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HDMI Interface In New Pioneer PDPs, Rear PTVs

Pioneer used CEDIA to announce pricing on its previously unveiled plasma displays based on its Pure Drive system and announced a number of products will add the new HDMI digital interface this year.

The four new plasma models include two Pioneer models and two Elite models, all of which will ship in October. They feature the 43W-inch (1,024 by 768) and 50W-inch (1,280 by 768) screen sizes Pioneer has offered in the past.

Suggested retail pricing for the Pioneer models is $10,500 for the 43W-inch and $14,500 for the 50W-inch. Elite models will run $11,500 for the 43-inch and $15,500 for 50W-inch.

All employ Pioneer’s new Pure Drive system with a direct digital signal path that is said to yield greater brightness and contrast performance than prior models, in addition to displaying over one billion colors.

All of the new plasma models also employ external “Media Receiver” boxes containing ATSC tuners (without QAM) and HDMI with HDCP inputs.

Pioneer said it is adding HDMI connectors to other Elite plasma displays and its Elite CRT-based HD rear-projection displays.

For a signal source, Pioneer will supply a new universal DVD-Audio/SACD DVD player (model DV-59AVi) with HDMI and IEEE-1394 “iLINK” output. The “new flagship DVD player,” has pixel IC conversion, that supports 640 by 480i, 480i, 480p, 720p or 1,080i resolution output. It will ship in the winter at a $1,600 suggested retail price.

As a running change HDMI will be included on two current Elite plasma models in the 50W-inch ($14,500) and 43W-inch ($10,500) screen sizes. Also, the connector, which adds audio to the DVI video signal and uses a smaller connector than prior DVI versions, will be found in Elite HD rear-projection models in the 64W-inch ($7,000) and 53W-inch ($5,000) screen sizes.

Those models will ship in winter 2003-04.

Meanwhile, Pioneer said all of its new Elite plasmas and rear-projection sets will include an Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) calibration mode with sub menus containing all the ISF calibrators. Pioneer announced it is now an ISF Certified Calibration Configuration (3C) partner.