Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said Thursday it will offer the world’s first full high-definition 65-inch plasma display panel TVs with a price tag of less than 1 million yen.
The maker of Panasonic products also unveiled a new line of PDP TV sets that have 30 percent to 40 percent cheaper retail prices than last year’s models.
The announcement came as rival makers have started previewing their new lineups for the all-important yearend shopping season. The world’s largest PDP-TV maker aims to hold onto its dominant position by selling more affordable models.
“Our domestic PDP-TV market share stood at a little over 70 percent during the first half,” Shunzo Ushimaru, head of Matsushita’s domestic marketing division, told a news conference. “We aim to keep at least a 60 percent share during the yearend season.”
The full high-definition 65-inch model is scheduled to go on sale Nov. 1. The price has not been set, but company officials said it will probably retail for about 990,000 yen.
The projected price is about 40 percent lower than 65-inch PDP TVs currently in stores.
Compared with the current HD models, Matsushita’s full HD TV — with 1,920 horizontal and 1,080 vertical resolutions — has twice the number of pixels to give finer image definition, the company officials said.
Competition in the flat-screen TV market has intensified recently, as makers of PDP TVs and liquid crystal display TVs are scrambling to introduce bigger models.
Earlier this month, Sharp Corp. released what it is boasting as the world’s largest LCD TV set, with a 65-inch screen and a suggested retail price of 1.68 million yen.
The company has been aggressively marketing large models to lure customers away from PDP TVs.
Aware of the Sharp offensive, Matsushita officials said during the news conference that only 65-inch PDP TVs can take full advantage of all the HD features.
Matsushita, based in Kadoma, Osaka Prefecture, will also introduce what it calls an entry-level PDP TV series, offering screen sizes of 50 inches, 42 inches and 37 inches.
They will be between 30 percent and 40 percent cheaper than those set for last year’s models, according to the officials. A 37-inch TV will probably sell for about 340,000 yen.
Some industry officials have said sales of flat-screen TVs will increase when the price drops below 10,000 yen per inch.
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