Panasonic's new Viera PZ plasmas, 42, 50, 58, 65-inch

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We were out at a Panasonic launch event yesterday, covering a range of their newest product line ups - TVs, projectors, and cameras. We thought we'd start with the TVs, such is the lust for HD out there. Especially Full HD, and everything we saw was just that. 42-, 50-, 58- and 65-inch models are now on the page.

Some interesting stats were thrown around that point to a renewed plasma take up. For a while there LCD was gaining on plasma in the big screen space (obviously LCD has won the war of smaller screens). But now plasma has extended its dominance of the 37-inch and larger screen space, moving out to 61% of this space.

Could be something to do with the massive increase in panel life expectancy, with this latest Viera range claiming a half-life of 100,000 hours. That's 8 hours a day for 35 years. That, and the serious chops for sport and action reproduction.

More deets and pricing after the jump. The 65-inch price is TBA, but you can expect it to be priced to suit that lifestyle image - if you have a grand piano in your living room, you might be the type who can afford one.All models have built-in SDHC card readers for viewing photos on the screen. As a bonus, the 58- and 65-inch models have video decoders built into the reader, so you can playback MPEG-2 and AVCHD video, which matches nicely with Panny's SDHC camera range (we'll look at those shortly).

We're all up at 16-bit signal processing now, and the top two models claim 10,000:1 contrast, with 5,000:1 in the 42- and 50-inchers. There's also a new anti-glare filter on the glass, though we weren't viewing in conditions that would show us what kind of impact this has in side or front lit conditions.

They also all support Viera Link (Panasonic's HDMI-CEC system), so if you're a Panny fanboy/girl you can control all your bits from the TV remote.

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Price:

Viera TH-42PZ700A (42-inch): $4,399 Viera TH-50PZ700A (50-inch): $5,499 Viera TH-58PZ700A (58-inch): $9,899 Viera TH-65PZ700A (65-inch): $TBA