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The new 50-inch PDP5080XD
Plasma displays take another revision for the high-end

This week high definition TVs based on plasma technology receive a big boost in quality and performance thanks to newly developed technology by Pioneer. One of the primary concerns these days with flat panel TVs -- and other displays for that matter -- is the ability to produce rich, deep and dark blacks. LCDs have always had a problem with blacks as their backlights are on all the time as long as the display is turned on.

Since the battle between LCDs and plasmas started, plasma screens always held an edge over LCDs because each pixel on a plasma screen is self emitting, generating its own light. Despite this, many plasma screens still produce black levels that are off due to low grade electronics and other factors. Pioneer is introducing what it calls the eighth generation plasma TV, giving audiences blacks that are 80% darker than anything currently available.

Using what Pioneer calls "deep encased cell structure, crystal emissive layer and first surface color filter," its new screens boast a contrast ratio of 20,000:1.

According to Pioneer, "with significantly deeper black levels (80% deeper than before), which ultimately lead to richer colours and sharper details, the new screens are unrivalled in video and audio performance."

Pioneer will be featuring the new ultra black technology in a series of TVs it calls "Project KURO" -- kuro meaning "black" in Japanese. The lineup will include 42, 50 and 60-inch screen sizes supporting full 1080p resolutions. As of right now, no prices have been revealed and Pioneer only indicates that the new units are "coming soon."

LCD panels will soon receive a major change themselves in the form of LED backlighting. Apple announced earlier last week that all of its LCD screens will be based on LED backlight panels by the end of 2007.


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RE: Spoiled
By masher2 (blog) on 5/9/2007 8:54:18 AM , Rating: 4
> "the technology and prices are changing so fast that it's tough to justify buying a new one..."

I think you have it backwards. When technology is improving so quickly, that increases justification to upgrade--- your new set will be so much better than the old.

Sure, a year later it won't be the "biggest and best" anymore. But unless you're interested in bragging rights, what do you care? Its how your new set compares to your old one that matters.


RE: Spoiled
By bhieb on 5/9/2007 10:09:57 AM , Rating: 2
Honestly how much better does it need to get. HD is already so clear and crisp on my older 50" plasma it is too real. They picture quality is incredible. Are we that spoiled that we are in need of something better?

Don't get me wrong I am all for the new stuff as it makes the horrible looking 1080i sets dirt cheap!

I just don't get the whole 1080p push. I have a 100" front projection at 720p and it looks amazing in HD (nothing brodcasts in 1080p anyway). If I was buying a new one then I would probably go to 1080p, but why upgrade? My suggestion if you feel that you have to have the latest upgrade, take a trip over to grandma's and watch a little standard def over the air crap. When you get home you should be cured of your "need" for better quality.


RE: Spoiled
By masher2 (blog) on 5/9/2007 10:28:48 AM , Rating: 1
> "Are we that spoiled that we are in need of something better?"

It's the same urge that, millions of years ago, first prompted us to put down our clubs and climb out of our caves. Yes, a dry hole and a raw hunk of mammoth meat is "good enough" to live on; do we really need anything better?

I have a 103" 720p projector in a light-controlled AV room. It looks amazing..but only compared to a standard TV. Compared to reality,its a far cry. Black levels look good...only until you compare them to the real black of the crushed velvet screen border. Then you see they're really light grey. Text looks fine...as long as its not small, or doesn't move very quickly. Color rendition is excellent...unless you project a few still photos, and see how much they deviate from the real thing.

Honestly, we've all been staring at screens so long we've forgotten the little 'mind trick' we use to immerse ourselves in a video stream that, by objective standards, really shouldn't fool anyone into "being there". But with better technology, one day that trick may not be needed. Wouldn't that be a good thing?


RE: Spoiled
By 91TTZ on 5/9/2007 12:08:19 PM , Rating: 2
Don't get me wrong I am all for the new stuff as it makes the horrible looking 1080i sets dirt cheap!

I just don't get the whole 1080p push. I have a 100" front projection at 720p and it looks amazing in HD (nothing brodcasts in 1080p anyway).


I have a CRT HDTV that natively displays 1080i, and the picture quality is amazing at that resolution. There is a very noticeable increase in picture quality going from 720p to 1080i. My friend has a 720p LCD TV, and on his, 720p looks better, probably because the scaler doesn't do a very good job scaling a 1080i broadcast. But his TV doesn't look nearly as good as mine. Not even close.


RE: Spoiled
By bhieb on 5/9/2007 1:06:24 PM , Rating: 3
I agree and disagree. Sure your TV is probably better, but "not even close". Come on I am betting 50% of the population can't tell the difference. Hell I can barely get my wife to tell the difference between DVD an VHS when it first came out.

Also yes moving from a rock cave to a house is a good thing. But this is more like moving from a 5000 square foot home to a 5100 square foot home. Sure it is better and a "good thing", but once you already have 5000 square feet of home how much differnce does another 100 make?

And yes it is a good thing (in fact a great thing) the closer to reality the better. And of course it is a personal decision everyone has to make as to when to upgrade.


RE: Spoiled
By leexgx on 5/9/2007 9:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
720p vs 1080i , the 720p is norm better quality then 1080i (unless its 1080p then that win out but that requires alot of bandwith thats why not much is brodcast in 1080p or 1080i)

some of this link is an little bit of an rants (it allso do not think its been updated for an bit but its fine) but he does state what the downside of useing the Interlaced format to the Progressive system
http://alvyray.com/DigitalTV/Naming_Proposal.htm


RE: Spoiled
By masher2 (blog) on 5/9/2007 9:49:13 PM , Rating: 2
> "the 720p is norm better quality then 1080i..."

720p is better for fast-motion video-- sports events, action movies, etc.

1080i is better for slow video-- news, documentaries, travelogues, and your average drama. Though honestly, the difference between them is rather small.


RE: Spoiled
By Zirconium on 5/9/2007 10:16:56 AM , Rating: 2
No, he has it right. Why upgrade now when by the end of the year, you can get something bigger/better/cheaper? And then when Black Friday comes around, and you don't get your killer deal, you'll think to yourself, "Do I really need a new TV? Next year they'll be even bigger/better/cheaper."

At some point, you have to stake your claim, and realize that future TVs will have better upscaling chips, better black levels, better phosphors, have better lighting technology, better contrast ratios, etc. For many people, that point comes when their old TV breaks, and they are forced to buy a new one. Not many people have the "I'll buy something new, and upgrade every few years" mentality. Old tube TVs could last something like 15 years or longer, with newer TVs not being significantly better. With an HDTV, you'll probably want to replace it in 5 since by that point in time, you can get something better for a fraction of the cost.


RE: Spoiled
By masher2 (blog) on 5/9/2007 10:44:24 AM , Rating: 2
> "Why upgrade now when by the end of the year, you can get something bigger/better/cheaper?"

Because the year after that, that'll still be true. And the year after that as well. Life is too short...if you wait till technology stops moving to buy, you'll still be watching an old 4:3 tube till the day you die. Use that logic for computers, and you'd be browsing the web forums on a 4.77 mhz IBM XT.

You should judge a purchase by one criteria only...the satisfaction you get from the item itself, compared to what you're currently getting. If the difference warrants the purchase-- buy it. Don't think about what'll be available in future years.


RE: Spoiled
By Zirconium on 5/9/2007 11:16:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because the year after that, that'll still be true. And the year after that as well. Life is too short...if you wait till technology stops moving to buy, you'll still be watching an old 4:3 tube till the day you die. Use that logic for computers, and you'd be browsing the web forums on a 4.77 mhz IBM XT.
First of all, I derived a great deal of satisfaction from my old 4:3 tube. Sure, my new TV is better, has a higher resolution, but if my old TV didn't break, I'd be fine with that. The reason most people upgrade is that their old stuff breaks. If my older computer didn't break, I wouldn't have gotten a new one. If the computer before that didn't break, same story.
quote:
You should judge a purchase by one criteria only...the satisfaction you get from the item itself, compared to what you're currently getting. If the difference warrants the purchase-- buy it. Don't think about what'll be available in future years.
Sure, if money grew on trees. Hey, I can upgrade my computer, and I'll be getting more satisfaction than I currently am! Oh wait, I have better things to spend my money on. People don't upgrade for "satisfaction."


RE: Spoiled
By ttowntom on 5/9/2007 12:08:13 PM , Rating: 2
95% of the people buying a new computer do so because its better or faster, not because the old one "broke". Its probably at leat 75% for things like cell phones and HDTVs.

If the only time you buy new tech is when the old stuff finally breaks down, I feel sorry for you.


RE: Spoiled
By Zirconium on 5/9/2007 1:16:14 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
95% of the people buying a new computer do so because its better or faster, not because the old one "broke".
Where did you get 95% from? I know plenty of people who go by that rule. Perhaps I should include other reasons, like the old computer is simply to slow to run anything, but by that point in time, most computers are broken.
quote:
If the only time you buy new tech is when the old stuff finally breaks down, I feel sorry for you.
Does your life revolve around getting new toys? Sure, I could buy a new $1,500 gaming rig, or I could go on vacation. If I had all the money in the world, I would do both. However, most people have other things they'd rather spend money on. I feel sorry for you if the highlight of your life is getting a higher 3DMark score or playing video games all the time.


RE: Spoiled
By fic2 on 5/9/2007 1:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not many people have the "I'll buy something new, and upgrade every few years" mentality.
quote:
People don't upgrade for "satisfaction."

You must not live in the U.S. People here go into massive debt just to have the newer/bigger/better/shinier thing and being able brag about it. I don't know many people that don't have the "gotta have it now" mentality. FYI, I am still watching the same old crap on my 4:3 tube and driving my 8 year old car even though I could easily afford new ones. I apparently am not afflicted by the "I need that" - or I am a tightwad.


RE: Spoiled
By Emryse on 5/9/2007 3:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
I would certainly not label you a "tightwad". I would label you as wise.

It's the sad reality though that in today's world we are not as we were at the onset of the last century. I recall my Grandparents telling me about when TV first came out, and about how the salesman's trick was to let everyone take one home, and "test it out" for a week. By the time that week was up, "dad" buys the TV, because now the "wife and kids" are hooked. It was even more amazing to see the black-and-white to color movement; and from there, the rest is history.

According to ASW/Roper poles, over 27% of Americans actually admit to maxing out credit cards, credit cards being paid late, or going into collection on balances due. Other statistics (sorry, no source cited) I've heard in the past claim that the average American today spends over %120 of what they earn annually.

It is EXACTLY this "need now, don't think about anything else except if it satisfies me, then I'll buy it" mentality; and it's killing our economy and our future.

Here's another way to look at it. Observe the family inheritances (on the average, not just the wealth sector) that were passed down from two generations ago, and then from your parents or Grandparents. Now take a look at where you are at, and if you died tomorrow, would you leave an inheritance to your loved ones, or debt? (Don't respond, it's rhetorical...)

Back on track with specific regards to the TV; I think it's great technology is improving. But just as with my computer - I've been waiting for over 2 years now to upgrade. Why? Because you will always pay the bulk of the R&D to come out with the latest and greatest, when you buy the newest. I'll let the "masher2"s (don't hate - I enjoy your commentary...) of the world do that part for me, and then buy when it's reasonable.

Oh-and-by-the-way... it is our "ABSOLUTELY MUST have this BRAND NEW thing RIGHT YESTERDAY" mentality that has led to the insane price hikes in practically everything. Inflation/deflation is NOT the primary cause. We pay more, because the genius of marketing of the last 50 plus years has recognized that if they can convince us that we need to always have "bigger, better, best, newer" - they can charge us our blood and we'll gladly pay up.

Hell - just look at NewEgg's new "eggxpert" forum; it's truly genius. It's an online "mine is better than yours" forum geared to encourage sales through the above marketing philosophy combined with "peer pressure". Truly brilliant...

At any rate - excellent points all around for the most part, this is just my $.02 on the matter.


RE: Spoiled
By theapparition on 5/10/2007 8:05:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Don't think about what'll be available in future years.

Yep,
The addage "The best time to buy technology is tommorrow" is true. Tomorrow, there will be something better, and something better the next day, and so forth.
Upgrade when it makes you happy and forget about what is the next big thing. Because there is always "the next big thing" around the corner.


RE: Spoiled
By djc208 on 5/9/2007 3:18:23 PM , Rating: 2
For me it's not that I have to have the biggest and best it's that the fight between plasma, LCD, DLP, and friends, as well as the change in the underlying technology and their prices can change what you would/could buy drastically.
When I bought my DLP (admitedly because my old tube TV died) 1.5 years ago it fit my price point and size requirements. LCDs and Plasma were much more expensive and I didn't need to hang it on a wall. However the bulb issues (replacement, startup time) with the DLP are kind of annoying. If I were shopping today the same price point opens options for LCDs and Plasmas in the same size and price range, and the DLPs are going LED/Laser which will eliminate the bulb issues.
Will I scrap my Tv when these come out, no. I like the TV and the picture is good, but if my TV had died today I would probably not have another DLP (at least not until they get rid of the bulb).


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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