Pioneer to begin offering 1080p "super black" HDTV sets

Posted by Mark Raby

Long Beach (CA) - Dedicated plasma TV backer Pioneer will launch its first pair of "full HD" TV sets with 1920 x 1080 resolution this October, according to a recent Reuters report.

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Panasonic and Hitachi both had big displays of 1080p sets.  Both companies support plasma and LCD.  Pioneer, on the other hand, is 100% committed to plasma.  Pioneer's focus was on its new technology to offer deeper contrast.

1080p has become more popular among the mainstream crowd, though, as general consumers become more educated about high definition technology.  Though it's a moot point for over-the-air programming, which is limited to 1080i resolution right now, 1080p is fully supported by HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies, as well as a sprinkling of next-gen video games, mainly from Electronic Arts.

In June, Pioneer introduced its Kuro line of plasma TVs, which was recently updated last week with two new models.  The "Kuro" line promises significantly deeper black levels than any other plasma set.  However, the resolution on the flagship Kuro products is only 1024 x 768, which is more closely related to 720p.

The company's new 1080p sets will reportedly be priced at around $5,000 for the 50" model and around $6,500 for 60".  "Elite" version of both will also be available for $1,000 more on each set.