CEDIA: Panasonic's Super Screen

If anyone thought that Panasonic was lagging in the hotly-contested display market, the company moved to dispel the misconception. The 65VX100U plasma display was unveiled, and it is wonderful indeed.

The VX100 is a 65-inch custom-install only plasma monitor. At least according to Panasonic, it outperforms Pioneer's extremely impressive Kuro display. (Note that Pioneer is shutting down panel production and will begin buying panels from Panasonic). The VX100 boasts a 60,000:1 contrast ratio, and 7,160 shades of gradation in dark shadows, and also handles 120% of HDTV color gamut.

I viewed the Panasonic demo as they fearlessly compared the VX100 side by side with the 65DF model in a very dark room. Any photo I post here could not accurately convey the visual differences, so I will simply say that the VX100 was clearly superior with extremely black blacks, excellent shadow detail, and extremely good color. Hands-down, it was just a clearly superior picture....

Of course, this revives the plasma v. LCD debate. Very generally, LCD is a wise choice for a bright room. But, in dark rooms, plasma is a real contender both in terms of black levels and color accuracy, as evidenced by the VX100.

Price for the 65-incher is not trivial: $10,000 a pop. But, to mitigate that a bit, Panasonic plans to market a 50-inch model soon. -Ken C. Pohlmann