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on December 27, 2008
I have had this for a week. Movies (I dont yet have a blue-ray) played from DVD are very good. HD Movies and shows (verizon FIOS) was excellent - the colors are rich, extremely realistic and makes watching a pleasure. I am upgrading from a Panasonic 480p 42' Viera series Plasma - which is pretty decent itself - this Pioneer is the best display I have ever seen. I dont regret paying $800 or $400 more than other brands - i believe this is a step up in picture quality and features. Viewing distance 10 feet is good enough, looks fine from 5 feet itself.

Setup is a no-brainer - not too many controls to mess with. Just works out of the box, excellent HD TV with no special tweaking! I have a Harmon Kardon / Polk receiver-speaker setup, but dont feel inclined to use that, as the Pioneer sound is very good.

Have tried the USB port to view pictures - works very well. Has lots of ports and inputs and outputs to ensure you wont be stranded.

I will post cons as I find them, as I only had it for a few days now.
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on April 3, 2009
Just finish up the basement and added another entertainment system. Got this PDP-5020FD under $2000 from Amazon.com. I was going to buy it from Costco to get the 2 year warranty but Costco charged tax and you have to drive it home.

I had the older Sony 60in LCD projection for the past 5 years and I thought it was pretty good but boy I was wrong. This 50in show us shadows and colors that we never notice in the 60in Sony. We also have a 37, 25 & 20in Olevia but the different is day and night. The Pioneer is so clear from every angle and distance. You can't do that with the Oleva.

We are thinking to replace the 60in Sony with the Pioneer 60in when the next time on sale. I think the Plasma is running @680Mhz vs. the high-end LCD running @120Mhz. There is no slow down on any actions. You can actually see the hairs from people in the 300 HD-DVD movie!!

This TV also plays MPEG and H.264 right from my media server or USB stick. It works well with my Canon SHDC DV. However, It does not play regular AVI file. I hope they have firmware to fix that...
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on March 30, 2009
I've had the 5020 for about a month now and find it has many great features, and some shortcomings. The picture is superior, even off the over-the-air antenna signal I use. The tuner is OK, as it doesn't pull a signal any stronger than my previous $45 DTV converter. Pioneer deleted the cable card slot which also removed the over-the-air TV Guide feature that was in last year's 5010 model. Access to setup features takes way too many presses of buttons. Particularly, getting to the signal strength takes about 8 presses, and you have to do it for each channel separately. I've had the TV turn itself off twice while I was pressing the channel-up button. Pioneer has issued a firmware update I'm going to try, but the writeup on it doesn't include this problem. Also, it's very slow to change channels, a several second delay. And entering 4 digits and pressing "Enter" is excessive (28.1 Enter). They should have several "Favorite" channel buttons on the remote control; another feature they removed from last year's model 5010, annoyingly. Amazon's price was excellent, possibly since this model will be discontinued in April, '09 and Pioneer will go out of the Plasma business at least for a year, maybe forever. They said they're too expensive to manufacture. Based on my analysis of reviews before buying this model, I believe it has the best picture of any set on the market and even with all its minor flaws, I would buy it again.
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on October 9, 2009
What can I say that hasn't been said? This TV beat my picky expectations by far! If your one to notice over hyped colors, bad shadow detail, poor blacks, washed out colors, hyped motion "anti-blurring" sets, you'll love this TV.

This is my first HD TV but I have been looking to buy for 6 years. My wife bought me a Blu-ray player ( Oppo BDP-83 recommend ) so I made the leap...so glad I did.

I am very picky about picture quality. I shoot large format photographs, I tend to notice digital artifacts, bad skin tone, bad contrast, pixilation etc. This TV has no artificial look to it. It seems to spit out what it gets with out adding anything. Off air 1080i broadcasts are stunning. Blu-Ray is outstanding. It may not be the best TV for converting from SD, but even converting from the lowest of resolution it still show no artificial digital artifacts. Meaning, no hyped colors, no rainbow effects, off color shadows etc.

The color depth is also stunning. May be a bit strong on reds and greens but seems to be pleasing to the eye. As advertised the black levels and detail are where it's all at. Making colors rich, deep, accurate and shadow detail solid. Blacks are inky black. For Plasma is does have a decent anti reflective coating. Reminds me of anti reflective coating on video lenses. Day time viewing is not a problem at all. TV speaker is better than the average TV speaker. I use 5.1 surround system for Blu-ray and HD TV but, for average TV viewing it's decent.

LCD and LED sets are using fast motion reproduction ie...120hz, 240hz to help stop motion blur. To me this makes 24fps film look like video. 24fps is supposed to show motion blur at certain speeds, and trying to make everything look sharp makes the picture look unnatural. This set show no signs of this artificial "fix". Blu-ray, broadcast 1080i shows (sports) look amazing. Smooth, fluid...the way they were meant to be seen. My first viewing of NFL HD was like anything I had ever seen.

I'm glad I waited for a TV like this. It's one of those things you know you'll want to keep for as long as possible because it performs so well.

Amazon was great at communicating shipping info. Personal e-mail to connect with me about who was shipping, contact info etc. TV was set up and turned on to make sure all was %100. I was a bit hesitant about ordering such a large item on line, but Amazon was on top of everything.

There is a similar Kuro by Pioneer that sells for $1,000 more. It has controls over every aspect of the video output. If your a Pro, super amateur enthusiast etc. with knowledge way beyond highlight, shadow, sharpness, color depth control... than you may like the "higher" model. Otherwise this set is pretty perfect right out of the box with out the bigger price tag.

(Don't forget if you live near TV stations...50 miles or less, you can get free HD 1080i broadcasts.)((separate antenna required))
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on October 19, 2008
Amazon was very easy to work with. The delivery time was excellent . the only negative comment would be about the White Glove service. The delivery person knew nothing about the TV. He didn't even know how to turn it on. After reading the manual, I figured how to turn it on and he had me do it so if something went wrong it would be my fault and not his. He helped me put the TV on the cabinet but would not connect it. After I connected it and got a picture on it, he picked up the packaging and took it away. It's a good thing the White Glove service didn't cost anything or I would be asking for a refund. The TV itself is perfect in every respect. I would recommend it to anyone. Purchasing anything through amazon is great.
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on February 10, 2009
First off, I have to give Amazon (and CEVA, the shipper) kudos for their white glove delivery service. They gently carried the tv up my icy driveway, brought it in, un-packed it, made sure it worked, and offered to take the packaging away (I declined). And they arrived in the first hour of the 3 hour window, which is always a bonus. Definitely place your order through amazon, not one of their associated merchants. It was worth the extra $50-$100 (at the time I made the purchase).

First off, I want to mention that plasma technology has come a long way recently in reducing the weight, and profile of the panels. This 60 inch display only weighs about 10 lbs more (without speaker or stand) than my Samsung FT-P5084 50 inch display, despite being 20% larger. I was able to life the TV from the stand, to a wall mount with my wife's help! Didn't even have to call a male friend! The display also has handles on the lower back side, to save your hands from sharp edges. The holes for the bolts on the back of the display are 34 inches apart, which is wider than my old wall mount (and most of the universal wall mounts out there). So, even if a universal mount claims to be capable of holding a high enough weight/panel size for this display, make sure the wall bracket is at least 36 inches wide, or it will not be able to accommodate this display!

The stand is cheap, and relatively crappy for the price of the display. This doesn't bother me, obviously, because I've mounted it on my wall, but it's an obvious bit of cost-cutting that's a little disappointing. Also, if the speaker bar is not attached, the display is supported by two skinny little bars, that are rather unsightly. If you are going to use the stand, make sure the speaker is attached, even if you aren't planning on using the TV's audio. Because I haven't attached the speaker, I can't comment on audio quality. All the reviews I have read said that for a TV, it's pretty fantastic. But I've got at least $3 grand into my surround sound system, so I didn't even bother taking the speaker out of the box.

The TV itself has a high-quality, black gloss finish around the glass that looks like it belongs on a TV this expensive. The remote is ok, not great, but not bad. Lots of small, same-size buttons. The black, brushed-aluminum-type finish is nice, though. I use a Harmony One universal remote anyway, so I'm not worried about the TV remote. The TV's menu system is fairly logically laid out, although some settings that you might think you'd find in the picture sub-menu are actually in other sub-menus. It took me a little while to find my way around, and play with all the various settings, but there is nothing too confusing about the setup. The menu screen sets the current video feed into a little box on the right side of the screen, with a border around the whole screen, and the menu items on the left side. Selecting the picture-related sub-menus brings the video to full-screen and overlays the sub-menu on top of it. It's a little different than other displays I've used in the past, but it works.

The menu you'll spend the most time in is the picture menu, under setup on the main menu. There are a bunch of color/picture modes available, but the only three are actually watchable for any period of time: Standard, Optimum and Movie. Standard and Optimum have similar default settings, the main difference being you can tweak the settings in Standard mode, but not Optimum. Both have reasonably accurate color settings, and high contract ratios that really make an image "pop" off the screen. Standard lets you adjust contract, brightness, tint, color and sharpness manually, while optimum makes adjustments for you based on lighting conditions. For showing off what the display can do, Optimum seems to be the best setting. The whites are bright, the blacks deep (more on this later), and the colors are quite vibrant. The only problem is that, in a darker, more ideal setting, Optimum and Standard modes are a bit fatiguing on the eyes after a while. It's just too much contrast for your eyes to handle comfortably. The definition, accuracy and video processing are top rate, meaning good video feeds look fantastic. Poorer feeds, however, can look a little less than spectacular, however, in these high contract, high detail modes, because they accurately reproduce the images, flaws and all. Even with the sharpness turned all the way down in Standard mode, this is still the case. Letters can appear pixelated, not smooth, and standard def TV feeds just don't look good. So, my TV is currently in Movie mode, which I feel (and there are several professional reviews to back this opinion up) is the best overall viewing mode for the TV. The colors are more muted, but closer to accurate, the contrast is excellent, but not fatiguing, and the mode smooths out the lousier feeds, while still showing the details of the good feeds in nearly all of their glory. A word about the color: at first, everything looked a little greenish, compared to my Samsung, which was calibrated to be as close to accurate as possible, but any adjustment in the tint toward red made the picture appear pinkish. I was unable to make any adjustments that seemed to get to a color that was 100% accurate, and that seems to be the only downside to this TV, versus the Elite models. However, after watching the display for a week, my eyes/brain have adjusted, and I no longer see the greenish tint, and the colors appear completely accurate to me. I'm not saying this is the best solution, but it works better for me than spending the extra $1,500 to $2,000 on the Elite model. A professional calibration would probably help as well. Regardless, I'm quite happy with the color at this stage, and I'm picky when it comes to my displays.

And now the most important part, the black levels. I think this is the best way to describe it: you can't tell the difference between when the display is turned off, and when there is a completely black screen being fed into the display. It makes anything else I've ever seen look gray in comparison. If you are new to TV/video-mania, you should know that there is no substitute for deep black levels. All images displayed on a screen are simply different color and intensity lights arranged in shapes that we perceive as whole images. Those lights stand out in contrast to the relative absence of light (ie, black) displayed elsewhere on the screen. If your screen's absence of light is just a medium gray, the screen has to output more color and more light to equal the contrast produced by a screen such as the kuro. And there are limits to the technology (and to human sight) that don't necessarily allow that to happen. So having the deepest, darkest basis to contrast with is extremely important if you truly want the best image possible. And, in normal viewing, this display, and the other kuro displays, simply have the best black levels available in a flat panel today. Samsung and Sony have LED-backlit LCDs that score better on contract ratio and black level tests, but in normal viewing situations, they simply can't match the Kuro line.

I don't think the question is whether you want to buy this display or not. It's entirely a matter of the cost/benefit analysis. If you are nuts about your home theater, and the thought of spending 4 grand on a TV doesn't scare you, you will not be disappointed. On the other hand, Panasonic and Samsung make some excellent 58 inch plasma displays, for significantly less money. As long as you never saw the black levels on this Pioneer, you wouldn't even know what you were missing, and would probably be perfectly happy. But, with the exception of the Kuro Elite models, the PDP-6020FD and the PDP-5020FD are probably the best displays money can buy today. I don't regret my purchase one bit.
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on January 12, 2009
After researching many LCD's including the LCD models with backlit LED's we (VantageIS LLC )came to the conclusion that this plasma HDTV was far superior in quality. The picture on this HDTV is excellent, even with a standard set of rabbit ear antenna. I own a high end projector home theater unit from Yamaha with Stewart filmscreen "firehawk" screen, that was specifically designed to match the projector. This is a six foot by ten foot custom made screen. While the KURO cannot match the projector for black levels the KURO does an excellent job. HD signals for live events are incredible, even better then the projector. We plan on adding the pioneer blueray player in a couple of months so I cannot tell you how well the Pioneer blueray player works with the KURO. If you are looking for an HDTV with excellent color you will not find one better then this.
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on August 12, 2008
I ordered the PDP-6020FD from Amazon, even though the 6th Ave. price was a few bucks cheaper because I'd read about delivery problems with them. At $4049 with free white glove delivery, it was a great price. The unit shipped instantly and arrived two days early. The two guys who dropped it off were very nice, but they skipped the part about unpacking and checking out the unit. My wife, who was there to accept, was not aware that they owed us that. So that night we unpacked it to find the glass screen badly cracked. Called Amazon right away and they were very responsive and apologetic. They credited me the $103 white glove delivery cost, even though it was free to start with, then they shipped a replacement. It arrived within a week and was in perfect condition, just in time for the Olympics.

The unit itself is gorgeous, as many others have said. The Olympic opening extravaganza in 1080p on that giant screen was jaw-dropping. I have it hooked up through a new Pioneer VSX-1018 receiver that upconverts my Cox Cable box's 1080i signal. So far no issues. Ditto with the Playstation 3 that's also connected through the 1018. I'm not a big gamer, but MetalGear Solid 4 looks amazing on this TV.

A big thumbs up for the PDP-6020, and kudos to Amazon for taking good care of me on the delivery.
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on February 17, 2009
If you're like me, you've been vacillating back and forth over what flat screen TV to buy for months. You've read every consumer website and TV/AV/blog trying to make an informed decision. You may have worn out your car tires and patience by visiting all the electronic stores and dept. store tv aisles while trying to artfully dodge those commission-hungry sales drones. Were you able to make an informed, intelligent decision while looking at side-by-side demo's of poorly set-up flatscreens with less-than-stellar demo video feeds all while trying to tune out the salesperson's inane technobabble?

Let me make it easy for you: If you want the best picture quality available, than your list begins and ends with a Pioneer PDP! Period.

Samsung and Panasonic make very nice plasma's. Their top-rated models are superior to anything else on the market, save one Manufacturer's sets (guess who's? LOL!). Just so you don't think I'm biased, I personally own a new TH-42PX80 Panasonic that does Master BR duty just fine, but it's no Pioneer. In the very recent past, there was a considerable price difference between the Panasonic and the Pioneer, which swayed many budget-conscious buyers away from the Pioneer. Now that the price on the 50" PDP-5020 has nose-dived to within $100-$200 of the highly-rated Panasonic TH-50PZ800, it's a no-brainer. The Pio is clearly superior. Don't believe me? You DID do your research (as above), right?

Worried about the 2/12/09 corporate press release announcement that Pioneer's getting out of the PDP business? Pioneer is NOT going under, it's just re-aligning itself with the harsh realities of the depressed global economy. Your warrantee will be honored and US Consumer Law ensures parts will be available for sometime to come. On top of that, Pioneer's (along with Pansonic) have the top consumer reliabilty rating (see Consumer Reports Mag for more info).

Now...if you need a bigger set, the waters become muddied. Right now, the pricing on 60" Pioneer PDP's (PDP-6020 and Elite PRO-151) have not YET dropped like the 50" models. While I'd still recommend the 60" Pio over the 58" Panny, the Panny is available for a $1k or more off of the Pio price. That makes the Pioneer hardly a bargain, but you do get what you pay for. You could wait it out and hope the prices will drop. It all depends on supply and demand.

Still with me? OK, stop reading this drivel and click on the "add to cart" button, LOL! Seriously, Amazon's customer service, along with the "enhanced" (formerly "white glove") delivery via CEVA is excellent. I just got my Pio this past weekend from them (as well as my Panny just a month ago) and I can't say enough about them.

What are you waiting for? Get yours while they're still available! At this price level, supplies won't last long....and when they're gone, they're gone!

P.S., Add the Pioneer BDP-51FD BonusView Blu-ray Player for a reference-level video system at bargain pricing. I liked 'em so much, I bought two: one for the Kuro, one for the Panny.

Enjoy!

UPDATE (2/20/09): There's a fly in the ointment...I found two stuck pixels (one red, one green) right in the middle of the display....unit was delivered last Sat (2/14), i.e., it is less than one week old. Amazon has already arranged for a replacement. I reserve comment until the set is properly replaced. I love the tv, but I don't love this problem! I hope this is an isolated incident.

UPDATE (2/26/09): The new TV is here...so far, so good. No obvious problems YET....dead pixels, buzzing, etc., are a non-issue. Time will tell if this stays status quo.

Another word about the "enhanced" shipping: Apparently, Amazon uses at least two shippers for flat screens on the East Coast, Pilot and CEVA. The last two PDP deliveries were from CEVA, this time it was Pilot. Pilot simply was substandard to CEVA, in my case. While losing the "White Glove Delivery" moniker was wise of Amazon (we're not talking about Sotheby's here, LOL!), don't expect rocket scientists to deliver your expensive purchase. Personally, given the choice, I'd chose CEVA as the lesser of evils to deliver my next large (expensive) purchase over Pilot hands-down.

UPDATE (5/19/09): No problem so far. The PQ seems to get better with age, and I used a break-in disc for nearly 200hrs first. Still mulling over whether to get a Pro calibration done on it. Those in the know say it's a worthwhile (albeit, subtle) inprovement. The thing is already so sweet and I'm using D-Nice's recommended setings (see avsforum.com) on Cinema mode, so I may just save the $300-$400 calibrator's fee and spend it on Blu-ray discs instead, LOL!.
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on February 19, 2009
Love this display (Pioneer PDP-6020FD 60-Inch Class). My wife isn't into technology or change...and she is ecstatic about it. It up converts really well from our standard broadcast satellite service and DVDs look great (something I didn't expect). I'm using a Sony Play station 3 for BlueRay which has turned out to be a great solution and I'm playing my first console game ever; Valkyria Chronicles. The experience is so immersive I may not play these games on a PC anymore. The Play Station is connected by HDMI to the Pioneer. I didn't have an HDMI connector for my Dennon 7.1 surround sound system, so I connected to the Pioneer via fiber optic. I thought that my surround system sounded great before; using Dolby on DVD movies. The sound is so unbelievably good now on a BlueRay disk that it beats any theatre I've ever attended. The nicest part is that I didn't have to do any configuration, or either side. I'm just amazed how easy it all was.
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