Funded research studies are a hot topic on Jason's blog. Now I see that Pioneer paid the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) for a research study on plasma sets in comparison to LCD and DLP. The study findings are available at no charge and were released in tandem with a new Pioneer plasma product announcement.
The 16-page Adobe PDF study is worth a read. There are some great tests and findings on burn-in rates, contrast, black levels, brightness over time and more. Those reasons alone might help a consumer understand some of the technical gibberish that we all take for granted. The issue I have is that I knew what the study findings would be even before I read them.
How did I know? Simple: Pioneer only produces plasma sets and Pioneer paid for the study, so the result could be none other than "Plasma TVs are the best." Like I said, the study is worth a read, it's the result that raises my eyebrow. I'm all for product testing and information passing to the consumer. Let's be wary of our nomenclature though, product manufacturers. Paid "research studies" should be called one thing and one thing only: sponsored statements with some science to back them up, i.e., advertising.