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LCD Versus Plasma HDTV

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Matsushita (Panasonic) and Pioneer inked a deal in 2008 where Matsushita, starting in May 2009, will be doing all the plasma manufacturing for the KURO line. Pioneer has gotten out of plasma manufacturing, but not the plasma HDTV business.

Pioneer will instead focus on delivering a premium KURO plasma line. The company will exclusively design and manufacture the video processing electronics. Pioneer will assemble its unique electronics with the plasma "glass" made by Matsushita. This hybrid approach will hopefully take critical image elements like black levels to a whole new plasma plane. The hybrid Panasonic-Pioneer KURO HDTV sets are scheduled to appear in the fall of 2009, maybe even sooner.

The Pioneer/Panasonic manufacturing deal shows where plasma and LCD are heading.  Basically, if your goal is the best video from flat panel sets larger than 55”, top-end plasma products should continue to be the performance leaders. 

If you want to buy anything smaller than that, then come spring 2009, it will simply be a matter of your pocketbook and style preference.  You will get about equal video quality between the two flat screen types.

I would venture to say that people who like sports will probably like LCD's more than plasma's. The vivid color "pop" in LCD's adds to the visual excitement of a game. Black levels are also not usually very important in watching sports, so LCD's needn't worry. There is also the issue that watching sports is typically done in a room with high ambient light, also in LCD's favor.

On the other hand, people who are into movies will probably go more towards plasma, as black levels are critical for cinema. It's the most fundamental, and critical, element in a DP's movie palette. The DP (Director of Photography) also doesn't want the colors to "pop", unless that's what the director had in mind. Users also typically watch movies in rooms with very low ambient light.

But yo! Here comes OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) HDTV, which should start appearing in significant model numbers come 2012.  Don't be fooled. All the major HDTV vendors have this new technology in their product pipeline.

OLED’s vastly superior overall picture performance, very low power, and ultra thin screen mean you can bend over and kiss your LCD or plasma sets goodbye.

 

 

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21st, The VXM Network, http://www.vxm.com

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