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CEDIA 2001: Plasmas Get Bigger But Not Much Less Expensive Print E-mail
Friday, 14 September 2001
There were plasmas a-plenty on display at CEDIA, and the big news was how big and how resolute the newest monitors are.

Another point of note was the use of Faroudja NR Series native rate scalers to upconvert traditional 480I NTSC video to the near-HDTV quality, native rate of the plasma TVs. Custom installers were actually heard saying that they don’t sell plasmas without scalers anymore.

The effect, as shown by Faroudja on four Pioneer 50 inch plasmas, was spectacular. Zenith showed their new 60-inch display called the DPD60W, which weighs in at a steep $24,995. It comes complete with an internal scaler that outputs 720P video, which looks buttery smooth.

Fujitsu is one of the originators of the plasma technology. They showed a new 42-inch monitor with obvious improvements made relevant to motion artifacts. Fujitsu also showed a slick new 50-inch set with a stellar 1366x768 pixel screen resolution that provided what was among the best video seen at the show.

There were all sorts of companies sporting new and repackaged plasma screens, but none were bigger and more impressive than Marantz’s 61-incher. Priced at $25,000, the Marantz 61-inch plasma is also among the most expensive on the market, but at 60 inches, it is nearly as large as many of the front projection sets seen at the show.

The trend we were looking for hasn’t yet materialized, which is more affordable plasmas. You get more for your money today, as opposed to two years ago, but one way or another, you are shelling out a pretty penny to be cool enough to say you own a plasma TV.

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