The PDC notes that leading the sales growth will be the more than two dozen new "Full HD" 1920x1080 plasma television sets ranging in screen size from 42- to 70-inches, which deliver the ultimate high definition viewing experience.
According Jim Palumbo, President, Plasma Display Coalition, "With sales of flat panel displays reaching all time highs, it is more important than ever for plasma manufacturers to develop innovative products that deliver an outstanding picture and value. As consumers debate the flat panel choices, plasma manufacturers are moving quickly to create new standards in advanced technology, coupled with expanded production capacity." The PDC members have stepped up their investments in plasma screen technology to deliver products which are innovative and competitive.
With much of the growth coming in the 50-inch and larger screen size category, plasma manufacturers are devoting millions of R&D funds to drive further improvements in picture quality. These combined efforts will result in the expected 25 percent sales increase for plasma HDTVs that the Consumer Electronics Association is predicting for this year.
The Coalition is committed to making consumers aware of these new advances with several retail initiatives including cohesive messages about plasma technology in the members training programs and a Fact Card for retailers that summarizes the key benefits.
The PDC notes that plasma is being embraced by retailers who are dedicated to helping their customers make informed decisions. According to Steve Caldero, senior vice president, COO, Ken Crane's (a leading Los Angles based consumer electronics specialty retailer) and who also serves as vice chairman of the CEA PARA division representing specialty audio-video dealers, "We want customers to get the right product for their discretionary HDTV dollars. The more they learn about plasma, the more they understand the benefits that plasma offers. A plasma picture is the most natural one - it has the best color and viewing angle of any flat panel display."
Bjorn Dybdahl, President, Bjorn's Audio Video, San Antonio, TX, who is one of the nation's top independent home theater dealers, also concurrs, "Plasma helps us meet our goal of providing consumers with the best products, as it offers outstanding picture quality,"
Dave Workman, Executive Director, Pro Buying Group, which represents high-end value-added dealers, summed by saying that "There has been substantial investments and improved performance in plasma technology that makes it an excellent choice for consumers who want the best large screen flat panel home theater experience."
Recent technology announcements from the PDC members include:
Hitachi " Through a technology innovation called Reel60, Hitachi applies a patented technique that correctly matches the motion of movies. As a result, viewers can experience movies at home on a Hitachi HDTV in the pure and precise way the movie creators intended.
LG Electronics " New "Extreme Contour Compensation" circuitry minimizes color contouring to display more natural color transitions on the company's three new 1080p "Full HD" models. New Clear Filter Pro technology replaces the front glass filter with a thin film filter to reduce reflection and double imaging, providing a haze-free, crisp HDTV viewing experience
Panasonic " Rating its 1080p Plasma HDTVs to play for 100,000 hours before reaching half brightness. Based upon the U.S. average daily viewing time of six and a half hours, Panasonic 1080p Plasma HDTVs could on average take more than 42 years before they reach half of their original brightness level
Pioneer " KURO line features four new 1080p televisions. All eight displays incorporate several new innovations for picture and sound performance like never before. Reengineered from the ground up, the new television produce deeper detailed blacks with enhanced contrast in bright environments and new video processing and scaling to ensure ultimate SD and HD performance. On-screen images are complemented by improved speaker technology with digital amplification for improved sound and clarity