In recent years pyroelectric detectors have been recognized as very useful detectors for very short laser pulses. Detectors with response times of 500 picoseconds are now commercially available and rise times as short as 13 picoseconds have been reported. The spectral response of high speed pyroelectric detectors has been extended to yield a fairly uniform response from X-ray to submillimeter waves with no sacrifice in response speed. For moderate speed detectors with rise times below 70 MHz a variety of amplifiers can be used with the detectors to improve the sensitivity of the detectors. The present characteristics of high speed pyroelectric detectors are discussed in the following paper.