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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: Smaller plasma pixels
By Sahrin on 5/9/2007 11:19:43 AM , Rating: 2
The only way to get a home theater experience is with a digital projector and 20.x surround sound. Otherwise, you are talking about a fundamentally different display/audio system. It's like comparing a wax phonograph to a lossless audio codec. Backlit TV is fundamentally different than light projection.

RE: Smaller plasma pixels
By NainoKami on 5/9/2007 1:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
Why would you need 20.x sound chanels? I've got 5.2 and I've got better sound placement than most cinemas, and my system measures flat to 15Hz. Unless you want to impress the Bar Buddies, or have a HUGE room, 5.x or 7.x is fine. There aren't even any current methods for having more than 8 channels of audio in movies so far. Not even in cinemas. And they usually only use 5.1 (of course with more than one sub), or in some cases 7.1, but not conventional 7.1 but rather the SDDS 8 Channel with 5 front channels, 2 back, and one sub.

And with regards to NEEDING a projection system, I disagree. I have a 95" projection system, which is just right for my taste, but I would love to replace it with a similar sized plasma because of the better black levels. On projection systems, just a tiny bit of light pollution, be it ambient or reflected off the walls and back to the screen, kills contrast. Plasma can however produce lovely blacks, even with a modest amount of ambient light.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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