Panasonic Announces 8th Generation Plasma Series 
Home Theater News Plasma HDTV News
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Friday, 02 September 2005

Panasonic is introducing six new displays in its 8-series professional panels. The new models are four high-definition panels (the 65-inch TH-65PHD8UK, 50-inch TH-50PHD8UK, 42-inch TH-42PHD8UK and 37-inch TH-37PHD8UK) and two standard panels (the 42-inch TH-42PWD8UK and 37-inch TH-37PWD8UK). The models all feature improved brightness, a new cabinet design and lower list prices.

The 8-series high definition plasmas have a 3000:1 contrast ratio while the standard models have a 4000:1 ratio. The widescreen units use a new Real Black Drive System to produce high-level dark area contrast and a Deep Black Filter for high contrast in bright rooms. Other picture-improving technologies include Advanced Real Gamma System, Motion Picture Disturbance noise reduction, Active Interlace/Progressive Conversion 3D Color Management system and Adaptive Automatic Gain Control. The plasmas produce up to 8.58 billion colors and reproduce gradations in steps of 2,048 shades. The light-efficient bounded cell-structure also boosts brightness by more than 15 percent compared to previous models and the newly-developed phosphor is said to increase resistance to static-image burn-in.

The displays are highly customizable with ten optional terminal boards that can be installed in one of three interchangeable slots in the 42-, 50- and 65-inch models or one of two open slots on the 37-inch panels. Optional touch panels for the larger displays even allow users to write directly onto the screen with a pen. The larger displays can also be positioned vertically to show portrait images. Resolutions vary from 1366x768 for the 50-inch and 65-inch to 1024x768 for the 42-inch and 1024x720 for the 37-inch HD models to 852x480 for the SD units. The 8-series can display 1080p/i, 720p, 480p/i and 576p/i.

Suggested prices are $1,895 and $2,095 for the standard sets and vary from $2,995 to $15,495 for the HD units. All sets are available now except for the 65-inch unit, which will ship in October.

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