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April 14, 2008

Hitachi Gets 6 New Wooo LCD HDTV's And 3 Wooo Plasmas

Wooo_Hitachi_020.jpgHitachi unveiled 9 new Wooo HDTV's yesterday across the pond in Japan. The Hitachi Wooo UT Series will be available in three sizes, 32-, 37-, and 42-inches, all with full 1080p resolution save for the smallest display which features 720p. Super-slim 35 mm thin bodies are a result of several of the televisions' components and dual TV tuner being removed from the set itself and placed in an external box connected to the set by Ultra Wide Band. All three LCD's have 250GB of internal HDD space, an iV an iV port for iVDR HDD cartridges, DLNA compatibility, x.v. Color, and Deep Color. The two smaller screens feature IPS Alpha panels while the 42-inch display boasts a 120Hz IPS panel.

Three more LCD's will become members of the Wooo XV Series, available in identical sizes as the UT Series, and utilizing many of the same features. Once again, all displays are 1080p aside from the 32-inch display which features 720p resolution and all have an iV port. None of these sets have any internal drive space and aren't quite as thin, integrating all the TV's components within the sets.

The final three new releases are plasma displays, branded under the Wooo 02 Series moniker, and available in either 42- or 50-inch sizes. The 42-inch big screen features 1024x1080 pixel resolution, while the two 50-inch sets feature 1920x1080 pixels or 1280x1080 pixels. Like the Wooo UT series, the two larger 50-inch displays integrate a 250GB hard disk drive, while all three new Hitachi plasmas features an iV port.

Not content to call it a day with 9 new HDTV's, Hitachi also announced a new Wooonet application for the UT series which allows transfer of video content from house to house, from PC to TV, and also allows access to a new VOD portal.

Via Akihabara News

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April 10, 2008

Pioneer Adds LCD's To New European Kuro Lineup

20080406-kuroeye.jpgLooks like Pioneer will be extending their Kuro lineup in Europe this year, even moving into the projector market with an HD-ready 1080p front projector. The second-generation plasma lineup will include the 50-inch PDP-LX5090, 60-inch PDP-LX6090, the 50-inch PDP-LX5090H, and the 60-inch PDP-LX6090H. All four models feature 1080p, 100Hz panels and reduced idling luminance and black levels five times those of the world-renowned 2007 lineup. The initial two models will be available in June, while the latter models will be available at different times depending on the region. No pricing info is available yet.

As we told you earlier this year, Pioneer will be moving into the LCD market, outsourcing much of their plasma production and thus will be releasing three new LCD models-the 32-inch KRL-32V, 37-inch KRL-37V, and 46-inch KRL-46V. All three models are HD-ready 1080p 100Hz displays, featuring anti-reflective filters, triple HDMI 1.3 support and an aluminum-looking finish. The two smaller displays will be available come June in Europe while the larger 46-inch model has no release date yet, nor have pricing details for any of the models been released.

The Kuro front projector will be available this month, configured for screen sizes starting at 60 inches, and featuring the same amazing contrast levels the Kuro name is known for, bring theater-like film quality to your home theater projection screen. The projector also utilizes LCOS 1080p technology, wide lens shift capacity and dual HDMI 1.3 support.

Via HDTV Origin

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April 9, 2008

Runco PlasmaWall XP-50DHD HDTV Reviewed

xp-50dhd_300px.jpgA bargain by Runco standards, maker of some of the most expensive HDTVs in the world, the $9000 Runco PlasmaWall XP-50DHD plasma TV, deserves a little recognition. The 50-inch plasma flat screen sports a 1080p resolution, multiple aspect ratios, and is "Imaging Science Foundation calibratable" so you can bring in a pro to tweak your set for optimal viewing.

One of the defining features of the PlasmaWall XP-50DHD is the DHD, or external signal processor. The DHD is a box measuring roughly 2 feet by 1.5 feet and can receive virtually any type of signal, modding it to perfection by the time it reaches the display. However any high-end set is bound to be fickle when it comes to the usability factor and that's simply a matter of having too many features and flexibility. While the high-end picture processing results in a fabulous picture it also slows down the system quite a bit, and the remote could use a revamp as changing aspect ratios and inputs is all down via one button. Apparently this can be quite confusing for the new user. Add in the audio system and only an engineer could figure this set out. But like we said, you get what you pay for, and $9000 for a Runco is a bargain.


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April 1, 2008

Are We Nearing The End Of Plasma TV?


Has Plasma TV Reached Its Breaking Point?

As 2007 wrapped up we wondered if 2008 could be the beginning of the end of plasma TV as the last quarter of the year saw a whole load of corporate restructuring and new partnerships on the part of flat-panel manufacturers centering around the LCD market. Through the first quarter of this year, we began to see more evidence of plasma's struggles as Pioneer, the producer of the famed Kuro series, first announced it was killing off its 42-inch plasma model production, followed by an industry-shocking revelation that the company would be exiting the plasma business altogether. This started a short-lived panic as consumers thought that the Kuro series, the best plasma TV's on the market, would be dead. Pioneer revealed soon after that the Kuro series would live on, but with the exception of some internal hardware would be produced elsewhere.

We knew once Pioneer decided to bail on plasma production, our predictions had a fairly strong base to stand on. Now, industry sources have stated that a failure on the part of manufacturers to reach their PDP shipment goals this year could result in plasma going bye-bye for good. They've stated that behind closed doors, plasma suppliers are unsure whether industry expansion should continue, but the leading suppliers such as Samsung and LG agree that falling of short of shipment goals in 2008 will halt expansion in the plasma industry altogether. Once expansion halts, manufacturers will have to accept that they've reached the beginning of a period that will see the plasma TV phased out for good.

What do you think the future holds? Will LCD emerge as the king of HDTV flat-panel formats?

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March 27, 2008

Matsushita Talks Plasma Biz

th-50pz85u.jpgMatsushita, maker of Panasonic flat panel HDTV's, discussed its plasma business and what the next-generation of TV sets, the Fifth Wave, promises at a pre-seminar for the 2008 Flat Panel Display International conference. Susumu Tsujihara, a Matsushita manager, said that Panasonic will continue to focus on the plasma business and described three key characteristics of next-generation HDTV's:

  • active TV's will fuse television, print, movie, PC and digital signage cultures
  • TV's with more compression capabilities and professional digital technologies
  • displays that drive compression technologies used for formats such as Blu-ray

He also said that despite the recent focus on plasma thickness (or thinness), weight is just as important and Panasonic plasma sets will continue to get lighter.

Via Tech-On

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March 20, 2008

Panasonic's 2008 VIERA Plasma Lineup Brings 16 New Models To North America

308pv42PX80.jpgPanasonic has officially unveiled its new plasma VIERA lineup for the North American market, bringing 16 new models to shelves in the coming months. VIERA, which stands for "Visual Era" and "exceptional picture, connectivity, customer service, and satisfaction" is Panasonic's latest North American plasma brand. A rundown of the new models is after the jump...

ArrowContinue reading: "Panasonic's 2008 VIERA Plasma Lineup Brings 16 New Models To North America"

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March 10, 2008

Pioneer May Be Quitting Plasma, But The Kuro Series Is Here To Stay


Pioneer's Russ Johnston

It was a week ago now that we first heard Pioneer was quitting the plasma business, starting widespread panic across the consumer electronics world as plasma fans thought that it was the end of the legendary Kuro. We wondered if it was coming after Pioneer struck a deal to acquire 42-inch plasma panels from Panasonic, ending in-house production of 42-inch models. But honestly, we didn't think it would go this far.

We have no need to panic though, according to Pioneer executive VP Russ Johnston, as Pioneer will simply not be producing plasma sets in-house, but instead outsourcing them to other manufacturers. In the case of the Kuro series, Pioneer will be sharing a few trade secrets with Panasonic who will produce the Kuro panels. Pioneer will continue to produce the video circuit and processor, and supply the color filter technology. The Kuro series will live on. Johnston says that Pioneer offers a premium product and rather than lower the prices of their sets, they want to make the technology more advanced. That'll require lowering expenses and that's where the partial outsourcing comes into play.

Johnston also says that while plasma is best at sizes ranging from 50-70 inches, there are limits to its quality at certain size ranges. Due to this fact, we can expect another announcement from Pioneer come May as the company looks to expand into new markets.

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February 29, 2008

Samsung Rolls Out PAVV Cannes 450 3D Ready Plasma TV's

sam3d2.jpgGot your 3D glasses ready? You could need them soon as Samsung has announced the release of their 3D Ready PAVV Cannes 450 plasma TV into Korea. Featuring an amazing 1, 000, 000:1 contrast ratio, rivaled only by Sony's XEL-1 OLED TV, as well as 3D content support, the PAVV Cannes 450 couldn't do it without the help of Samsung's proprietary Cell Light Control, Ultra Daylight Technology, and a DNIe+ chipset.

We can expect a fair amount of 3D interactive content from Electronic Arts who are reportedly developing content specifically for use on the PAVV Cannes 450. That will probably mean some cool new 3D video games from the world's largest interactive entertainment software company.

The PAVV Cannes 450 will come in both 42- and 52-inch models priced at 1, 750, 000 Korean Won (US$1862) and 2, 500, 000 Korean Won (US$2660) respectively. Samsung will also release a higher-end 50-inch PAVV Cannes 550 model for 3, 900, 000 Korean Won or the equivalent, US$4150.
Via Aving

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February 26, 2008

Panasonic Upgrades Its 103-Inch Plasma With New "10 Series"

712SVC_Install_DSC3536.jpgPanasonic, apparently not quite ready to release it's 150-inch monster plasma, has upgraded its 103-inch model with a new "10 series", featuring "better wall mount configuration, improved video processing technology, anti-Reflective coating, enhanced wireless presentation capabilities, more versatile media card readability, and a dual HDMI board". The new TH-103PF10UK comes with an impressive 100, 000 hour service agreement, though that's probably not to much to ask with an expected price tag around $70, 000.

Via Crave

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February 24, 2008

Pioneer Killing Off 42 Inch Plasma TV's

10090504.jpgIn yet another strategic partnership between high definition display manufacturers, Pioneer will no longer be producing 42-inch plasma displays, instead purchasing panels 42-inches and lower from Matsushita (parent company of Panasonic) or Hitachi. It will instead focus on panels 50-inches and larger, ending production of 42-inch panels in March of 2009. Looks like we can expect some big-ass, high-end Kuros in the near future.

Via Reuters

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