Zenith Debuts 60" Plasma HD Screen

Projectors still rule the high-definition market, but plasma display panels (PDPs) may eventually displace them. Versatility and ease of installation are among the flat screen's biggest selling points, but size limits (the typical plasma screen is 42" diagonally) have hindered their acceptance.

That's all changing with a new generation of large format plasma devices. At the Society for Information Display trade show in San Jose last month, NEC demonstrated a beautiful prototype 61" plasma screen, intended for the OEM market. In Las Vegas, at the INFOCOMM International Exhibition 2001, Zenith debuted its DPDP60W, a retail-ready 60" PDP monitor capable of both high resolution and high contrast ratio.

One of the largest hang-on-the-wall monitors, the DPDP60W is as big as four 30-inch wide televisions combined. The DPDP60W was designed to produce whiter whites and darker darks than previously possible, achieving a contrast ratio of 350:1. Zenith claims a palette of 16.7 million colors, with a peak brightness capability of 200 candles/square meter. The big screen offers 1280 x 720 pixel resolution and a 350:1 contrast ratio, a huge leap forward from the 200:1 ratio that offered by earlier PDPs. Compatible with HD, NTSC, VGA, SVGA and XGA video and digital input sources, the DPDP60W works equally well with a variety of sources: DVDs, computers, digital broadcasts, multimedia, and traditional video devices.

"Built-in image scaling capabilities allow the intelligent resizing of video and computer images to 16:9 widescreen or 4:3 conventional aspect ratios, as well as use of a picture zoom feature," stated an official announcement. "Gray side panels are available to mask images displayed in 4:3 mode, while a wide 160-degree viewing angle assures maximum visibility in home theater, office and room environments." The DPDP60W comes equipped with soft-touch screen controls and a universal remote control with an LCD display and "thumbstick" pointing device. Audio enhancements include Dolby Digital and a pair of small 10-watt speakers. Wall-mount and ceiling-mount accessory hardware is available, as is a matching pedestal. The DPDP60W has a suggested retail price of $32,000.