CEATEC Japan 2009: Panasonic goes big on 3D TV and green credentials

If Toshiba's stand here at CEATEC is all about its Cell Regza technology, Panasonic is pinning its colours on a 3D future for TV, and a greener future for consumer electronics.

But it isn't without a taste of even bigger and better things to come: it's showing a huge TV displaying images in the 4k2k standard – the Super Hi-Vision standard currently being worked on by broadcasters such as Japan's NHK.

And while the big 103in screen showing 3840x2160-pixel images is impressive enough, both with the usual 'trains chugging through snowy landcsape' stuff and some high-speed drag-racing action, Panasonic is saying even this resolution isn't the destination, but merely a stop along the way.

The target? 7680x4320-pixel TV...

And as company president Fumio Ohtsubo made clear in his keynote speech here yesterday, Panasonic is also being driven by green considerations: "Eco will be the centre of our all our activities," he said.

He compared the need for a change in thinking with the Industrial Revolution and the way information technology changed the 20th century, saying that "The 21st century needs a great revolution to realise sustainable growth and break our dependence on oil."

That thinking extends from the new developments in TVs - the company's latest NeoPDP plasma display panels offer the same brightness while offering huge energy savings - to intelligent ways of reducing energy consumption in the home, and more efficient power supply systems.

That includes the fuel-cell technology the company has shown in the past, but also uses Viera Link technology to control complete systems, thus optimising power consumption.

The 3D offering here majors on the company's tie-up with James Cameron's Avatar movie, but is also about the feasibility of the system for home entertainment, covering everything from sports to movies.

Consumers are able to view content on a number of 50in 3D plasma displays, as well as experiencing clips from Avatar in a dedicated 3D cinema.

I'll be covering 3D, and just how big it is to Panasonic, in a future blog – for now, click here to watch our video giving a brief look at the Panasonic CEATEC stand.

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.