Panasonic plasma TV at CES 2013

A certain demographic of home theater connoisseurs has fretted for a few weeks over talk that Panasonic might end plasma TV production and research -- would viewers have to resort to anything so vulgar as... an LCD? No, Panasonic says. Despite earlier claims of frozen development, the company's merchandising VP Henry Hauser is emphatic that there remains "room for further improvement" in the plasma realm, and that Panasonic fully intends to develop upgrades. The Viera ZT series we saw at CES will be a launchpad for future work, according to the executive. Hauser's full statement awaits after the break if there are any lingering doubts; for now, it appears that Panasonic values plasma's distinct qualities as much as the next basement movie maven.

"Reports that Panasonic will no longer develop and manufacture Plasma HDTVs are not correct.

"This week in New York City, Panasonic demonstrated the latest development of our gapless Plasma panel technology in our 2013 Smart VIERA ZT Series Plasma HDTV. The technology incorporated into our ZT Series Studio Master Panel will be the basis for continued plasma display panel development and production. While the Smart VIERA ZT Series introduces a new level of Plasma picture quality, we believe there is still room for further improvement and intend to continue to research ways to take our Plasma technology to even higher levels where it also has the potential to be applied in our other Plasma series in the future.

"VIERA Plasma HDTVs continue to set the standard for picture quality and black level excellence and the ZT Series is another example of the continued ability of Plasma to evolve and continue to deliver a best-in-class HDTV."

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Panasonic buries rumors of plasma TV's death