Panasonic supersizes TV range for 2012

posted on Tuesday, 21st February 2012 by Steve May

home cinema  Panasonic  LED  Plasma 

[#pageName]

Panasonic is supersizing its TV line-up for 2012. At the brand's sprawling European convention, held in Hamburg where it first started its European business 50 years ago, the company unveiled its largest ever (screen-size wise) TV range.

For the first time there will be a 65-inch edition of its 'affordable' ST plasma line, expected to retail for just £2,600. It'll be joined by 65-inch models of its new VT50 and GT50 star screens. Fabrice Estornel, the brand's senior manager for TV, told Inside CI: "There's a clear trend now toward larger than 50-inch screen sizes." The company expects brisk big-screen business in the run up to the London Olympics.

But it's not just plasma that's OTT this year. Panasonic has decided to stop pussy-footing around with LED LCDs, introducing screens up to 55-inches in both the budget and premium classes. Its topline WT50 LED models will come in 42-, 47- and 55-inch configurations. Perhaps even more surprisingly, the brand, a staunch supporter of Active Shutter 3D, has embraced Passive 3D technology for the first time, using FPR panels from LG Display. The ET5 models range from 32- to 55-inches. Estornel explains that 100Hz screens are just not fast enough to deliver crosstalk-free 3D using Active Shutter technology. "Passive works better on this kind of panel, it's ideal."

Andrew Denham, the brand's UK Marketing Director, admits the move to Passive was inevitable. "We wanted to have an affordable 3D TV solution in the market, and Passive technology suits the bill." The new ET5 models will ship with four pairs of polarizing glasses in the box.

While Panasonic has always been lauded for the quality of its PDP pictures, this year's there's renewed emphasis on design, with a spectacular glass and metal finish gracing its top end NeoPlasma TVs. Also new is the introduction of multi-core processing to the GT and VT50 screens, as well as the WT LED models. Using essentially the same processor found in the brand's new Eluga smartphone, these sets now have the horsepower to multitask when browsing the brand's VEIRA Connect online portal. Users can flip between two apps. Navigation within the net portal is also extremely fast. All three screen ranges support a Flash-enabled web browser.

But this speedy multi-core engine isn't just for fast navigation. It also allows for image quality enhancements, including better processing of online video content and HD up-scaling. Another trick, exclusive to Panasonic this year, is dual screen Skype and TV. You can now take a Skype video call on your set without leaving the channel you're watching, it just minimizes instead.

Five plasma models are THX certified for both 3D and 2D. All TVs this year sport Freeview HD tuners.

Panasonic's VIERA Connect portal itself continues to evolve. Previewed at the 2012 Con was a VIERA 3D channel which will offer a variety of gratis streaming 3D content, and MySpaceTV, a social media music app exclusive to the brand.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

Share this!

Have your say...

Sorry guests can't post comments.

Please Login if your an existing member or Register a new account.

Authors

Latest Posts

Denon launches Home range of wireless Heos speakers

Denon launches Home range of wireless Heos speakers

13

Dec

2019

posted by Steve May

Stylish Home 150, Home 250 and Home 350 take aim at Sonos

More...
.
SVS 2000 Pro subwoofers rumble deeper for less

SVS 2000 Pro subwoofers rumble deeper for less

12

Dec

2019

posted by Steve May

New trio promise deep reference bass says Karma-AV

More...
.