When it comes to TVs, size really does matter. Panasonic is taking this theory to extremes by announcing the release of the world’s biggest Full HD 3D plasma display. The Japanese manufacturer showed a prototype of the 152-inch behemoth at CES this year where it was understandably drawing quite a crowd. Back in January Panasonic wasn’t confirming whether the TV would ever be commercially available, but it has now announced that it will start taking orders from July, with shipments starting in Japanese and American markets later this year.
For those without the wall space to accommodate a 152-inch monster Panasonic will also be releasing 103- and 85-inch models of its professional Full HD 3D PDP (Plasma Display Panel) line. The ultra-large panels feature a contrast ratio of 5,000,000:1, with the 152-inch model boasting a resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 - this adds up to 8.84 million pixels, or roughly quadruple the pixel count of Full HD 1,080 x 1,920 panels. Mathematicians will recognize that this means a non-standard aspect ratio of 17:9, however the 85- and 103-inch models will be 16:9 with 1,080 x 1,920 resolution.
The oversized panels use Panasonic’s newly developed ultra high-speed drive technology to keep up with fast-moving 3D imagery and reduce crosstalk. To shorten decay time by a third in comparison to conventional Panasonic Full HD plasma models, new short-decay time phosphors have been installed.
Additionally, Panasonic says the inclusion of the world's first motion vector prediction allows high-precision light emission controls to predict not only backward and forward movement, but also left-right and diagonal movement to heighten drive speed, thereby allowing a higher illuminating speed of about one fourth the time of conventional models.
For high quality 3D images the new panels incorporate a newly developed “professional quality engine” that ups the signal processing of each pixel from 20 to 30-bit. Panasonic says this allows all color and brilliance signals to be reproduced accurately, as well as achieving double the color reproducibility of its conventional PF12 Series Full HD plasma displays.
The models are also equipped with Panasonic’s “SLOT2.0”, which allows for the connection of various interfaces including DVI and HD-SDI.
Although you’re no doubt mentally picturing where to place a 152-inch TV in your home, Panasonic is anticipating professional users such as corporations, stores, amusement facilities, educational institutions, art galleries and museums will be the main markets for the ultra-large panels.
Panasonic hasn’t announced pricing details for its ultra-large panels yet, but expect an ultra-large price tag to match. Word is upwards of US$500,000 for the 152-inch model.