Usually when you see truly ridiculously large screens being exhibited at technology shows, you know they're just examples of macho brand posturing that will never actually go on sale. But not so with Panasonic's TH-103PF9 monitor.
This 103-inch plasma beast is actually available to buy in the UK. Provided, that is, you've got the small matter of around £50,000 burning a hole in your pocket.
Not surprisingly, the thing we like most about the TH-103PF9 is simply its truly gargantuan screen size. To give you some kind of handle on just how big this really is, its screen acreage will accommodate four 50-inch TVs and still have a few inches left over.
Obviously such a massive picture won't suit your average living room. But there's a definite case for using one instead of a projector in a dedicated home cinema room, since it gives you the same picture size as a typical projector, without the need for complete darkness.
What's more, since the 103PF9 directly produces its own light rather than reflecting light off a screen as happens with a projector, we found that it produced levels of brightness and contrast that few, if any, projectors can compete with.
The 103PF9 pleasingly sports many of the same technologies and image-processing tricks found in Panasonic's far smaller plasma models and as a result our high-definition sources withstood the journey up to such a monstrous size remarkably well.
In fact, if anything, the magnitude of the 103PF9's screen simply emphasises how great HD video is. The screen carries a 'Full HD' resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels, with the facility to map 1,920x1,080 sources directly to those pixels. And in this configuration we guarantee your jaw will hang open at the sharpness, detailing and clarity with which the screen shows HD sources.
With natural colours and black levels thrown in for good measure, the experience while watching an HD film really is akin to being at the cinema. Or if you happen to be playing an HD game on your PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, well -- let's just say that 50 grand suddenly feels like the best second mortgage you've ever spent.