Introducing the world's largest TV...

January 7, 2008 2:04:27 PM PST
Electronics giant Panasonic unveiled a 150-inch plasma television today, the largest of its kind in the world, Pansaonic said, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The 11-foot wide television, dubbed the Life Screen, is the size of nine 15-inch plasma television screens. The TV dwarfed Panasonic President Toshiro Sakamoto on stage as he introduced the screen at a well-attended news conference. The company rolled out a 103- inch TV at last year's CES.

"We believe life screen gives new meaning to reality TV," he said. "[It is] designed especially for digital cinema and commercial installations, but I'm sure it will be found in some very luxurious homes in the future."

Sakamoto also announced the development, with partner Comcast, of AnyPlay, the first portable DVD DVR player. The player initially looks like a set-top box and operates as a DVR recorder, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Bryan Roberts explained when he joined Sakamoto on the stage.

Unlike typical DVR devices, however, the AnyPlay can be opened up like a small mobile laptop on which consumers can watch any programs they've recorded or any on-demand video available through Comcast.

Panasonic and Comcast also announced True2Way, an open platform system for cable systems. The open nature of the system allows developers to create software and programs for the systems. It also allows consumers with True2Way-ready televisions to watch live sporting events from any vantage point they want; for example, if you want to watch a particular golfer, with True2Way, which will be rolled out nationwide soon, viewers can switch to that camera and watch the live feed.

"By working together, we have developed whole new digital interactive cable-ready devices," Roberts said.

True2Way televisions will be available from Panasonic later this year.

With a continued focus on wireless, Panasonic also showcased its wireless technology HomeBase and announced the development of Internet-ready HDTVs, both of which will be available by early next year.

"Our vision is to take TV beyond the conventional entertainment to become the center of our home information center," Sakamoto said. "Much of this is already happening in Japan and will become more and more popular around the world in the next few years."