Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd announced Feb 5, 2008, that it will release a new PDP TV incorporating part of a technology to reduce the power consumption by half. The product is slated for launch in spring 2008.

"We plan to expand the lineup so that we will be able to reduce the power consumption of all (Panasonic) PDP TVs to be on par with that of LCD TVs by FY2009," said Toshihiro Sakamoto, Senior Managing Director of Panasonic and President of Panasonic AVC Networks Co.

The plan was unveiled at the strategy meeting on PDP business and the factory tour at the company's PDP plant in Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan conducted on the same day.

Thus far, power saving efficiency has been regarded as a weak point of PDP panels because they consume more power than LCD panels. On Jan 8, 2008, the company unveiled the "Neo PDP" technology, which can double the PDP luminous efficiency.

Based on this technology, the power consumed by a PDP panel can be reduced by half for the same brightness because the luminous efficiency is doubled. The company intends to employ part of the technology in the new product.

Improvement in power saving efficiency of flat-screen TVs is required in order to reduce CO2 emissions. In Japan, power consumption is regulated for target standard values based on the top runner method in the Energy Conservation Law and the regulations are in force until fiscal 2008.

According to the regulations, the annual power consumption of a 43-inch (effective screen size) LCD TV (without additional functions) is set to 282.5kWh, whereas that of a PDP TV is set to 369.7kWh. The regulations are currently quite lenient for PDP TVs.

In contrast, the standard value now under consideration by the European Union (EU) will be "commonly applied to both LCD and PDP TVs and products that fail to comply with the standard cannot be sold in the EU region," said Masaaki Fujita, senior vice president and director, PDP TV Business Unit and Executive Officer in the Visual Products and Display Devices Business Group at Panasonic AVC Networks. This is rather tough for PDP TVs.

Upon the implementation of the next regulations, the same standards are likely to be applied to LCD and PDP TVs in Japan as well. As a result of improvement in power saving efficiency mentioned above, Panasonic products will be able to adequately meet the stricter regulation, the company said.

Correction Notice: In the original article, we incorrectly stated that Matsushita Electric Industrial will release "a new PDP TV incorporating a technology to reduce the power consumption by half." In fact, the company will release a new PDP TV incorporating "part of" a technology to reduce the power consumption by half. We apologize for the mistake and regret any misunderstanding it may have caused.