This is becoming a trend. Much like the just announced Hitachi plasma line, Pioneer's flat-panels will accept a 1080p/24hz signal via two HDMI inputs, but downscale it to display on a 1024x768 screen. The PDP-4270HD, PDP-5070HD and PDP-6070HD are available now and will retail for $3,500, $4,500 and $7,500, respectively. The 50- and 70-inch models have a native resolution of 1365x768. The sets feature detachable bottom-mounted speakers, ATSC and NTSC tuners, CableCard support and 3:3 pulldown for film-based material. They've also made many improvements to the construction of the screen (Crystal Emissive Layer, red and blue phosphors, color filter, etc.) to improve viewing quality.

It seems not-1080p has a new wrinkle, where first we had TVs that displayed it and couldn't accept it, we are now seeing a bevy of of panels that accept it but don't display it. A few posters on AVS Forum were very impressed by the glass technology in earlier models and anticipate even better performance with 1080p inputs, but we're not convinced. Anyone out there ready to drop 3 large on a 1024x768 plasma and tell us how satisfying it is?

As it stands, we will likely have to wait until Pioneer ships their (now-delayed) Blu-ray player before we get a true 1080p plasma.

[Updated native resolution of 50- and 70-inch, title for clarity]

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