Panasonic BT300 Reference Plasma Monitor

In a secret, blacked-out room, Panasonic was demonstrating its new professional reference monitor, the TH-42BT300, shown here between last year's TH-42PF11 to the left and this year's TH-42PF20 on the right. In addition to a 42-incher (~$4000), the new model will be available in a 50-inch size for around $5000.

The BT300 is the first Panasonic pro monitor to include a full color-management system. All three in the demo were calibrated for grayscale, and the BT300 was also tweaked to conform to the Rec.709 color gamut, and it showed in the more natural skin tones that seemed almost washed out next to the overblown skin tones on the other two screens.

Of course, the big question on my mind was whether or not the new monitor incorporated more Kuro technology than previous generations. The blacks were clearly no better than on the other two, so I had my doubts. When I asked about this, I was told that black level isn't the only important criterion, and Panasonic is emphasizing shadow detail over absolute black level. It's true that the shadow detail was better on the BT300, but I want deep black as well.

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uavmaj0crk's picture

I've wondered if Pioneers Kuro used to much power to work it's wonders & if so, could this be the reason Panasonic hasn't fully adapted it into their plasma line? Plasmas use somewhat more power than LCDs, so to add KURO to the mix would raise power levels to unacceptable levels.
Pure speculation on my part. Scott, you tested these sets, do you have their power levels available & if so, how do they compare with Panasonic's existing plasmas.

uavK.Reid's picture

In my opinion, it will be inexcusable if Panasonic's so called "Reference Monitor" does not reproduce the deepest, accurate black level. In fact, how can they claim it's a reference monitor if they do not incorporate all the Kuro technology. They've had the technology long enough that I would think improvements would be on order. Absolutely mind boggling that Panasonic cannot give us both shadow detail and absolute blacks along with REC 709 color gamut. Especially at $5k. My expectations would be extremely high for a 50in that costs $5k.

Scott Wilkinson's picture
I totally agree with you, but an independent analyst told me that this monitor is in the early prototype stage, so it could get better by the time it's a finished product.

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