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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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By abhaxus on 5/9/2007 11:51:42 AM , Rating: 2
Having seen them side by side I have to say the Sharp D62-D92 series LCDs have a much deeper black level than the plasmas I have seen. I work for a local electronics chain and we got the Sharp LC52D62u in just before the Pioneer ProFHD1 (their 1080p plasma) and honestly the Sharp made the pioneer look bad, with the pioneer's price completely outrageous on top of it. The blacks are nowhere near as deep, and the response time of the sharp is not so bad as to make it look less "sharp." If it weren't for the over-done whining about the banding issue being written about over and over again on AVSforum I think sharp would be dominating this generation. Good news is the banding isn't there on the D92 series and the price is still significantly lower than the Pioneer.

Hopefully pioneer has that sorted out this year... and has a 52" 1080p model coming in at around 3500. I love their film mode and other processing.

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