Every year since that sad day Pioneer announced its exodus from the plasma TV market videophiles have looked to Panasonic to take the baton forward and push picture quality to new heights, but so far it has come up short in the one metric that many consider the most important; black levels. Plenty of TVs have great realistic colors, vivid whites and great contrast, but there is something about staring into the abyss that is a Kuro that warms the heart. So while it is debatable whether a TV with better contrast, but greyer blacks can be better than a Kuro, the debate might be over if Panasonic's engineers are to be believed. At an event in New York City last week they did just that, telling members of the press that Panasonic's new VT30 line will indeed match the black levels of the 2009 Kuros. Apparently the key is the new and improved louver structure of the filter that blocks reflective light, which block ambient light -- and Kuro fans are mocked for saying the Kuro is blacker when its off than other TVs, ha. We'll have to wait to see if the reviewers agree before we get excited, but it is still pretty crazy to think it's taken this long for the industry to catch up with where Pioneer was years ago in at least one category.