Plasma star a new bright light
Plasma televisions were once a luxury technology only the wealthy could afford. Prices have fallen by 20 per cent to 30 per cent in the past two years since liquid-crystal display TVs started to provide much-needed competition, but plasma TVs are still considered the best money can buy.
At the CeBIT exhibition in Hanover last month, NEC unveiled a stunner - the PlasmaSync 42VP4 - which received rave reviews at the show.
The 42VP4 is now in Hong Kong, selling in most Fortress stores for HK$45,800.
It is evident that the price gap between LCD and plasma TVs is closing. Two years ago, a 42-inch plasma TV would cost twice that price.
The 42-inch, 28.5kg beauty's main advantage over NEC's previous models is better brightness.
NEC has increased the brightness and contrast of the 42VP4 to 700 Candela per square metre, 10 per cent more than its previous models, the 42MP3 and 42PD3. The contrast ratio at 1,500:1 provides crisp, sharp images even in bright daylight.
The ultimate test of all plasma TVs is video quality. The naked eye is the best judge of screen resolution. The best way of telling which type of television is better - cathode ray tube, LCD, projection or plasma - is to compare them by playing the same material at the same time from the same input signal.
NEC PlasmaSync 42VP4
Pros: Better brightness and contrast, crisp and sharp picture