the 10th gen technology that they were developing and has even blacker blacks. But I went for size.

Pioneer is not going out of business, and is not going to stop supporting this product.

If you’re thinking about getting a KURO, do it NOW. These are getting harder to find and will soon be gone!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Features

The KRP-600M is a monitor meaning it has no TV tuner. If I use the word TV elsewhere in this review, don’t be confused. This is not a TV in the strict sense of the word. If you want to receive over the air TV signals you’ll need an outboard tuner.

This monitor doesn’t come with a stand or wall mount. You’ll have to buy that separately. Be forewarned, the manufacturer’s stand is hard to find and goes for $400. You might want to wall mount this or get creative.

The remote is pretty cool. It’s got a backlight button. The buttons feel like they click a little when you push them, giving you a rare, retro tactile feedback.

The on-screen menu is very straightforward. It’s refreshingly easy to navigate. It’s much easier to figure out than the Sony XMB.

As referred to elsewhere in this review, the picture controls are complete. It’s straightforward to calibrate this set to near perfection with the user level controls.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Picture Quality

Not to beat around the bush, from what I've seen:

This is probably the best 60" direct-view monitor made today.


If you're a tweaker like me (and I know you are) then you know that a TV needs to be calibrated to meet a certain standard. Exaggerated colors or sharpness may impress some people, but that's not our definition of performance. We want it to be correct.

In what ways can the best modern HDTVs fall short of this mark?

  • Black Level - How close to zero is black?
  • Peak Brightness - Most TVs have no trouble producing blinding whites.
  • Grayscale Tracking - Are there user controls that allow you to make the entire grayscale gray?
  • Gamma - Are there user gamma controls that let you achieve a 2.2 (or whatever) gamma?
  • Primaries - Are the primary colors accurate?
  • Color decoding - Is there red push or any other color decoding error?
  • Artifacts - Is there any motion lag, haloing, ghosting, silk-screen effect, vignetting, viewing angle limitation, or any other thing that contaminates the image?
There are many TVs today that get most of this right. My last TV, a rear-projection Sony SXRD got most of this right but had some obvious limitations. It lacked pitch blacks, couldn't get to gamma 2.2, displayed silk-screen effect and had a limited viewing angle. It wasn't terrible in these respects, but these were limitations that I noticed.

The Pioneer KURO KRP-600M does not suffer from any of these obvious limitations.

  • Blacks are very dark. I watch TV in a darkened room with a dim bias light behind the TV. Under this condition, the black parts of the screen are virtually indistinguishable from the black bezel when content is playing. The black levels of this set are better than CRT was.
  • Whites are bright enough for me at about 33 ft-L.
  • Grayscale is easily adjusted with user controls to get perfect grays.
  • Gamma is easily adjusted with user controls to get a gamma of 2.2 etc.
  • The primary colors are accurate.
  • The color decoding is accurate.
  • There are no observable artifacts.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Quibbles

This monitor doesn't suffer from obvious limitations, but is there room for improvement? Sure.

So here are my quibbles.


  • The brightness of a plasma TV is limited by the power supply, so that a full white screen is not as bright as a small white patch is. In other words, the overall brightness of the picture will drop in a scene about a snowstorm or a hockey rink. So far, this hasn’t bothered me at all, but maintaining peak brightness all the way up to a 100% white field wouldn’t hurt.
  • This set doesn’t display much whiter than white.
  • This TV is not as bright as LCD so it’s not suitable for every environment. It is bright enough for home theater.
  • Could blacks be blacker? Sure, they’re not absolute 0. But would this make a noticeable difference? I doubt it.
  • Plasmas do make noise, they buzz a little. When watching TV with audio at a normal level, the buzz is inaudible. But when watching at night with the volume way down the buzz is audible. It can be eliminated by turning on the power saving mode, which limits the power supply. This decreases peak brightness. It would be nice if this TV were dead quiet under all conditions.
  • The glass is coated with an anti-reflective coating similar to good sunglasses. This reduces reflections and makes them purple, but does not eliminate them entirely. In the daytime, windows do reflect in the glass to some degree, but it's pretty tame.
  • In the daytime, the color of the dark grey phosphor screen is brighter than the black levels, so shadow detail is lost.
In the home theater environment, none of these things bother me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Final Verdict

The best source material is displayed so well and without distraction that the illusion of looking through a window is nearly achieved.

Final Verdict: The Pioneer KURO 60” KRP-600M is Very Highly Recommended.
 

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Very nice write-up! I love my Pro-151 as much as I did, if not more, the first day I got mine back nearly a year and a half ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I bought the 600M. It is only a monitor, meaning that it has no tuner, and it doesn't even include speakers. But I didn't need any of that since I have a surround sound system and satellite TV. It was the better value for me.

I've been enjoying it very much!
 

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the 141 is monitor only also but has 2 more HDMI outlets- and ISC Modes- is that worth $1000 - will it have a better picture than the 600m?
I am rookie at this -most of dialogue over my head
 
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