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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 Zirconium on 5/9/2007 11:16:05 AM , Rating: 2
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.
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
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.
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
Not many people have the "I'll buy something new, and upgrade every few years" mentality.
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.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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