Panasonic Launches 50" HD Plasma Display
In September, Panasonic entered the big screen market with its new 50"-diagonal PT-50PD3 HDTV plasma monitor. Claimed to be capable of "almost three-dimensional" images, the big plasma unit has a brightness level of 500 cd/m2 and an incredible contrast ratio of 3000:1; the PT-50PD3 can display high definition digital television images in 1080i/720p resolution.
The PT-50PD3 is less than four inches thick and can be hung on the wall, or mounted on a mantel, table top, or can be freestanding on an accessory pedestal. Its screen has a 16:9 aspect ratio and specs a wide 160-degree viewing angle, eliminating the narrow beam of brightness that earlier flat panels produced. High brightness and wide viewing angle combine to create a distortion-free picture that can be enjoyed by everyone in the room, regardless of the location of their seats.
Video inputs include S-Video, RGB, and RS232C serial interface for multimedia use. Component video inputs (Y, PB, PR) accept interlaced or progressive signals from different video sources, such as a DVD player or DTV set-top box. Keeping the luminance (Y) and two color difference (PB, PR) signals separated yields a picture with exceptional detail and accurate color, according to advance publicity. The PT-50PD3 is also equipped with multiple A/V input jacks and features inboard stereo speakers each capable of eight watts of audio output power.
A companion digital receiver, the TU-HDS20, selling for approximately $900, makes the PT-50PD3 capable of receiving terrestrial digital broadcasts and DirecTV satellite signals. The receiver can pickup and decode both ATSC digital TV signals as well as NTSC analog signals. An accessory satellite dish, model TA-DA2420, sells for $99.95.
"The PT-50PD3 represents a giant leap in plasma panel technology, delivering a brighter, higher contrast picture than ever achieved before," said Jonas Tanenbaum, National Marketing Manager for Panasonic's Display Group. "Its extraordinarily realistic picture elevates home theater enjoyment to a new level. You really have to see it to believe it." The new 50" plasma display has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $15,999.95.