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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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20,000:1 contrast ratio.
By wallijonn on 5/9/2007 12:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
I highly doubt this claim as Panasonic's touted 10,000:1 contrast ratio is really about 3,000:1.

The problem is not so much contrast as it is noise. Watch a DVD and look at the back ground when it is dark (say in a cave, at night, in a darkened room). If you turn up the brightness, you should be able to detect an increase in noise, where there are many squares of blackness. Now turn the brightness down until the squares go away. Chances are that you will now see only 1 shade of black. That is the problem. If there are no gradations in a person's black hair, if it all looks like one black smudge, then no amount of contrast ratio will bring in what isn't there.

When I start a movie, the first thing I do is fast forward to a dark screen, then I adjust brightness accordingly, so that there is no black noise. I then start the movie from the beginning and find it more enjoyable.

20,000:1 means nothing to me. I want to see at least 16 different shades of every colour, I want to be able to detect highlights. A ratio of black to white of 20,000 is meaningless if all you get are 16 basic colours and gradations.

RE: 20,000:1 contrast ratio.
By UnFaZeD on 5/9/2007 9:48:13 PM , Rating: 2
what you need, my a life

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