Panasonic: Plasma is still the best TV technology

Panasonic hired a lot of ex-Pioneer engineers and Estornel says the DNA from those Pioneer prototypes can be found in the latest Panasonic products. However, he adds that to produce a 9mm thick plasma TV is still far too expensive and is very unlikely to ever happen.

"In the ZT you definitely find some of those technologies, especially the infinite black or whatever they called it at that time. I think there's a bit of that in the DNA. But with the super slim… it's still a cost issue to be really honest. If you look at the kind of customers that plasma is appealing to, they are not that bothered about the slimness, they are not bothered about the fact that the frame is wider than what you can have on an LED.

"Plasma is about sheer picture quality and people buy a product like ZT or VT because they want to get the best picture quality. So I'm not convinced that having a super slim plasma will make much difference and it would increase the price significantly. But with the infinite black, it was just a matter of time to make the technology more affordable because in 2008 it would have been sky high to put a product like that onto the market."

Indeed, we remember those prototypes had ever-present armed guards standing by to make sure no one touched, damaged or outright stole them.

"This is part of the reason why we've said that the ZT will have limited availability anyway because it's a difficult panel to produce and at Panasonic we have a lot of power with plasma and we have the ability to produce the panels which back then Pioneer could not do."

If you, like us, are looking forward to finding out just how good the new ZT60 and VT60 plasma TVs are, you're in luck - we should have some review samples in the next few months so keep an eye out for the usual in-depth TechRadar reviews.

James Rivington

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