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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: Better audio too?
By Mitch101 on 5/9/2007 9:34:26 AM , Rating: 2
Nice catch.

I hear a similar one on people who get thier car freshly painting and think the car somehow drives better now. Um how does the paint make the engine, drive train, and suspension work better?

RE: Better audio too?
By mikeblas on 5/9/2007 9:53:19 AM , Rating: 2
It's surprising to see that so many people in a technical forum don't know this, but many panels include an audio amplifier and audio decoding circuitry (to pull the digital audio out of the HDMI link, for example). The speakers might be included, or might be an additional option.

Newer panels probably have better amps, better decoding logic and circuitry, and better speakers.

RE: Better audio too?
By Rike on 5/9/2007 10:23:38 AM , Rating: 2
I think I can safely say that I would never buy a panel based on any of its audio properties. I consider speakers and an audio amp on a panel to be disadvantages; it adds cost and bulk where it's rarely needed, especially in a consumer environment. In a commercial setting, "unrivalled . . . audio performance" would only be useful and noticeable in the rarest of circumstances.

The most I would ever really want a panel to do with audio is to pass a HDMI audio signal through without mucking it up.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini
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