270″ Plasma HDTV?

A report on Tech.co.uk reports that a company, Shinoda Plasma, will start building and selling 142″ plasma displays early next year. The company is also working expanding the technology to create 270″ displays. How big is that? That’s 22 and a half feet. That will be nearly 20 feet wide. The 142″ models weigh about 132 pounds, so I don’t think you’ll be hanging a 270″ unit on your average living room wall. (Of course, you’ll have move the display into the house before you put the roof on; it will be too big for a typical doorway.)

The technology takes a different approach than your typical plasma panel. Instead of making a large panel with multiple channels, Shinoda Plasma makes individual tubes that are similar to fluorescent light tubes, only they have red, green, or blue phosphors. These are assembled into large arrays to produce the panel. From information on the company’s Web site, it appears that these are created as smaller modules that are then assembled to make the larger panel. The resolution appears to be aimed at 720p video.

You can count on six-figure purchase prices and small production volumes for these enormous panels, so they are clearly destined for very high-profile or elite installations. Still, it’s fun to imagine applications for these panels. For example, a wall-sized display would make for an immersive teleconferencing environment, where the screen would appear to be a room divider (with sort of the same effect you encounter in a restaurant with a mirrored wall). Pretty cool.