If you were to take a look at what TVs your friends and family are purchasing, chances are hardly any of them own a Panasonic. So it may come as a surprise that Panasonic flat screen TVs - especially Plasmas - have been media darlings for quite a few years now. In fact, on their UK website, Panasonic claim their VIERA series is the most award-winning television range of 2012.
This year's annual Panasonic Convention was held in Nice, France and the company showcased all kinds of products including twelve new Plasma models. The VIERA plasma line-up consists of screen sizes ranging from 42-inch to 65-inch, but the star of the show was the flagship Smart VIERA ZT60.
In an interview with TechRadar, the head of Panasonic's TV business in the UK Fabrice Estornel said he believes the ZT60 is best TV on the planet in terms of picture quality. And though he admits plasma sales are struggling in the entry-level market, he believes if it is picture quality you are after then plasma is the way to go.
"Many watch movies in ambient rooms. It's not like LED which is bright and more in your face, which a lot of people like. But with plasma it's a different kind of appreciation for the TV experience. So for sports and movie it's still the best technology."
As far as Plasma vs. LCD tech goes, it's safe to say that plasmas are better at motion reproduction and have higher contrast levels at the cost of a bulkier chassis and lower brightness. It's easy to see how those two drawbacks make plasma sets less "sexy" on a showroom floor.
The good news for plasma aficionados still brooding over the loss of Pioneer's legendary Kuro range is that a lot of the engineers responsible for Kuro, moved from Pioneer to Panasonic. Estornel says there's a lot of Pioneer DNA in the new Panasonics and goes as far as to say their new plasmas are better than the Kuro.
"That's the way that technology goes, Kuro was a great product at that time, but now there's better on the market."