Monday, October 13, 2008

Extreme Contrast Concept

At CES 2008 Pioneer announced it's Extreme Contrast Concept Model which is a technological breakthrough that eliminates all idling luminance. This is absolute black. Pioneer stated that "at this moment you can stop measuring contrast ratio because it's officially irrelevant."

Pioneer then had video demonstration of a 8G Kuro PDP-5010FD vs. a 50" 1080p Extreme Contrast Concept. Both Kuro's used the same glass and a Pioneer rep said the difference is "how you fire the pixel." Pioneer also said that the new Kuro 9G will have 5X better blacks than the Kuro 8G with the same glass (panel).

See these amazing Gizmodo photos of how the black level compares between the Kuro 8G and the Extreme Constrast Concept Model. The differences between the black backgrounds are stunning. How much better than 5X blacker is this? A couple times at least. Too bad they didn't have a 9G Kuro PDP-5020FD prototype on hand to compare to.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

panels will be supplied by Panasonic

In an effort to control costs Pioneer is outsourcing its plasma panel production. The third generation Kuro, which would have been Pioneer's tenth generation (10G) panel, will have plasma panels that are supplied by Panasonic (Matsushita). The panel consists of the glass and the plasma module. As part of the deal, Pioneer will share some panel construction technology with Panasonic that will likely be used in future Panasonic plasmas. It is interesting that Pioneer says that "performance isn't solely built around the glass or the module." The video processing circuitry and color filter will still be built by Pioneer which is how the Kuro will distinguish itself from the Panasonic plasma HDTVs.

The 2008 Pioneer 9G Kuro's are available in 50" and 60" sizes. The 2008 Panasonic 80U, 85U, 800U, and 850U plasmas are available in 42", 46", 50", 58", and 65" sizes. Since Panasonic will be building the panels for Pioneer it is likely that this generation of Kuro will be available in new sizes: 50", 58", and 65". Pioneer has a deal with Sharp to build Kuro LCD displays so the existence of a 46" Kuro plasma is very unlikely.

For more details read the Sound & Vision interview with Pioneer VP Russ Johnston.