Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pioneer to Release PDP Monitor for 'Users Particular about Picture Quality'

Pioneer Corp unveiled June 10, 2008, the 60-inch "KRP-600M" PDP monitor, which is the second model added to its high-end "KURO" PDP series.

The company regards the KRP-600M as "a product targeted at 'Audio-Visual fans,' who are very particular about picture quality," said Masaaki Nishio, general manager of Engineering Department 3 of the PDP Product Engineering Division in the Home Entertainment Business Group of Pioneer.

Compared with the PDP-6010HD PDP TV, which is the first model in the KURO series, the black luminance of the KRP-600M was lowered to about 1/5 by reducing the predischarge emission. Black luminance determines the full On/Off contrast ratio.

The new PDP monitor does not have a built-in digital terrestrial tuner or a speaker, so "the users can select products of their choice for the KRP-600M," said Nishio. The KRP-600M is only 41mm thick at its thinnest part and 64mm at the thickest part. When using a wall hanger, the distance from the wall is 89mm.

The specifications were not unveiled, other than the fact that it has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. According to Takeshi Hama, deputy counselor of Home AV Engineering Group at Product Strategy Department of Pioneer Marketing Division, the full On/Off contrast ratio of the KRP-600M is enhanced to 100,000:1, while that of the PDP-6010HD is 20,000:1.

"Numerical competition is something KURO does not want to get involved in," Hama said. "If you take a look at the actual product, you can see its superiority in display performance."

Based on this thinking, the specifications of the KRP-600M, including the full On/Off contrast ratio, have not been specified in its catalog or other materials. Pioneer intends to continue the development of the PDP with a thickness of only 9mm (at the thinnest part), which was on display at the 2008 International CES in January 2008, in addition to other products.

"It doesn't mean we will stop the development just because we do not show the numbers," the company said.

In order to reduce the thickness to 64mm, the company used a low-profile power board and other thinner parts, while changing the part layout to improve the heat dissipation performance. The monitor incorporates a cooling fan, but "it only operates when the temperature rises to a certain point," Nishio said, expressing his confidence in the dissipation design as well.

The remote control that comes with the monitor is equipped with three or four LEDs. When the remote control is operated, the buttons glow like those on mobile phones.

"This feature improved the operability in dark environments such as home theaters," Nishio said.

The KRP-600M is slated for release in Japan in late June 2008. There is no manufacturer's suggested retail price, but "the market price is expected to be about ¥850,000 (US$7,921, price may vary depending on country)," Nishio said. The company plans to introduce a 50-inch PDP monitor, targeting the year-end shopping season.

Shinya Saeki, Nikkei Electronics


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