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At 103 Inches, This HDTV Is Hard To Miss

Originally posted: October 10, 2007
Posted by Eric Benderoff at 5:30 p.m.

If you have ever wondered what the sun would look like if it were sitting in your living room, here’s your chance.

Head to Abt Electronics in Glenview or visit the Chicago Ridge mall this weekend where you can see what’s being called the biggest TV for sale in the U.S.: A 103-inch plasma-screen monster from Panasonic.

Yes, it’s better if you spend your weekend eyeballing a giant T-Rex at the Field Museum than visiting a Vegas-sized video display, but a screen this size is a sight to behold.

I saw a number of like-sized TVs at January’s Consumer Electronics Show—including a 108-inch model from Samsung—that are simply jaw-dropping. You start to think you must have one, even if there’s no room in the house possibly big enough to put one.

But people are buying this Panasonic giant. Abt has sold one (a second deal is pending) and another early buyer, I learned at CES, was prospective Chicago Cubs owner Mark Cuban.

At 103 inches, this model is twice the size of the typical high-def TV’s Abt sells, said the store’s Mike Abt. And for $70,000—not including another $10,000 for a special stand and installation—it’s considerably more money.

"Pop in a Blu-ray disc or an HD-DVD, and it looks incredible," he said. "If you have Comcast High-Def, you’ll be happy. But if you really want to impress your friends, turn on the Blu-Ray."

As for pricing, don’t expect it to stay at $70,000 for long. Abt is selling "a lot" of 58-inch Panasonic models for about $4,000, down from $20,000 a few years ago.

Abt Electronics will have the TV on display for quite a while, but you can only see it this weekend at Chicago Ridge. Panasonic is bringing the TV there for a show and tell. It can be viewed Thursday though Tuesday (Oct. 16).