Panasonic: our new AX900 LED TVs finally rival plasma

Panasonic: our new AX900 LED TVs finally rival plasma
Plasma's time is up

Panasonic has revealed to TechRadar that its latest 4K LED TV, the AX900, is as good as its plasma technology - with the company finally happy to make the jump fully into LED.

It was announced in October last year that Panasonic was ending its production of plasma televisions.
For AV enthusiasts this was the end of a brilliant era. Plasma was always seen as the better technology when compared to LCD and, more recently, LED.

With the advent of 4K LED, though, the writing was on the wall for plasma but Panasonic believes its AX900 range has what it takes to replace its much-heralded ZT plasma lineup.

Craig Cunningham, Viera Product Manager at Panasonic, spoke to TechRadar at the company's European conference in Amsterdam about the situation, saying: "The AX900 will be coming at the end of the summer and it will be what we are replacing our plasma business with.

"It has THX certification, local dimming, studio mastered colour... it is everything we had on plasma on an LED."

Back to black

To compare the quality of the AX900 to the ZT range we were shown side by side comparisons of the two TVs.

"The hardest part is always going to be replacing the blacks," explained Cunningham.

"LED uses dimming whereas plasma pixels lights themselves. You also have excellent colour control on plasma - but what it can't offer is depth and the power consumption is far worse than LED."

When shown the two panels we have to admit it was almost like for like when it came to colour reproduction - last year's 4K model was also on show but that just didn't compare.

The new local dimming also held its own against the plasma's self-lit pixels, while the blacks were inkier than we have seen on an LED setup.

"We are able to pick up tiny details that you just couldn't before," said Cunningham.

"If you look at the two blacks side by side then the Z2 may just win but all the other aspects mean that LED is better.

"It's sharper, lower powered, 4K and it also wins at the price point."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.