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Review: Down the rabbit hole with Panasonic's Neo plasma

The Panasonic S1 series of plasma TVs is the company's least-expensive to feature the company's new, er, Neo PDP panel, which boasts better energy efficiency and deeper blacks.

The Panasonic TC-PS1 series of plasma TVs is the company's least-expensive to offer the new Neo PDP panel. CNET

For HDTV shoppers who recognize that burn-in and product lifespan, two bugaboos that have plagued the public perception of plasma TVs since their introduction, are largely not worth worrying about today, one potential hurdle on the path to plasma remains: power consumption. Plasma has always used significantly more power than LCD. Panasonic aims to narrow that gap with a new plasma display panel it calls, naturally, Neo PDP. The least expensive of the company's numerous 2009 plasma models to boast the new panel is the TC-PS1 series.

In our testing, we found that the S1 does indeed suck less juice than before. Its picture quality is also very good, starting with deep black levels that nearly rival the all-time champ in that department, Pioneer's Kuro models. Picture quality nitpicks include less-than-accurate color, which thanks to the company's minimal user-menu controls, cannot be adjusted. Despite these issues, we found a lot to like about the TC-PS1 series, not the least of which is its appealing price point.

Read the full review of the Panasonic TC-PS1 series