Pioneer Europe just unveiled details on their 8th generation Plasma tech 24 hours before the US event. This is something we heard about at CES, and that HDTV lovers can get riled up about. (Go ahead, woot out loud, it makes sense this time.)
The most important pieces of the puzzle being a "new deep encased cell structure, crystal emissive layer and first surface colour filter." What that means is the new sets, part of Project Kuro ("Black" in Japanese) have a black level 80% deeper than 7th generation Pioneer plasma. Without any sacrifice in brightness, according to our sources. That deeper low end gives the TV an overall 20,000:1 contrast ratio, which should take care of some of the issues, if not all, that I had with a current generation plasma I faced off against a top line Sharp LCD.
The TVs also have an "Optimum Mode", which sounds like an advanced ambient light compensation system. In other words, it'll alter the picture output according to both the source's light patterns, as well as the lighting in your living room. I wonder if it can adjust white balance and color to compensate for the hues given off by your lava lamp collection.
The best of the model line includes a 60 and 50 inch 1080p display, with the 20,000:1 contrast ratio, "Digital Colour Filter III Plus" for the "most accurate colour reproduction in commercially available flat screen TVs" and a street date of September. Lesser models, detailed after the jump, will be available in June.
The lower end models have 16,000:1 contrast ratios, coming in 1,365 x 768 50-inch variants, and 1,024 x 768 42-inch variants, with different options like Optimum Mode, of DVB/analog TV tuners, and an aluminum stand.
These will make their way Stateside, and we'll get more info from the US event tomorrow.
Project Kuro [Pioneer Europe]