NEWS: The new black - Pioneer launches its eighth-generation plasmas

Tue, 15 May 2007, 11:05am

Pioneer PDP508XD It's called 'Project Kuro': Pioneer has been rethinking the way its plasma screens work to create a new eighth-generation range designed not only to outperform the direct competition, but also show a clean pair of heels to LCD rivals. And it's all about the basic advantage of plasma technology - the ability to show clear, rich blacks. Two new line-ups will be available in what the company is calling its Vision range: XGA screens will arrive in June, with Full HD versions coming in September, in 42in, 50in and 60 in sizes. And just to add to the range of badges already on the market, Pioneer is introducing a new one: HD Digital Film Direct 24, which shows the sets' ability to handle 1080P/24 frame per second signals in their native form, rather than processed to the more common 25 frames a second. As the company puts it, 'exactly as the director intended': it means no more pitch-shifted, speeded-up dialogue, and smoother images. Logo Hddigitalfilm 24 Rz So what's 'Project Kuro' all about? The word means 'black' in Japanese, and the team lead by Pioneer's 'Godfather of Plasma', Yoichi Sato, has gone back to basics in creating richer, deeper blacks on the new screens. Using new screen technology including a redesigned electron source, enhanced signal processing and a non-reflective pure colour filter on the front of the screen, the team is now claiming blacks matching those of old-style CRT TVs, creating a blank, or rather black, canvas onto which the screens can create their pictures, not to mention a 20,000:1 contrast ratio. Add 'optimum mode' picture processing, which adjusts the parameters such as colour, brightness and contrast according to the source material and ambient light in the viewing room, and Pioneer claims the screens maintain their quality even in bright lighting, giving them another advantage over the rival plasmas and LCD screens. The new sets also feature an HDMI link system designed to allow single-remote control of an entire system, and have multiple HDMI inputs as well as the ability to be used with an external 'media box' switcher. Pricing is yet to be set for the new screens.


Looking forward to seeing them

Hi all,

I am the owner of the LX-508D and I have to say that so far I am far from happy from the sets performance.Don't get me wrong the picture is simply stunning wheather watching DVD or Blue ray but that is not my cause for concern,what is however is the constant buzzing that is being produced by the screen.At first it was only a minor annoyance but now I can no longer tolerate it.I have contacted Pioneer technical and when I explained the problem he worryingly didn't sound at all surprised,this prompted me to start looking a little deeper and indeed I have read on other forums of other owners describing the exact same problem(one is even on Pioneer's own blog site(Jan '0cool.I then contacted Pioneer's tech dept again and asked for any advice.and after he tried to tell me I could be hearing it due to the layout of my room,type of curtain,depth of carpet etc etc he suggested that I change the power consumption of the plasma.This has slightly reduced the buzz,it has also reduced the picture quality too.I then phoned again,This time I was told that they could arrange a Pioneer engineer to call and investigate but there could be call out charges involved,this without even asking how old the set is!! Also worringly there is a small paragraph stating,and I quote,panel generated sounds,examples:fan motor noise,and electrical circuit humming/glass panel buzzing are NOT covered by the manufacturer's limited warranty ! I expect I will be calling the engineer out as this is now un-acceptable.My advice for now is if you are considering spending nearly £3800 on a plasma insist you listen to the set with no other ambient background noise and listen with the volume low (around 10-12) Hope you find this useful.Will let you know if anything changes.