3:02 PM Here we are getting ready in a packed house for Panasonic to get big. Can they surpass Sharp's 108-inch LCD unveiled earlier today? Will they try?
3:05 PM Getting started. Chairman and CEO of North American Operations, Yoshi Yamada, entering stage. Plasma sales are the engine of Panasonic's growth. 51% market share in North America during 2006. 42-inch and 50-inch the "most wanted" HDTVs in the US.
Mark Cuban owns 103-inch TV, it's not just a novelty to show off at tradeshow, this is real product. John Chambers of Cisco owns one too. "A little too big" for Yoshi's apartment though.
3:12 PM showing off AVCHD video cameras meant to enable a "Living in High Definition' lifestyle.
This year, Panny is bringing a hybrid two-line VoIP phone. Broadband and conventional "cordless" connectivity. Call anywhere in the world without call charges. Amazon.com will act as exclusive launch partner. More details during the Spring.
3:15 PM Pushing Conceirge customer service program with gushing video of customers blathering about Panasonic's "deep commitment to the customer."
3:18 PM Jeff Cove, VP and GM of business planning "Mac" Makita enter stage for mock interview. Pusing Plasma TV again based on 5 points: 1) best for sports since moving images on 720p plasmas look better than 1080p LCDs. 2) best for movies due to "blacker" blacks, 3) best for watching with friends due to wider viewing angle, 4) best choice for long-term use with improvements in prosphorous giving an average of 60,000 hours to half-brightness... that's 27 years of viewing at 6 hours per day. And finally, 5) plasma is the most eco friendly solution since they are lead and mercury free.
They are so committed to plasma that they are building a second manufacturing plant in Japan, with assembly plants located throughout the world to keep prices down for distribution.
3:23 PM Plasma is not an old technology when compared to LCD, in fact, it's a "relatively young technology."
3:26 PM Panasonic working hard to dispel Plasma myths such as burn-in, recharge, etc. True, first gen panels had burn-in, but this is no longer an issue. Certainly no more so than CRTs. Plasma panels are also sturdier than LCD panels, particularly if you have kids.
3:28 PM First public display of 42-inch 1080p plasma display. Super Boat race on display.
3:31 PM Plasma is also easier on the eyes, reducing eye strain, according to research.
3:32 PM Andew Nelkin, VP of Panasonic display group to cover 2007 lineup. Movies and sports are what brings the customer to market for flat panel, 1080p purchases.
3:33 PM Panasonic is "the best" since they are designed to be televisions, not monitors, first with widest range of colors and fastest response times. 1080p was so last year, but many could not handle full motion video. Below 42-inch, 1080p is indistinguishable for most viewers. Hear that Sharp! Challenges us to view competing panels with moving images, not with pretty flowers on the display.
3:36 PM 2007 lineup ranges from 50 to 103-inches. Also previewing at CES the 42-inch prototype. 720p models will take on the looks of the 1080p models in the new year. Plasmas above 37-inch and LCD below continues to be the rule for Panny. 120Hz technology coming to IPS panels. LIFI technology also coming to rear-projection line-ups. That's long life, as in lamps "may never need replacement."
3:42 PM Johnny Lacoviello on stage, president sales and marketing. More on "Living in High Definition," blah blah, but what can you expect from the VP of marketing. Powerline, plasmas, digicams, etc.
3:44 PM Talking about how their digicams and camcorders mostly shoot in 16x9 including their new AVCHD cams with HDMI output and SDHC cards which plug directly into Panny's plasmas.
3:47 PM Pushing Blu-ray now... heard this before.
3:49 PM Finishing with Panny's ELS Home Theater System for those who might suffer a certain, uh, size insecurity. Oh man, they're hitting the whole line-up of CE products now: PowerLine computing, wired and wireless video conferencing cams... people are leaving in droves.
Ohhh, Blu-ray jazz club. They have live Jazz in their booth. Oh daddy, pass the jug of wine over here Jack!
It's over, no big-azz panels, just a very, very long lecture about why Sharp is wrong and Plasma is king.