Yesterday, Panasonic says that its new 4K LED Life+Screen TVs have picture quality that’s just as good as its recently murdered plasma line. I spent some time with the 85-incher. Plasma was wonderful, but everything’s gonna be OK. There can still be beauty.
A/V nerds breathed a sigh of achy nostalgia when Panasonic told the world a few months ago that it was killing plasma TV line. For all their inefficiencies, plasmas achieve beautiful picture quality some people say LED can’t match. The deep blacks! Please god, don’t kill those deep blacks!
One thing a 4K TV is always going to have over plasmas is detail. Like all 4k TVs, Panny’s Life+ TV is sharp. It’s a really stunning effect you get when you cram endless pixels into a screen.
But what about the blacks? Maybe it was the content Panasonic carefully selected for its CES demo, but damn, they were deep — and not at the expense of brightness either. The TVs had really nice dynamic range. The Panny demo also went to lengths to illustrate that its Plasmas could handle motion as smoothly as plasma TVs, and indeed, the video contained some long pans and flowy dresses, in which the image moved around without the slightest distortion.
Now, I didn’t have an old plasma Panasonic Viera to compare the new Life+Screen 4K to, but I couldn’t find anything to dislike about the picture quality. I should note that an old Pioneer Kuro plasma is my favourite TV I’ve ever had the pleasure of living with. I love plasma. We’ll be just fine without it.