Panasonic 103-Inch Plasma TV
Panasonic’s 103-inch plasma TV took our breath away the first time we saw it demonstrated, even though the presentation took place in the company’s Secaucus, N.J., warehouse. In addition to not being conducive to optimal television viewing, the cavernous setting threatened to overwhelm the plasma’s most distinctive feature: its size. Indeed, while it was turned off, the television—which measures approximately 6 feet tall and 9 feet wide (about the same dimensions as a queen-size mattress turned on its side)—was swallowed up by its surroundings.
But the TH-103PZ600U, which weighs 450 pounds and requires a forklift for installation, captured our attention as soon as it was switched on. It delivered the largest, brightest, and most vivid picture we have ever seen from a TV, even with the warehouse lights illuminating the space. Colors are as rich as those in a Nicole Miller tie or scarf, and shadows appear as deep and as dark as anthracite. The 1,920-by-1,080-pixel display is also stunningly sharp, its density permitting comfortable viewing from as near as 5 feet. At that distance, however, you will be overwhelmed by the size of on-screen images; an actor’s head assumes colossal proportions when the camera zooms in for a close-up.
The TH-103PZ600U’s $70,000 price includes Panasonic’s Plasma Concierge plan, which provides a toll-free help line, live chat with plasma experts, and—in the unlikely event of a malfunction—priority service scheduling and loaner TVs.