Pioneer Plasma TV KURO

Pioneer CES 2008 KURO

Pioneer’s CES 2008 display was all about “Project KURO” which is their new engineering technology used in producing, “absolute black with no measurable light emitting from the television.” Pioneer claims that the black level is so black that it is beyond measurement for contrast ratio calculation. Pioneer also had a prototype on display for a 9 millimeter depth 50” plasma TV which was extremely attractive. No production dates have been scheduled yet for the super thin plasma.

Panasonic Plasma Television

Panasonic CES 2008 Worlds Largest Plasma TV

Panasonic of course had their now famous 103” model 103PF10U plasma television on display. The plasma is in production and has been available in the U.S. for months for a price of $70,000. In an interview with top executives, Panasonic stated that they plan to continue production and shipping of the 103” plasma and claim that it has been a big success. Panasonic also had a prototype 150” plasma Television on display. Panasonic plans to build a new plant in Omagasaki, Japan to produce the mother glass for this monster. It’s hard to imagine that they will actually build and ship this 150” plasma, but after Panasonic called everyones bluff in 2007 by shipping the 103” plasma, I wouldn’t challenge them. Panasonic also displayed a group of 1” thick plasma TV prototypes that were very attractive and only 55 pds. Panasonic stated that these new super thin plasma TVs will use only half the energy consumption of current plasma televisions. There were also new plasma lineups available with upgraded features over current models such as THX certification in the PZ800 series and PZ850 series.

LG Plasma Television

LG Plasma TV CES 2008

LG had on display a 60” plasma TV 60PG60 (1080p with 30,000:1 contrast) with seamless/infinity glass (no bezel edges). The speakers for the new design are built in invisible in the new “tear drop” design. Extended new features in this plasma (and the 50” 50PG60) are THX certification, 1080p and a special ISF calibration configuration option which allows for more picture setting flexibility. There is also a new feature called “clearvoice” which enhances the human voice element of the audio by automatically enhancing the sound frequency range of the dialogue even when background noise swells.

Samsung Plasma TVs

Samsung Plasma TV CES 2008

One of the highlights of the Samsung plasma area was their introduction of a new 4 series plasma which will have 3 dimensional capability. Testing was available as well, and regret to state that viewing through the 3D glasses at the plasma screen made me nauseous after a couple of minutes. It was definitely an interesting image but didn’t compare well with the DLP 3D image earlier tested. There was jumpiness to it. I moved back and forth slightly to try to calibrate but to no improvement. The 4 series plasma with 3D capability will be available in the 1st quarter of 08. The necessary goggles and software are sold separately for around $200 as a package. One special feature Samsung introduced is TOC (touch of color) which the Samsung stated is inspired by designs from the automotive and fashion industries. The chosen color appears to be a red/burgundy color though the company may still be testing this color. Samsung further claims that these TVs with TOC give the impression it is floating. They had a big emphasis on this in their display. The higher end Samsung plasma TVs will also have USB input capability. Samsung had an OLED TV display, 3 new models of Plasma on display and 4 new models of LCD on display.

Hitachi Plasma TV

Hitachi will continue to manufacture and sell its current lineup in 2008. The company’s current plasma TVs were on display but the focus was clearly on their upcoming release of a 1.5 inch deep LCD.

Toshiba Plasma TV

According to a spokesperson I interviewed Toshiba will no longer manufacture plasma televisions for sale in 2008.

Philips Plasma TV

Philips no longer manufacturers plasma TVs.

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