Pioneer Elite vs. Pioneer "Standard" Kuro Plasmas

My primary question is weather or not the "Elite" models are worth the extra dough ? Does anyone know if they can both be ISF calibrated ?

Thank you
The Elites have a much better video scaler in them and are much more ISF friendly, both can be calibrated, but the Elite can be done perfectly, the standard is missing something in the calibration I seem to remember.
Both are great TVs. However, the new (9th generation) non-Elites have very limited calibration even by ISF guys with their gear. This is now one of the chief differentiators between the two. One way of rationalizing it is that the price dropped with the new generation.
I had a non-Elite 8th generation, which had a slight problem. Loved the TV, but since it was leaving I upgraded to 9G Elite.
If one is in the market for a plasma TV, the Elite is the only one! it is truly worth the extra $$$.
As a Californian I saved almost 2K on a 151FD, great pricing, no tax, and free shipping from here.

No buyers remorse here.
I think this review answers some of your questions:
there are certain things in life....that are truly love at first site! this is one of them. I've had my Elite [50"] going on three years now. It's A daily performer that has had zero operating issues to date & IMO I've still not seen anything that can touch it in the way of performance, and value (within it's price range) Additionally should you match this up with a serious Blu-Ray like Elite's BDP 09FD, it's game over! 1080P. So If you can step up to the Elite it's a no brainer. Go for it, and Yes ISF on the Elite
I have the Elite 60" Kuros 150FD and it blows away everything I have seen.

Ad a major step up over Pioneer.
I have a 5080 Kuro (non elite) and just ordered a 151FD last week. My ISF guy told me that if I could swing for the elite to get it over the non-elite. This was not as much the case when I bought the 5080
Standard Pioneer's are better than anything comparable, then the Elit's are that much better.
Hands down, Pioneer OWNS the plasma market for bets tv's out there, yes!
I just read the Audioholic and read that Pioneer might be exiting their plasma - I still want to get one before it does phase out - I truly like the Elite over the other plasma like the Samsung and Panasonic - So, I am now searching for a good deal - have anyone purchased a KURO from the advertisement on videogon? Or any other recommendation on where I can get a good deal on a Elite? I will check on the website that is posted on this forum....
Onecall has the 50" for $2795 shipped now.
Thanks Kenny, I will check them out as well.... are selling the PRO111FD for $2699 and that includes shipping! And it sounds like Pioneer are pulling away from tv after seven months! That is a bummer!!!!!
Can anyone tell me what extra you get out of ISF calibration? All I know about it is a guy comes over and noodles around with the innerds of the plasma. Is there a real noticable difference after they are done? I have the 110FD and I have done what I can with the on screen commands with my remote. Thanks
..just a note. I read that Pioneer is leaving the tv market. I would be wary of the brand now.
Any comments on the last posting? How does everyone feel about that, would all of you be uneasy buying one of the best plasma on the today's market? The Elite model is the only hdtv that got 10 out of 10 from CNET.... I've been watching the price drop and I'm patiently waiting for a good deal.
So as I understand it, Pioneer is going to stop making the actual physical plasma panel/displays at the end of 2009. To date they have made their own. Now they will subcontract.

They will continue to make Pioneer brand plasma monitors/sets - meaning with their own electronics, GUI, feature set and cosmetics. I have not seen anything about whetehr they will keep their current model nomenclature (Kuro, Elite) or use the occassion to introduce new models.

Personally I am not concerned and I own one - Pioneer has been in this game a long time and I am sure parts and support will be available for some time.

ISF. Yes they do come and fiddle around. The results are "not subtle". Unless you have a great eye and have spent an inordinate amount of time on set-up, your set will look markedly better.

You can expect richer blacks with more shadow detail, more accurate flesh tones and greens, and cleaner whites. This is done by adjusting/maximizing the color space, fine tuning the gamma and a myriad of other details.

As one added bonus you will learn a lot about your unit since most ISF techs want you there with them while they do the set up.

As the other added bonus the tech will (probably) look at all your sources and make any adjustments necessary to the menus. Make sure you negotiate this as part of the service

They will give you a written record of all the settings so if you want to tweak or try other recipes you should be able to get back to where you started. (Note some of the adjustments cannot be made without specialized gear - obviously you will not be able to tinker with those.)

Other then that - what all of the previous posters said applies =)
Wader1971...I've had no regrets purchasing a 151FD. Regardless of any of the reviews it can produce a simply stunning picture if the program material is up to the task. Like a resolving speaker system an Elite is at the mercy of upstream source and media.

Starting with their refinement of the Laser Disk Pioneer seems to have had at least one product that is either the state of the art for consumer component or at least very close to it. It's sad to think such a fruitful development staff may be dismantled.

I paid $5200 delivered for my 60" 151FD five months ago.
I have a 50" standard Pioneer plasma.

I think it has one of the best pictures I have seen. The Elites are probably even better, but for me, there is little added value.

So I would have to agree with Iplaynaked.
Pioneer will stop making their panels in April 2009

I heard this and just bought a 60' kuro 14
I have an older 50" elite
nothing like the pioneers and no fear buying it
mines been reliable from day one
the best tv on the market
There are reports from NIKKEI, a businees blog
that Pioneer is getting out of the television business
for good. The switch to the other panels may not happen.
Pioneer states they are losing money on the line.

Search "pioneer quitting television". I do not want
to be the one starting a rumor, but I have read this several times in business magazines.
it's all over the avs forums
I took action and bought a 9g model
the black levels are fabulous
I just read on the opening page of yahoo website that a lot of the engineers that worked at Pioneer left and are now working for Panasonic. If this is the case then the next Panasonic models may be better than the Kuro.
I'm guessing there's quit a bit of proprietary design within the Pioneer G series plasmas that Panasonic would have to purchase before improving the design, which in and of itself may not that big of a deal. Doesn't Panasonic already have a working relationship with Pioneer?

Aside from its performance the Elite G series is an elegant design that could easily be changed to become more affordable.

Pioneer losing, Sony losing money, what company now these days making money.....I'm planning to buy a KURO this Spring anyway....
Panasonic has been making the Pioneer panels for some time now. Panasonic, LG and Samsung will be the major plasma makers now. Pioneer hasn't made a dime on tv's in five years.

They are getting out of the video business for good.
I think you are right that if you want a plasma, look
at some of the Panasonic's. Consumers are not willing to
pay $5000 for a tv anymore. I know we are......people
who know quality. I am afraid this will not be the first
high end company to stop some kind of manuf of a great
product because of the times.
panasonic was going to make the pioneer's glass to cut down costs
that deal fell through (Panasonic dropped out)
and hence the Pioneer collape

panasonic did not make pioneer's panel

pioneer is still mkaing the best sets money can buy
the kuro takes it to another level

it will take a few generations of panasonic to catch up
I was wondering if anyone knows if the Pioneer 111FD is in fact that much better than the 110FD? I read the 111FD can calibrate itself based on daytime and night time viewing. It is discussed in the current Sound and Vision magazine.
Panasonic was making the panels and then the deal fell through.......according to two different dealers in my area. Just repeating what they told me. They were also trying to get me to buy a "real" Pioneer before Panasonic
made the panels.......go figure.
Thank you for contacting Pioneer Electronics, Inc.

We truly appreciate your support for KURO. We believe that our KURO displays are true innovators in the display business. e Our focus will be on the home A/V business, and we will continue to introduce cutting-edge products into the market. We appreciate your continued support.

Thank You,

Customer Service Representative

This is a response sent to me Feb. 24, 2009
Maybe their right. Besides the fall in high end sales could be Pioneer sees the end of the technology. This could be the last of the great plasmas before something like Mitsubishi's laserview technology wins out.

Didnt mean to, but just pulled the trigger on the 151FD and BDP-05 from local BestBuy of all places.
Turns out they have Elite line because they shut down their higher end local stores(MagnoliaHiFi), and they were willing to match Amazon prices.
Was intent on the 111, but upon audition looked too small for my room. With speakers on side and cable image cropped at top and bttm, it created kind of an illusion of a big fat bezel and small rectangular pic...And so I up sold myself to the 60" 151. Couldnt help it, last of the great plasmas at irresistable price and terms.
What kind of price did you nabbed from Best Buy - I just got informed from Axxis Audio that Pioneer just dropped there prices on the 151 model by couple of hundres of dollars - did you get it hooked up and your result is......
They had the 111 on sale for $2799 and 151 on sale for $5899. Settled on $4699 for the 151 and $550(799) for the BDP-05. Had to point out where the best Amazon pricing was. They also offered 2 years no payments or intrest on their card if your so inclined.

I left with the BDP-05 and will pickup the 151 today after work. ( They wanted 100$ for delivery only, no white glove setup available) Will wait 5-8hrs before turning on after moving.

The blu ray player slightly bests my denon5900 even with std dvds and std tv.
Did a firmware updated to BDP to from 1.08 to 1.25hdmi
Hooked up BDP-05 via component to my good ole 1080i sony wega xrb 34" crt and saw and improvement in picture quality over my denon 5900 with 1080i dvi setup.
Only complaint is the same one I have with the denon, the analogue outs are so tightly grouped together it is hard to fit better analogue interconnects to.(audio goes out via analogue to cj met1 pre)

Cant wait to see what happens when I switch cable service back to direct tvhd...Now if only my job holds up.
I'll tell you what you get from ISF calibration. It's a mixed bag! - depends on who's doing it, really.
I've had to fix mistakes from otherwise highly recommended ISF guys - even when they come out with their several thousand dollar Sencore Analyzers.
For the record, guys have been not only doing video system calibration for years without having all the fancy test generators and color analyzers. In fact, there were many of us who were taught to dial in displays with out such equipment for years, and we did just fine actually.
Basically, just because someone went through a class to use some equipment, does not mean they will get you perfect results!...for the record.
Years ago we hired Sony's local guy to come out at $125/hr to calibrate a large Sony CRT projection setup. He did a wonderful job, nailed the setup, and used absolutely nothing but his naked eye and experience!
So, just because someone has ANY LICENSE or training, does not mean they're proficient, careful, skilled, patient, or experienced with everything there is to know. I mean -lol - they guy could have paid $1000's for training, and could be COLOR BLIND FOR GOD'S SAKE! Same goes with audio engineers. The guy could be tone-def from years of going rock concerts. How do you know?
The same goes for hiring certified installers to hook up your systems! As we all know, there are good and not so good quality operations in every industry. Having a certificate means only so much.
Anyone else ever get an ISF or HAA/THX cert system done, and then realized things could have come out better when the job was done? I'm curious
Experience and recommendations, word of mouth, etc, all count for more in my 20 years expereince around all this.
Opinions will vary, however. I'm sure.
Anyone else have story
I too am curious about ISF. Im sure there would be an improvement over my best effort. But how does one qualify their expertise except thru reference. Anyone know of an ace in Portland area?
The young guy at best buy said he was ISF trained and explained they put temp sensor suction cups on screen to physically measure the actual color temps.
I thought by going with the 151 I could tweak the settings myself. I think it will display temperatures.
Would like to have ISF calibration for audio too, but alas budget cuts.
The Pioneer krp-500m is the last and best Pioneer plasma to be made by Pioneer this year. It has a better video scaler and it has blacker blacks than the Elite models! Some say its like getting a 10G at an amazing price....get one before they are all gone forever!...
I heard that Pioneer is going to start making OLED HDTVs some time in 2011
I agree I had a 8 month old Elite Kuro and bought the KRP-600m and it blew me away. Picture was at least 30% better than the elite.
I heard about Pioneer might start making OLED HDTVs in 2011 on this forum... .. Robert Zohn owner of talks about it on page 2
I wouldn't hold my breath. Everyone else said they were coming out with this especially in 50 or 60 inches. The price will be very high too.