The Infocomm professional video display products show in Orlando this month proved to be the venue for plasma display announcements, as NEC announced a high-resolution Plasma-Sync 42" widescreen (16:9) panel, while Fujitsu General America announced a 30% price cut, to $6,995, on its entry-level 42" plasma display.
NEC, which has a strategic alliance with Thomson to market a plasma display for home theater later this year, unveiled a 42" widescreen plasma panel (PlasmaSync 4210W) that is said to be compatible with scanning frequencies 15KHz-64kHz and suitable for 1080i and 720p HDTV formats. However, pixel resolution is listed at 853 x 480, which is below the 720 x 1,280 count listed in the ATSC specification.
NEC explained that the panel will "accept signals up to SXGA... Using a more sophisticated sampling process, the new scan converter is able to read a higher-resolution signal and re-map the information over the number of pixels available [853 x 480] in the panel's native resolution."
The panel measure 3.5" deep and includes an RS232 connection, dual-function Y-Pb-Pr/Y-Cb-Cr HD component video inputs, built-in image scaling, internal audio amplifier, and multiple mounting options.
The panel is currently marketed through NEC's Visual Systems Division.
Fujitsu, meanwhile, said production efficiencies enabled it to lower pricing on its 42" 16:9 plasma monitor (model PDS-4203) to a $6,995 suggested retail.
The price move is expected to make plasma panels more attractive for the home theater market, a channel in which Fujitsu is set to expand its distribution.
Fujitsu is currently the world's leading producer of flat-panel plasma displays, supplying screens for a number of major consumer electronics brands, including Philips and Zenith.
The PDS-4203 was first introduced in January 1998. It offers a 42" widescreen display with maximum pixel resolution of 852 x 480.