Panasonic Recently Announces High-Contrast Plasma Display

No projector, no screen, no giant box dominating the room--just a bright, clear picture hanging on the wall. It's the dream of many home theater enthusiasts, and Panasonic is helping to make it come true. The Japanese manufacturer has announced huge advances in contrast ratio––boosting it from a middling 400:1 to a mind-boggling 2000:1--and resulting in, the company says, brighter whites and darker blacks.

Panasonic will soon be shipping its new TH-50PHD3U, a 50-inch diagonal high-definition display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and UXGA resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. The unit offers panel brightness of more than 500 cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of over 2000:1, with an astronomical number of possible colors and a viewing angle of more than 160 degrees, which might cause you to say goodbye to the sweet spot.

Due to arrive at dealers this fall, this family-friendly monitor will be followed by others with even better specifications. Panasonic's parent company Matsushita has delivered 42-inch plasma displays promising a 3000:1 contrast ratio, similar to the best CRT monitors. Matsushita will build a new fabrication plant for volume production of plasma displays, according to a recent announcement. At the present rate of improvement, plasma may become the dominant display technology for home theater within a few years.