By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY, NSW: Some consumers like plasma, others prefer LCD, but Panasonic Australia’s Paul Reid says plasma is best for fast moving images, and he’s willing to prove it.

When it comes to choosing the ideal TV, it comes down to the consumer’s eye, which picture they prefer, what sort of content they will be viewing (whether it’s sports, movies or computer games) and what sort of viewing conditions they have in their living room. Some consumers prefer the LCD picture and others prefer the look of plasma. But Panasonic Australia director – Consumer Electronics Group, Paul Reid, says plasma still has the edge.

“Our view is that the best technology for fast moving images is plasma, because the refresh rate is virtually instantaneous,” said Reid.

“We talk a bit about our sub-field drive technology, which runs at 600 Hz, but whilst it’s not an ‘apples for apples’ comparison with the refresh rate that LCD brands talk about, we’re ready to stack up our TVs side-by-side with any other technology in the market and we’re confident that plasma will always come out on top because of the fundamental nature of the technology.”

Reid says that the fundamental way that plasma TVs operate makes them better at fast-moving images.

“Without getting too technical, we’re not expecting a crystal to rotate to create an image, it’s just an instantaneous electrical impulse illuminating a pixel and this is one of the reasons why Panasonic chooses plasma TV for our upcoming 3D technology…”

Reid also points to the contrast and black levels and says that plasma still offers blacker blacks.

“There are two kinds of contrast numbers being quoted in the market, which can get quite confusing for consumers: native contrast and dynamic contrast… and not a lot of LCD brands talk about their native contrast … we quote both numbers … but in terms of black levels … let the eyes be the judge.

“In living room conditions, side-by-side with any LCD on the market, plasma will outperform in terms of black levels and next year we’ll lift the bar again in terms of black levels in the market.”

Reid also said that plasma outperforms LCD in terms of viewing angles, however he went out on another angle regarding Panasonic’s LCD TVs.

“If a consumer moves to the side and looks at a plasma they notice that there’s virtually no change in contrast as you move off to really acute [viewing] angles, with LCD you will see a degradation of contrast. But the one technology that has started to overcome that deficiency in LCD is what’s called IPS-Alpha LCD and that’s Panasonic’s.

“You will notice that with Panasonic LCD TVs, they have much better off-axis contrast than any traditional LCD panel — its still not a s good as plasma in our view, but still much better than other LCDs on the market. If you’re looking for that wide viewing angle, you should really choose plasma or IPS-Alpha LCD.”