I'm not surprised that Panasonic declined in light of their LCD performance last year was horrendous - it viewed as the worst in the competition.
One problem I've observed with this competition viewing it many years is the audience is heavily laden with overwhelming Plasma Bias by attendee's, AVS Members, calibrators. Last year they tried to be fairer by having a small portion (a session) with daylight viewing comparisons that was a token 60 minutes or so to modestly appease LCD owners out of a two day competition. Wow a whole 60 minutes out of two days.
For those of us LIVING with daytime brightness as a reality a PLASMA is CRAP no matter how it performs in that Shootout and I would not accept one for free - I live in a luxury resort with a million dollar lake and botanical gardens view out my doorwalls in back and at the front and so I'm not about to put up drapes to pander to a plasma like I'm in a cave or trailer.
So, Robert now that plasma is DEAD how about selling and comparing strengths of LCD instead of it's weakness and true factual weakness of plasma in such environs after all you have no more revenue to be gained clinging to a tombstone.
My bet is on OLED to win even before they do 4K based upon the numerous 5 star reviews internationally on the LG as Reference models.
Too bad Sharp 70UD27 is about a month away and likely no-show as UD1 gets phased out, a panel that virtually gets no discussion on this forum though on Amazon owners rave about it and is one of the only matte screens available any longer.
Vizio P/Ref - MIA
Panasonic AX900 - MIA
Sharp 60/70UD27 - MIA
LG 4K 65" OLED - MIA
Samsung has been rumored they may
have a new OLED before years end.
Above we have the makings for a November Shootout.