Pioneer Extreme Contrast Plasma: Wow
I'm tempted to leave this Blog with only that one word: wow. Words are hard to come by. I've been doing this for some time now, and I can't recall the last time I was entranced in a demo, sitting forward in my seat, jaw agape. Pioneer's Extreme Contrast "Concept" plasma display demo was this and more. This might be the biggest potential sea change I've seen in any product category in my years in this industry.
The blacks aren't just inky, they simply aren't there. In fact, the set isn't even there. Pioneer did something I've never seen in a flat panel demo. Pioneer displayed the working Extreme Contrast prototype along side its latest, ground breaking KURO plasmas in a room that was absolutely black. Plush black curtains, black carpet, black chairs, black, well, you get the idea.
The current KURO sets looked every bit as spectacular as one would expect. And then an image simply came out of nowhere. This new Extreme Contrast set was so black that it simply blended in with the black curtains behind it. You couldn't tell it was on. Hell, you couldn't tell it was there. And even when the other sets were on next to it, you still couldn't even see a reflection on the Extreme Caution screen.
This image was clean and natural, and punchy with deep blacks beyond anything I've seen. The demo featured some 2.35:1 material, and the black bars on the prototype made the current KUROs, which are leaps and bounds beyond any other flat panels currently on the market in that respect, look almost milky in comparison. The colors were rich and natural. It simply looked like the best plasma we've seen, just much better.
The additional depth and dimensionality from this enhanced black foundation was not just noticeable, but palpable in impact. There were 30 people in this demo, and the reaction was outright wonderment. We were seeing real magic.
There is no timetable, model numbers or pricing yet on these new plasmas.
I don't think the rest of the industry had gotten over the shock and awe of the KURO models on the market now, and well, the ground has been shaken again by Pioneer.