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Panasonic, father of the 103-inch plasma display, comes down to earth with something practical with its 9-series plasma displays it introduced at Infocomm. There are three HD plasma panels in the series, the 50" TH-50PH9UK, the 42" TH-42PH9UK, and the 37" TH-37PH9UK, and then there's one standard definition panel along for the ride, the 42" TH-42PS9UK. These babies are packing some serious numbers, were Panasonic claims a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, bringing out those deep blacks that are an inherent strength of plasma.

Panasonic also attempts to alleviate one of the weaknesses of plasma, eliminating burn-in with its proprietary phosphor technology that the company says keeps that pesky tendency down to the same level you see with conventional CRTs. A/V pros will like the multifunction input slots on the back where they can add combinations of optional terminals to gang the displays together for multimedia extravaganzas, or use them with PCs or on a network. Plus, they're easier to carry around, were Panasonic says their weight is 15% less than their predecessors. Available in July, the 50-inch model will be $3995, the 42-inch panel will be $2995, and the 37-incher will be $2595. That standard definition 42" screen will go for $2009.

Press release [Panasonic Broadcast]