Pioneer Corporation today unveils concepts for future display technologies under the code name "Project KURO." After a year in which Pioneer proved that its award-winning plasma technology is leagues above the rest of the HDTV industry in picture quality, Pioneer engineers today will preview future Project KURO concepts showing extreme contrast and advanced design that will further the idea that plasma is the best high-definition television technology and that the future is black and thin.
The extreme contrast concept will challenge the contrast ratio debate by producing the industry's first plasma that is absolute black with no measurable light emitting from the television. At the same time, Pioneer is previewing an advanced design concept that is the world's thinnest 50-inch display at only nine millimeters (mm) thin. It seems that Pioneer is only improving on its own achievements in picture quality and design, but Pioneer's true engineering passion is to deliver an emotional entertainment experience through the development of the highest picture quality.
"For more than a year, Project KURO has been a brand mantra within Pioneer that represents our commitment to deliver the most passionate and emotional entertainment experience possible," said Russ Johnston, executive vice president of marketing and product planning for the Home Entertainment and Business Solutions Group at Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. "The KURO technology concepts demonstrate how we are continuing to challenge the industry and stay above the commoditized flat panel television market - by literally ending the conversation about contrast ratio, a debate that has been in existence since television was first introduced, and creating a flat panel display so thin it becomes a canvas for entertainment."
To put this into perspective, consumers need to understand the contrast ratio debate. Contrast ratio is defined as the ratio of the luminosity of the brightest color (white) to that of the darkest color (black). While manufacturers all measure this differently, they agree that a high contrast ratio is desirable to recreate ideal picture quality. In televisions, the truer the black, the more accurate the color.
Black encompasses the entire color spectrum and is produced in the absence of light. By nature, televisions produce luminance (light) and this dilutes black and color. That is why it is so important that Pioneer can achieve absolute black in the Project KURO extreme contrast concept. The display is so black that even when it is on with no image displayed, the television is invisible when you walk into a completely dark room. It has a contrast ratio that is literally beyond measurement, rendering the debate of contrast ratio irrelevant and providing the consumer a rich picture filled with vibrant penetrating color.
"Thanks to the self emitting principle of plasma, we were able to crack the code on plasma luminance. Pioneer technology has advanced to the point where we have achieved virtually zero idling luminance in more than six million cells, previously thought to be impossible. The result is, in essence, absolute black with no measurable light coming from the television. For consumers, this creates the experience that the image is floating in space, with a picture that has exceptional detail and vivid color. Ultimately, our goal is focused on bringing to market a new KURO that unifies the extreme contrast and advanced design concepts to transcend anything currently possible in home entertainment. We feel that this will not only surpass our previous best, it will completely change the playing field," said Yoichi Sato, senior executive officer and chief technology executive at Pioneer Corporation.
Pioneer's concept for the world's thinnest 50-inch flat panel display is also part of Pioneer's engineering passion. At only nine millimeters (mm) thin, this groundbreaking Project KURO technology results in a picture that appears to be floating on a wall, creating an experience for consumers where the television becomes simply a canvas for great entertainment. In addition, its extremely light weight (18.6kg/ 41lbs) allows the television to be easily wall mounted, contributing handsomely to interior decor without distracting--providing a spectacular setting for watching films.
These fully-operational concept televisions will not be commercially-available in 2008.
Pioneer Corporation is a leading global manufacturer of consumer- and business-use electronics products such as audio, video and car electronics. Its shares are traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
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