CES – The Last Word

The show may be over, but there were just a few more things worth mentioning.

It took pretty much the whole weekend to recover from the physical and mental assault that is the Consumer Electronics Show, and now I find myself sitting back at my desk sifting through the case full of press releases, on paper, CD and memory key. So I figured that I may as well write one final report listing some of the especially cool stuff that I didn’t get a chance to cover while I was out in Vegas.

First up is Panasonic’s new 42in 1080p Plasma TV. Now the reason why this is interesting comes down to the nature of plasma, where the resolution was directly related to physical size. This was due to the plasma chambers which needed to be a minimum physical size for a number of reasons, not least of which was the resultant drop in brightness that would come from smaller chambers.

But now Panasonic has managed to reduce the phosphor chambers to a level where a 42in plasma TV with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 is a reality. Not only has Panasonic achieved this feat, it has done it without any loss of brightness – the prototype Viera 42in 1080p plasma boasts exactly the same brightness as Panasonic’s current 768 line 42in screen!

Panasonic wasn’t the only company showing off a 1080p 42in plasma, with Hitachi showcasing a similar screen on its stand. Hitachi assured me that 42in is a small as 1080 line plasma screens will go, but I got no such confirmation from Panasonic. That said, Panasonic is a firm believer that LCD is a better option below 37in, so it’s a very safe bet to say that 37in would be the ultimate limit for Panny.

I’ve got to say that one of the things that has had me swaying towards LCD for my next TV purchase is my desire for 1080p functionality, but now I’m not so sure.

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