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Old 04-06-2006, 01:03 AM   #1
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Interview with Jeff Cove, Panasonic's Vice President of Technology and Alliance Group

January 20, 2006 - Today, IGN had the opportunity to interview Mr. Jeff Cove, Panasonic's Vice President of Technology and Alliance Group. As a graduate of MIT and former Vice President of Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, Mr. Cove has a great depth of knowledge in both HDTV technology and the consumer electronics marketplace.

Over the course of the interview, Mr. Cove addresses a variety of HDTV questions, including Panasonic's rollout of 1080p displays, the truth about plasma burn-in, the comparative strenghs and weaknesses of all HDTV technologies, his impressions of Toshiba/Canon SED technology, Panasonic's vision of the future and perspective upon the rollout of HDTV across the country and so much more. Whew! There's info here you won't find anywhere else, so read on and enjoy!

Thinks I found relevant to me:
IGN: Could you shed some light on the issue of plasmas and burn-in? Some say its a myth, and I've had a Panasonic plasma for four years and I've never had a problem with it, but other people swear it happens all the time, so we are wondering what your thoughts are there.

Jeff Cove: It wasn't a myth -- years ago, when plasmas first came out... First of all, burn-in is the result of the aging of the phosphors, and plasmas are phosphor based technology, and if the phosphors age at different times, you'll end up with kind of a color splotch on the screen. What's happened is that the phosphors are getting better and better, and there was a change in phosphor technology and there was a change in gas technology a couple years ago, where more Xenon was put into the phosphor panels and the phosphors were generally improved. And suddenly, the lifetimes of these panels became 60,000 hours. That's eight hours a day for 20 years. When that happened, it became very, very difficult to burn-in a plasma. Now, it's still possible to burn in anything that uses phosphors, CRTs, or plasmas, can be burned in. But for real life TV-watching or games we really don't think there is an issue. Our feeling is that if you don't worry about your CRT for burn-in, don't worry about your plasma, as a rule of thumb.
IGN: One last question: From the gamer's perspective, we know the Xbox 360 is outputting native 720p. However, a fair number of displays, like Panasonic's own 42" plasmas, aren't running the full 720p resolution, but something slightly lower, like 1024x768. Should that issue be a concern to people making the investment?

Jeff Cove: Actually, that 1024 panel is 1024 times 3, because there are sub-pixels in there. So there's lots of resolution available. But, the key point on resolution tends not to be the 1024; it tends to be the 720p number. That's the big determiner. Yes, in theory, there is more resolution available if the screen was 1366 than if the screen is 1024, but in practicality it really is the 720 number that is the driver. So we have not seen that as an issue in terms of people viewing TVs.

IGN: I think that's it! I'm sure people will be excited to read this. Thanks very much for your time.
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