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Panasonic To Ship $70K, 103” PDP In Dec.

Secaucus, N.J. — Panasonic formally announced that it will begin selling in December the 103W-inch 1,080p plasma TV, which made its debut at International CES, at a $69,999.95 suggested retail price.

The TH-103PZ600U, which is being billed as “the world’s largest plasma display,” will be produced in limited quantities on a build-to-order basis through select high-end A/V specialty dealers, but will come with a three-year in-home limited warranty, which Panasonic said is “unprecedented in the industry.”

“Panasonic didn’t create the world’s largest plasma TV as a technology demo for a trade show,” Andrew Nelkin, Panasonic’s display group VP, said in statement announcing the price. “We created it because, as worldwide sales of plasma TVs continue on a meteoric rise, the market is seeking bigger displays on which people can experience the high definition lifestyle.

“As important as it is to provide customers with the biggest and the best image, it is equally as important to Panasonic to provide extreme customer satisfaction,” said Nelkin. “With that goal in mind, we are offering customers an industry-first three-year in-home limited warranty with the 103-inch plasma. We believe our plasma TV customers are entitled to extra assistance to ensure they enjoy an easy transition to HDTV and get the full value of their investment.”

The TH-103PZ600U is said to have a contrast ratio of 4,000:1, and 4,096 equivalent steps of gradation. Its effective display area is more than 89.3 inches wide by more than 50.2 inches high.

“The super-size 103-inch 1080p panel is equivalent in size to four 50-inch Panasonic plasma displays,” Panasonic said.

The 103W-inch plasma TV joins Panasonic’s comprehensive line of plasma TVs including models in the following screen sizes: 37W inches, 42W inches, 50W inches, 58W inches and 65W inches (1,080p).

The 65W-inch 1,080p model, TH-65PX600U, will carry a $9,999.95 suggested retail price, and will ship in September, the company said.

The 103W-inch and other Panasonic PDPs, will be covered by Panasonic’s recently announced Panasonic plasma concierge program, which provides advice and answers from trained specialists to help users setup and use their Panasonic PDP displays.

Due to size and weight, the 103W-inch model will require custom installation service, the company said.