ViewSonic release 50-inch plasma display

The display specialists at ViewSonic Corp. have introduced two next-generation plasma displays: a 50-inch and 42-inch. The displays combine high-resolution images with features such as a built-in TV tuner and sound system. They're compatible with PC and Mac systems, and provide S-Video, component and composite video connections.

At an estimated street price of US$4,995, the VPW425 is an average of 20 percent less than comparable competitive offerings, according to ViewSonic. The 52-inch model has a native resolution of 852 x 480 and a contrast ratio of up to 550:1. These same features are available in the 50-inch VPW505 with a higher native resolution, 1366 x 768, at a price of $9,995.

Both the VPW425 and VPW505 extend traditional plasma viewing options with a built-in TV tuner that provides reception of analog cable or terrestrial broadcast TV, and use progressive scan to produce the highest quality image. In addition, the displays provide virtual surround sound with two integrated 5-watt speakers along with full-screen, split-screen and picture-in-picture (PIP) viewing capabilities for watching video or TV content while working simultaneously on computer applications.

Multiview or POP is provided, so you can create up to two picture windows on the screen for viewing multiple data, video or TV signals, according to Jennifer Litten, product manager, ViewSonic's Presentation Products Division.

The slim bezel plasma displays readily support all HDTV formats (480i, 480p, 720i, 720p and 1080i). Plus, they come equipped with a stand, wireless remote control and carrying case. Options for wall mounting are also available.

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