Pioneer has put its foot down and said it will stick with plasma TVs at this year's CES. Thankfully, its TVs have always been stylish and of high quality -- Crave has always maintained that they were the best plasmas on the market. However, if you want the very best, you'll have to be prepared to make an upgrade, because the PRO-FHD1, launched at CES on Wednesday with a 1080p high definition panel, isn't cheap at $10,000 (£5,700). On the other hand, if you've marked 2006 in your diary as 'Blu-Ray Time' it'll take your home movies up to the next level.
These TVs will automatically upscale all video signals coming in, and feature multiple high-definition sockets including DVI, HDMI and component video. You should therefore be able to hook up an Xbox 360, Blu-ray player and PC, and then get on with more important stuff such as watching TV and eating peanuts. No news on a UK release for these as yet: we suspect they'll be as exclusive as a McClaren F1 car though, and you certainly won't be able to walk into Dixons and buy one.
There are a number of more modest plasmas coming out from Pioneer this year too, with 50-inch (PDP-5060HD) and 43-inch (PDP-4360HD) TVs launching in September for $6,000 and $4,500 (£3,400 and £2,600) respectively. They are 'only' 1080i/720p compatible, and as plasma quickly loses ground to LCD, it will be interesting to see how well these models do. Stay tuned to find out who's got the biggest and best TVs at CES this year.
Visit our CES 2006 Special Report for more coverage. -GC