NEC Ships World's First 61" Plasma Monitor
NEC announced last week that it will begin sales in Japan on July 23 of what it describes as the industry's largest plasma display monitor, with a panel size of 61 inches (155cm diagonal) and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The introduction of the PX-61XM1, NEC says, will make it the first company to take the jumbo-size screen from the prototype stage to mass production. The suggested retail price of the plasma monitor is initially expected to be $27,995.
NEC's Scott Evans says that "the market has been eagerly anticipating the next jump in screen size beyond the current 50" level for over a year," and the company adds that it plans to expand sales into the European and American markets shortly, and it hopes to sell 8,000 units of the PX-61XM1 by March 2002.
According to NEC, the new screen is a 1.05 million pixel monitor (1,360 by 768 pixels) with a pixel pitch of 0.99mm, which provides high enough resolution for reproduction of detailed materials such as CAD/CAM diagrams. The company claims that the panel exhibits 600 cd/m peak panel brightness and a contrast ratio of 700:1. To support the PX-61XM1's monitor, NEC says, it teamed up with nVIDIA Corp. to develop a new chip which makes full display of the wide XGA and VGA (848 by 480 pixels) possible and enables CAD/CAM detailed material to be displayed accurately without image stretch.
NEC is also quick to point out that the 61" display has been equipped with many features that are expected to make it popular in the home theater market as well. These features include a cinema mode "2-3 Pull Down" function for 1080i and a newly developed digital signal processor (DSP) that can convert interlaced input to progressive scan input "on the fly, enabling a great improvement in picture quality." NEC says that the new screen can also accommodate composite, component, and S-Video as well as all HDTV signal formats.
The company reports that the PlasmaSync has a digital zoom feature which enables users to select an area of the screen and enlarge it up to three times, "making even the smallest text visible to an entire room." The display also includes NEC's AccuShield Phosphor Protection, which is intended to minimize phosphor burn with an Inverse Mode that can be selected to display inverted RGB color values, "evening the amount of wear on the screen's phosphor and reducing the visibility of retained images."