By James Wells

SYDNEY: Panasonic Australia has declined to comment on the local availability of its new 103-inch plasma television, which could be launched in North America as early as December this year.

The 103-inch television, which was first launched at the Las Vegas CES Show in January was shown again last night at the New York Stock Exchange at its ‘Closing Bell’.

Panasonic’s panel is one-inch larger than Samsung’s 102-inch plasma television which was displayed in Sydney last year.

In a press release issued to New York journalists, Panasonic said it had to be careful to make sure the reliability and quality of its 103-inch screen was identical to its smaller screens which range from 37-inches up to 65-inches.

The press release hinted at a December 2006 launch in North America. The largest commercially available plasma television is LG’s 71-inch model which retails for $US50,000.

“Panasonic has no local comment at this stage. It is too early to comment,” said Panasonic Australia spokesperson, Paris Brimo.

LG.Philips LCD, a joint venture between the Dutch Royal Philips Electronics and South Korean LG Electronics, recently developed the world’s largest TFT-LCD panel with a 100-inch corner-to corner dimension.

LG.Philips superseded the 82-inch LCD panel released by Samsung.