Pioneer has announced a new 50″ plasma HDTV monitor intended for professional markets. The PDP-5000EX appears to be the pro version of the PRO-FHD1 consumer model that came out last fall. According to a Pioneer press release, the panel uses a deep waffle rib structure that increases the amount of phosphor available for a brighter image and less light leakage to adjacent pixels. The set includes HDMI, DVI, component, and composite inputs. It also accepts 1080p 24 Hz signals and shows them at 72 Hz, which eliminates the need for 3:2 pulldown conversion used by other displays.
Pioneer says that the display will be available “this spring” but did not announce a price. The consumer model has been selling for about $6,500.
There’s certainly a market for high-end products such as this, but the premimum price is going to limit the number of people who will choose it over the lower-priced plasma, LCD, and rear projection offerings. The cost is high because it is difficult to make small pixels using plasma technology, and according to Pioneer, the pixels on this panel are half the size of the previous generation. This is why you will find true 1080p plasma panels — with a full 1920 by 1080 pixel count — both rare and expensive for the near future, at any size. Direct view LCD and rear projection displays are going to offer a better value for 1080p resolution for now.