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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 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 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?

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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