Panasonic Finally Rolls Out 150″ PLasma


The President of Panasonic has painted an upbeat picture of his company during a keynote speech at the CES Expo in Las Vegas. Toshihiro Sakamoto, President of Panasonic AVC Networks company, literally announced some big news: a 150″ plasma TV.

The huge display, which bests Panasonic’s 103-inch plasma, boasts four times the resolution of current HD displays but also manages to cut down on power consumption by 50 percent.

Staying with the TV theme, Sakamoto also unveiled new plasma displays that are less than an inch thick, or about 24.7 millimeters, which is about 1/4 the width of previous models. They’re also about half the weight of previous TVs and boast the same power conservation as the 150-inch. The TVs won’t be coming until next year when Panasonic completes construction on a new manufacturing facility.

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If the 150-inch isn’t big enough for you, Panasonic showed off its Life Wall, which is actually in use in Japan. This huge display replaces an actual wall and can be customized with photos and backgrounds that you can drag and position. The display has an internet connection so you can visit the web and send and receive video calls. It also boasts facial recognition so it can offer up menus customized for you.

Another cool announcement was a new portable digital video recorder through a partnership with US company Comcast. It acts like a regular set top box but when you want to watch something on the go, whether it’s recorded content or DVDs, you just pick it up and watch TV on the 8.5-inch screen.

Panasonic is also working with cable operators like Foxtel, which has settled on a standard technology for its services. Panasonic can now begin offering televisions that can also serve as cable set top boxes. And the new televisions can also support interactive services for cable companies. SmartHouse has been told that Foxtel has been exploring this concept.

Panasonic is also doing the connected-TV thing, allowing people to plug their set into their Internet source. Users will be able to call up information from the Weather Channel or Bloomberg and also view videos and pictures on YouTube and Picasa.

One other cool thing was the Homebase Wireless HD system, that allows you to wirelessly move HD video from a device straight to the TV. That’s something a lot of companies are doing but Panasonic also showed how you can place a camcorder on the Homebase device and it will wirelessly pull the video from the camera and then you can stream it over the TV. No wires.

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