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Panasonic unveils monster flat-panels

PDP yourself stupid with a 50in screen

Panasonic has unveiled a range of new flat-panel displays and televisions yesterday, some with built-in DVD (digital versatile disc) players.

The two largest displays are 37in and 50in monsters based on PDP (plasma display panel) technology. Designed as televisions, they include digital satellite receivers and can support high-definition broadcasting at up to 720 horizontal lines, said the company. Other features include a 3000:1 contrast ratio and brightness of 650 candela per square metre.

An IEEE1394 port provides connectivity to digital home networks, while the SD (secure digital) memory card slot allows pictures taken with digital-still cameras to be viewed on the TV sets.

Pioneer's smaller sets, both of which have built-in DVD players, are based on widescreen LCD (liquid crystal display) technology and have screen sizes of 11in and 15in. The company claims the 12-millisecond screen refresh rate is the fastest in the industry.

Both displays will make their public debut on 2 October at the Ceatec electronics show near Tokyo, Japan. European release dates are unknown but the firm behind Pioneer, Matsuhita, plans to begin selling the 37in and 50in PDP TVs from 20 October in Japan for around £4,500 and a stunning £7,800 respectively.

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