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Pioneer Intros 5 Plasma Models

9/06/2004 02:00:00 AM Eastern

CEDIA Expo will be the showcase for five Pioneer Elite plasma displays — including two fully integrated HDTV sets — that are slated to ship in November, and a 61W-inch monitor.

Highlighting the Pioneer Elite offerings are two fully integrated PureVision HDTV plasma television sets in the 50W-inch PRO-1120HD ($15,500 suggested retail) and 43W-inch PRO-920HD ($11,500 suggested retail). Both incorporate one ATSC digital TV tuner, two NTSC analog TV tuners and a digital-cable-ready CableCARD slot.

To navigate channels when using the CableCARD, the two HDTV plasma sets will incorporate Pioneer's proprietary Passport Echo electronic program guide system, which has been used in its cable set-top boxes.

All of the new plasma sets and monitors add HDMI with HDCP digital inputs.

In HD plasma monitors, Pioneer will show three models, including the 50W-inch Elite PRO-1010HD ($13,000 suggested retail), the 43W-inch Elite PRO-810HD ($9,000 suggested retail) and a 61W-inch Elite PRO-1410HD (price to be determined).

All integrated sets and monitors, except the 61W-inch PRO-1410HD, offer Pioneer's Pure Drive technology, which enables up to one billion colors.

Pure Drive creates a pure digital signal path from source to image. Digital/MPEG compression noise is reduced, while more correction is offered for image accuracy, improved gray scale and full control of the signal in the digital domain.

The Pioneer Professional PRO-1410HD 61W-inch monitor is focused on the system integrator and business markets. It offers 1,365-by-768-pixel resolution, and can display personal computer signals ranging from VGA to UXGA resolution. The professional plasma display weighs 135 pounds, and features an ultra-slim chassis measuring less than five inches deep.

Other picture enhancement systems used in the home theater panels include advanced continuous emission display technology II, First Surface Pure Color Filter and advanced PureCinema.

Advanced continuous emission display technology II is said to eliminate false contours that can appear in close-ups of faces. The system produces smooth transitions from dark to light areas without losing detail or compromising the image contrast, Pioneer said.

Improvements in color performance also result from the use of both the company's Pure Color Filter II and a newly developed First Surface Pure Color Filter. This proprietary system combination helps to manage the light output to accede NTSC and ATSC standards, Pioneer said.

The system utilizes the mesh infrastructure within the filter material, which acts like a mask for light output, allowing the television to maintain high contrast and black levels and lifelike colors in most room lighting situations.

The Pure Color Filter II technology is said to significantly decrease external light reflectivity to achieve higher levels of contrast even in direct light. The filter also reduces unnecessary frequencies in red, green and blue signals to deliver greatly improved color purity. The result is more vibrant and lifelike reproduction of reds than was found in earlier color filter systems.

Also added is the company's Advanced PureCinema system, which is said to produce more accurate representation of film-based content. Pioneer said the technology is the first to employ 3:3 film detection at 72Hz.