Tonight in Denver, Panasonic revealed its newest plasma technology, the 65" custom-install-only VX100 monitor, whose specs meet or beat Pioneer's hallowed Kuro. That means 60,000:1 contrast ratio with 7,160 shades of gradation for visible detail in the darker shadows. At 65 inches, you will pay $10,000 a panel, but not to worry: Panasonic will roll out a 50 incher soon, which is sure to be (a teeny tiny tad) cheaper. We sat in a dark room and got to compare the VX100 with its predecessor, the 65PF. Though the results in the room were startlingly vivid, you can get a sense of what's going on here in our still shots:

If you're really crazy about TV technology, jump for a second gallery of slides from the presentation-but, as they say on MythBusters, there's some "science content" ahead, so put the drink down and focus...

Though the first buyers will likely be rich dudes, the movie business is also going to be interested in it as a monitor, since it can handle 120% of the HDTV color gamut, enough to maybe get a good looking movie on a TV for one damn time. And let's not forget that Pioneer has shut down its own panel production lines and plans to go with Panasonic's. I asked if Pioneer would get a shot at the sweet new one-though there wasn't a straight answer, the sense I got was "probably not, at least not at first." Go Panasonic, kicking some TV ass!