Hitachi will take its “full HD” plasma display story to the CEDIA Expo this week, showing prototype panels in 60W-inch 1,920 by 1,080p and 42W-inch 1,920 by 1,080i configurations.
Both models will be demonstrated as works in progress and will not include the final feature sets or industrial cosmetic designs that will be added when the TVs are delivered to market in the summer and fall of 2007, respectively, said Bill Whalen, Hitachi's senior product marketing manager of the Ubiquitous Platform Systems Division.
Both plasma displays will be produced at Hitachi's third FHP plasma factory, which goes online in Kyushu, Japan, next month. The output target is said to be 200,000 units a month.
When available, the new “full HD” products will be positioned in Hitachi's high-end Directors Series lineup with select distribution, Whalen said. The company plans to have 1,080p models available next year in the 60W- and 50W-inch screen sizes, plus the 42W-inch model using Hitachi's proprietary 1,920 by 1,080 interlaced technology.
He could not estimate the price of the units at this time, citing competitive market pressures that rapidly change the flat-panel pricing landscape.
Hitachi is currently shipping a 42W-inch UltraVision 42HDS69 ($2,099 suggested retail) and 42HX99, which both feature 1,024 by 1,080i resolution, using Alternate Lighting of Surfaces (ALiS) technology to match the vertical resolution of a 1,080i signal.
Hitachi's 1,080i panels offer the smallest pixel pitch in the industry for plasma, and are able to maintain power efficiency through the ALiS pixel-addressing technology that uses one addressed electrode in between each pixel.
The new advanced 42W-inch model at CEDIA will offer improved resolution (full 1,920 horizontal and 1,080 vertical interlaced) and performance.
The 42W-inch demo panel will be listed with a 3,000:1 contrast ratio while the 60W-inch model will feature a 5,000:1 contrast ratio, Whalen said. However, he cautioned that both specs need asterisks due to the lack of an industry measurement standard.