Panasonic Unveils 150 Inches of Plasma Glory!

In addition to the big dog, the company showed off a new super-thin plasma, a 50-inch that's less than one inch thick (24.7mm for you metric fans). Not sure how this measures up to Pioneer's new thin-screen, but the trend is clear.

Not surprisingly, "green" was an early and oft-hit drumbeat. Flat-screen TVs are a huge power suck, so the company announced a new technology called double luminance efficiency that cuts the energy consumption in half without sacrificing brightness. (Still, I'm curious how fast that 150-incher would make your meter turn.) It also pledged to reduce its total carbon emissions by 300,000 tons, and to cut its worst energy-sucking appliances from the line by next year. All a little vague, but it's good to see the leading CE companies at least talking about this.

Panasonic also brought up the CEO of Comcast to talk about two cable developments. First, a new standard called tru2way. Basically, it means you can have the cable box built into the TV (the company said sets will be available in late 2008), and still do interactive things like on-demand and pay-per-view, something missing from today's lame cable-card technology. This is built on the Open Cable standard, which means that it shouldn't be just limited to Comcast, but we'll see. They also showed a prototype of a new cable box with a built-in portable video player called AnyPlay. It looks sorta like a portable DVD player, but holds all the programs you've recorded on your DVR. It has an 8.5-inch screen and a 60-gigabyte hard drive.

Other bits:
An Internet-connected TV with a built-in YouTube interface and auto connection to Google's Picasa photo software.

A Wi-Fi-equipped digital camera that automatically uploads to Picasa.

Some crazy LifeWall interactive whole-wall screen a la Fahrenheit 451 but without the oppressive government (I think) - we'll hit the live demo at the booth later and fill in some deets on that.

Update: The LifeWall live demo in Panny's booth consists of two actors standing in front of a cheesy projection screen. No true-life demos yet.

Want more? Check out our entire CES 2008 coverage here.