“Our strategic position in the television market is to ensure that plasma technology is seen as the clear competitive favorite in the flat-screen television market and that Pioneer continues to be regarded as the gold standard within plasma,” said Ken Shioda, general manager of product planning for displays at Pioneer Corporation. “By re-engineering our plasma technology from the ground up, we’ve accomplished that goal. We are not simply making marginal improvements in certain aspects of the viewing experience, rather we are making a quantum leap in all areas that impact the viewer experience.”
Key characteristics of the new displays include:
The technology was originally slated for launch in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, but an accelerated timetable was put into place and Pioneer expects to have product in the U.S. market this summer.
Black levels in the new display far exceed previous Pioneer plasmas, making dark scenes darker while maintaining clarity of detail. This is the result of reducing the minimum luminance level by 80 percent. The test equipment typically used to determine the variance between peak white and peak black does not have great enough range to measure Pioneer’s new display so a contrast ratio specification is not yet determined.
Rich colors in dark scenes are a second benefit of the lower luminance levels and deeper blacks. The new display reproduces colors with greater richness and accuracy even in dark scenes.
Performance in bright rooms is significantly improved with a newly engineered filter that minimizes the effect of ambient light so the display is able to maintain deep black levels regardless of lighting conditions. Pioneer will demonstrate the display in both bright and dark lighting conditions to simulate a retail environment and the typical American living room. In both cases, black levels remain deep and colors are intense. Since its introduction, consumers have grown accustomed to seeing high definition images on a wide range of displays and are generally satisfied with the picture quality. More recently, however, satisfaction levels have begun to drop, something that Pioneer equates to consumers’ laissez-faire attitude toward any technology that’s been in the market for several years.