Tuesday, January 27, 2009

code name: Fuga

Fuga is the code name of Pioneer’s next generation PureDrive 3HD picture processing silicon that is expected to be in the 10G Kuro's. PureDrive does all of the analog and digital video processing in a Kuro display. A prototype circuit board attached to a 9G Kuro was used to demonstrate the new Fuga technology.

Fuga features:
  • Enhanced Gradients
  • Improved Color Saturation
  • Smoother PureCinema algorithm
  • Depth of Field

Enhanced Gradients
Enhance the contrast gradients of low quality and non-HD signals. Smooth the image with the goal of improving detail. It is unknown if this improvement involves the current pixel dithering done with the plasma panel since it was said that high quality signals pass through this new feature untouched.

Improved Color Saturation
Extract more detail and create a 3D color depth by intelligently improving color saturation. The color space and the range of black levels are not changed. Sort of like the Optimum AV mode but only for color and tint.

Smoother PureCinema algorithm
The PureCinema algorithm controls de-interlacing, 3:2 pulldown, interpolation smoothing, and 24p film mode. This new feature improves the Smooth PureCinema algorithm that interpolates the in-between images. Motion judder is improved, even with 1080p24 signals. The PureCinema smooth option is currently not available on 9G Kuro's with 1080p signal sources. These increased DSP calculations are possible because the Fuga processor has more vector analysis capability.

Depth of Field
Real-time ability to change a video image's depth of field. Focus or defocus the background and foreground elements. Very powerful. How or why this will be used is unknown.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Panasonic NeoPDP plasmas 2009

At CES 2009 Panasonic announced details for its NeoPDP plasma displays. The new product lines are the X, S, G, V, and Z series. THX and VieraCast Internet connections are back on some of the higher end models. Black levels and power consumption are improved. The panel half life has been increased to 100,000 hours. Many new screen sizes will be available. The 24fps flicker problem is also said to be fixed.

The new NeoPDP will have what Panasonic is calling Infinite Black technology which basically turns the display off when displaying a completely black screen, current Pioneer Kuro have this feature. Contrast ratios have also been slightly improved but not to Kuro 9G levels.

The NeoPDP's are greener and producing the sme light output they will consume half as much power as last year's models.

A new selection of screen sizes are available in the 2009 Panasonic line; 42", 46", 50", 54", 58", and 65". A native resolution of 720p is back for the smaller screen sizes. The 58" and 65" models will be available in August while the smaller sizes will be released in the March to June time frame.

Panasonic is claiming to have fixed the 24p flicker problem that last years PZ800U's suffered from with their 48 Hz refresh rate. Pioneer Kuro use a 72 Hz refresh rate with 24p sources and don't have this flicker problem. Panasonic has increased the plasma subfield drive from 480 Hz to 600 Hz which is said to eliminate the 24p flicker. Whether this means Panasonic increased the 48 Hz refresh rate is unknown. Since 600 is equally divisible by 24 and 120 but not 48 or 72 then there may be the answer. The 600 Hz subfield drive is also said to improve motion resolution.

The Kuro 10G will be using this Panasonic glass but Pioneer will be using its own power supply, subfield drive, and processing electronics. The Panasonic glass is a slight improvement over last years but the question remains if it is up to the level of the current Kuro glass and does that even matter? What really makes a Kuro? The glass or the electronics? Good question, we'll have to wait and see.