However, the eagle eyed amongst our readers will have noticed a passing resemblance between the KRP9000 and the reference winning JVC HD100, and you wouldn’t be wrong. What Pioneer appear to have done here is take an off the shelf chassis that offers Kuro levels of black and branded it with the Pioneer name, and there is nothing wrong with that. Someone interested in a complete Pioneer solution from a custom installer is certainly going to get a high quality product in the KRP9000.
The JVC HD100 when tested last year offered reference quality performance for the market at that time, and the KRP9000 certainly follows that lead. Things are changing all the time in the front projection market and recently the bar has been raised from last years HD100 high point. But that doesn’t mean the market for this KRP will shrink - I don’t really think it was that huge to begin with - and Pioneer would certainly admit to that. They are aiming this squarely at a small number of end users, and bringing in very few units. So the consumer market will have little effect on this projectors sales. What it does do is offer a solution for those customers who just have to have a full Pioneer installation, and in that regard it will do quite well.
So is everything the same here as on the JVC HD100? Well, yes it is. There is no performance difference that we can see between the models and apart from some renamed options within the menus, there is very little to separate them. In terms of control the remote is identical and the connections for sources are also present and correct at the rear of the unit. There are no differences seen with the connections such as two HDMI v1.3, one component, s-video and composite connections and an RS232 port. However for a model aimed at the custom install market, the lack of any 12volt trigger switches is a bit of an oversight.
The lens set up is still a manual affair with the two wheels under the front of the projector, but this does allow a higher (or lower) adjustment of 80 percent vertical and 30 percent horizontal. This presents a greater degree of adjustment for the projector to allow a higher or lower final placement above or below the centre of the screen.
The remote zoom and focus are accessed through the test patterns offered on the projector. The feature uses the green crosshair on black background pattern, and allows you to stand next to the screen to get the focus as sharp as possible. The lens system used is identical to the HD100 so the KRP9000 offers sharp and detailed images on screen. Convergence is also very good with a full menu option to correct any slight issues that may appear.
The menu system is intuitive to use and offers all the set up and picture settings required to get the best from the projector. You have the usual picture adjustments, a selection of colour temperatures (low, middle, high and two memories), Gamma (Theatre 1&2, dynamic and custom), RGB offset and pixel adjust. Also available in the sub menus are component selections, screen aspect (anamorphic stretch), film mode, image profiles (cinema, dynamic, natural and user settings), HDMI adjustment as well as a wealth of other fine set up controls such as Horizontal/vertical flip. One area missing again from the set up menus are RGBYMC colour management and full RGB temperature settings to allow a full calibration to standards such as REC709. The colour presets are said to align with the standards however as you will see in the calibration area of the review the KRP9000 follows its cousin the HD100 with an over saturated gamut.
Out the box and calibrated
|Colour temperature before||Colour temperature after|
|RGB levels before||RGB levels after|
|Gamma curve before||Gamma curve after|
As you can see the results, when compared to the HD100, it is almost identical out of the box and can also be improved with a full ISF calibration. The greyscale really does track well with errors under 1 deltaE across the range. I used the colour saturation control to a degree to calm the over saturation, this is a trade off between luminance of the colour points and accuracy, but on screen it does look better. In terms of comparison to the HD350 for contrast in our set up (all projectors are measured the same way), the KRP9000 managed 5517:1 in the best calibrated settings.
Obviously we would have liked a more accurate colour gamut to match the very best projectors out there, but the dynamic range and sheer black levels on offer are still some of the best on the market. Both standard definition and HD material is represented well with deep blacks, great shadow detail and good overall performance. Using difficult material with strong reds or greens will show up the slight draw backs of colour inaccuracy, and this point can also be seen on the latest JVC HD350 we reviewed recently. But with the majority of material, you will be more impressed with the actual depth of image, and I would suggest most could live with the colours, like they are with the HD350. In comparison with the new kid on the block, the actual performance between the KRP9000 and the HD350 is very similar. Both would appear to have the same contrast levels, with the HD350 arguably offering slightly better processing and a slightly smoother look. Both offer the same performance parameters and indeed the testing just proves this point when you compare the data.
Picture processing is also up to scratch here on the KRP9000 and overall I couldn’t find much fault to be honest. Anyone wanting a complete Pioneer solution to go with their Kuro screen in the living room, will be happy enough with this D-ILA machine.
But for the time being the Pioneer KRP9000 has its place in the small niche that Pioneer has allocated it to, and knowing the CI world, it is likely to sell very well in small numbers. It offers great performance with the known and accepted issues of the colour gamut.
A few months ago this projector would most likely have gained a reference badge, but as the market is moving fast and this is aimed at a very small niche, it may be that it has already seen its window of opportunity pass. As it is, if you want a full Pioneer solution in your home and are a fan of the brand, you can have your cake and eat it with the KRP9000, it’s a highly recommended projector.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black levels
2D Picture Quality
Ease Of Use
Value For Money
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