Plasma – like it or not – is losing ground on LCD. This is understandable because the latter is cheaper, offers higher resolutions on smaller panels (even if this has negligible real world effect) and draws less power. My issue however is that their picture still isn't as good and surely that is a pretty big factor for a TV. Still, the gap is shrinking and Philip looks set to erode it even further...
It has announced updates to its Ambilight line of LCDs (which we love so much) with new 42in, 47in and 52 inchers on the way and the big news: LED backlighting. No contrast ratios are listed (they're a pretty bogus quality measure anyway) but this is a technology which 1. Saves power (nice) and 2. Pushes LCD black levels far closer to plasma (nicer).
The backing cast to this star is impressive as well with Full HD 1080p native resolutions across the board, 120Hz engines to smooth picture motion and zippy 8ms response times. Philip's much respected 'Perfect Pixel HD' image processing tomfoolery also makes it inside, though I'd have hoped a newer version may have been available by now.
That said I'm sure this last factor contributes to one of the most exciting aspects of the new line: their imminent arrival time. Both the 42in (42PFL9832D) and 47in (47PFL7432D) are hitting stores next month (confusingly) for $2,999 and $2,799 (yes, I think it must be a typo too). If your heart is set on the big fella then you'll have to wait until September, but that will give you time to save up the $3,599 required.
Fingers crossed these dates and prices are mirrored in the UK. Tightly crossed... like Gordian knot crossed.