Pioneer Kuro G9 set to stun at London launch event

Pioneer been sending out media invitations to its UK launch event for the Kuro G9 plasma

Oh happy day! Pioneer looks set to wow the world all over again next month, when it finally unveils its G9 plasma sets in London. The sets promise to be 80 per cent blacker than current versions - which are already pretty darn stunning.

The media-only invitation TechRadar received today certainly cranks up the hype a notch or 10. This is how it reads:

"You're invited to visit a world unlike anything you've ever experienced. A world where images can touch you, sound can move you and life and art twist together to create something so unimaginable, it can only be taken in with your heart.

"Welcome to an event inspired by the next generation Kuro."

Things are already at fever pitch here in TechRadar towers in anticipation of the event, which takes place in central London on Friday 23 May.

We caught a glimpse of the G9 Pioneer Kuro TVs at a private showing during the Consumer Electronics Show in January. UK plasma product manager Jim Catcheside told us in an interview then that the G9's were able to display 80 per cent deeper blacks than 8G Kuros, and that they were 80 per cent better than their 7G predecessors:

"That's to do with crystal emissive layer being the heart and the core to it... and it's also about the electron plate within the rear substrate of glass that actually ignites the gas. [Pioneer's engineers have] moved the position of that back panel - the first time that's been done since the 1990s when [Pioneer] introduced the first panel. That again is fundamental to this," Catcheside told us in January.

Forget contrast ratios, says Pioneer

"Finally with the pure black we're talking about a cell that has no priming discharge response, so when it's not being asked to do anything it is off. It's just black. That is the key to the Holy Grail of black.

"Plasma technology is self-emitting. But the problem has always been: what each cell does when it idles, and when you go between white and black. You get a discharge response and that is what causes blacks to appear dark grey. You get this continuous glowing luminance from the cell.

"And now what the Japanese engineers have developed is obviously a way of completely discharging that luminance immediately, so it's instant. Cells can go from bright white to deep black in an instant, and even in our 8G Kuro plasmas that is not possible.

"That's why [Pioneer] is saying forget contrast ratios. [TV makers] all measure them differently - that one quotes 30,000:1, that one quotes 50,000:1, that one quotes 100,000:1. We're not going to quote anything any more. It's pure black. It's immeasurable. There's not a measurement tool on the planet that can measure it. It's just black. It's off."

TechRadar will be there on launch day to bring you full details and specs.