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Pioneer Debuts Project KURO

Amidst much fanfare, Pioneer unveiled its new line of plasma panels. Eight new panels were shown to the press last Wednesday, all with the promise to have ultra-high black level performance.

The new lines will consist of four panels for the Elite and four panels for the Pioneer divisions. Each will carry two XGA models in 42-inch and 50-inch screen sizes and two in the 50-inch and 60-inch sizes sporting full 1080p.

Pioneer is touting that this new generation of plasmas will have the deepest black level performance than any other competing brand. Its based on new cell structure, filtering implementation and new video processor. Obviously Pioneer is keeping mum on the specs, but they cite that past demonstrations by Canon and Toshiba's SED prototypes inspired the company to move in this direction.

Pioneer's Russ Johnston did say, "by creating a new electron source at the base of the new cell structure, idling luminance is now reduced by 80 percent, traditional plasmas must maintain a minimal charge inside each cell to obtain peak brightness just before the cell fires. This minimal charge is very visible and is a barrier to created deep blacks. This new technology nearly turns the cell off in order to achieve deeper blacks, it also increases gradation three times in the black areas, providing more detail and color space. The new direct color filter reduces secondary reflections and ambient light in order to maintain the black areas at their peak over a wide range of room light conditions."

In order to improve the performance of HD and SD content, Pioneer is implementing a new ASIC video processor with improved video scaling, deinterlacing and MPEG compression algorithms to reduce image artifacts.

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