Monday, July 27, 2009

A new plasma king? Chalk another victory for Gordon Moore

So, Google alerts just notified me that Panasonic dropped a bomb on the this morning. The new V10 series is out. Evidently, the Gurus have been working on a review of the 54 inch model for sometime. They were more than sanguine. The review was almost a rave party.

As always the gurus are very professional, and they ran down the numbers for us:
  1. This TV aces the standard def and high def HQV benchmark test
  2. It supports standard Rec 709 very well
  3. It also supports a more advanced color gamut called xvTCC, which is supported by HDMI 1.3.
  4. The V10 has a color mode called Digital Cinema Color (DCC) which simulates xvTCC using your old fashioned Rec 709 Blu-Rays. Consider it upscaling for color. This is extremely exciting news.
  5. For you film school fuddy-duddies who demand a dimmer and more lifeless flat-color and that ugly green/gray look: Rejoice and be glad! THX mode will make your HDTV look bad, just like a motion picture theater screen. THX mode is for you! Your antiquated mode of thought is fully supported.
  6. 58 and 65 inch models are coming soon
  7. Gone are the issues normally associated between brightness and Plasma. Supposedly, the V10 achieves a maximum of 87.9 Lamberts. That figure is so large it almost cannot be believed.
  8. The V10 features a 96hz refresher rate that makes 24 fps films look perfect. You simply get 4 snaps of each frame. No problems with motion blur or jutter here.
  9. The use of a 96hz cadence makes Motion Compensation, Motion Estimation (ME/MC) circuits unnecessary. LCDs that feature 120 or 240hz refresher rates use ME/MC to insert interpolated frames into your movie. The end result of this process is what they call SOE or the Soap Opera Effect. If you buy the V10, you will not see the soap opera effect which makes films look like live video.
  10. One of the most stunning features of this HDTV is its power consumption. This plasma sips a meager 240 watts. This isn't much higher than DLPs which sip 220 watts of juice. This is a far cry from the 550 watts that plasmas used to consume just a year or so ago.
Well, if you had told me a week ago that a 54 inch Plasma HDTV could deliver mega-brightness at 240 watts, with an improved xvTVCC color gamut, and no SOE, I would have laughed at you. Right now I am pretty fucking stunned. This is almost too good to be believed. If this HDTV is what the Guru says it is, you aught to proceed to your favorite price engine to find your price and vendor.

The Guru says that this V10 series provides performance equal to or greater than the Kuro in every respect, yet it does so for less than 33% of the price tag, and at 43.6% of the wattage. Of course, if you desire a larger screen (and I do) expect a higher wattage budget to support that greater surface area.

The reduction in wattage also predicts a longer lifespan. The problem with plasma has been wattage and heat. These units have burned themselves out in past years. The problem is dramatically reduced now. I remember reading an ancient PC Zeos advertisement in which they sold on the amount of heat sinks and fans they placed on their PCs. They strongly emphasized the QA/QC report that a 10% reduction in operational temperature predicted a doubling in the lifespan of electronic equipment. Something for you to consider.

One doubt I must reference is as follows: The Guru said that this HDTV can manifest 87.9 Lamberts. According to the scientific literature 1 Lambert is equal to 104/pi cd/m2. So what does that mean? It means that this HDTV can crank out a theoretical 279,794.39 Candela across its 54inch surface.

I have a very hard time accepting that. I want to see that measurement stated in Candela.

In any case, we are looking at a major triumph for Gordon Moore here. I seem to recall predicting this event right around the time Pioneer decided to withdraw from the HDTV game. I do recall saying that you won't have to wait more than 18 months before everybody is making an HDTV better than Kuro. Further, I specifically said that Panasonic was taking over the game anyhow, and that's why Pioneer ran home to mommy.