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TVS & LARGE DISPLAY / PLASMA

After CES Panasonic Still Has The Best Bang For Your Buck Plasma TV

By David Richards | Sunday | 15/01/2012

While LG and Samsung were slugging it out with their new OLED TVs at CES, Panasonic was quietly releasing a brand new range of wafer thin LED TVs and a new range of plasma TVs, along with a cleverly designed home theatre range.

According to Matt Pierce, Marketing Manager AV at Panasonic Australia, the new Panasonic plasma TV still delivers the best TV picture quality in the world for the price, and I have to agree after seeing the new range on their stand.

According to Panasonic executives, the company is developing its own OLED television to rival the ones shown by LG and Samsung, with the TV giant admitting it did not have one ready to show off just yet.

Panasonic President Fumio Ohtsubo insisted that an OLED screen would be going on sale at a similar time to the Korean manufacturers' offerings.

"Unfortunately we weren't able to show one at the show this time, but we are certainly developing it," he told reporters at a briefing in Las Vegas.

"I can't say exactly when, but if Samsung and LG put theirs out this year we will try and make sure we are not too late," he said.

One of the really impressive plasma TVs on offer from Panasonic is the VT50 series which come as the 55-inch P55VT50 and the 65-inch P65VT50. The new Panasonic plasma TVs come as a single piece of wafer thin glass which gives the VT50 a style and beauty that is as good as any other TV shown at CES.


Click to enlarge

Both models have Panasonic's "infinite black ultra-panel" technology which delivers some of the most impressive black levels ever seen on a plasma TV.

A specially-designed filter prevents external light getting in and distorting the image patterns.

The new TV comes with a "touch pad controller". This device is designed to make navigating around internet-based content a little bit easier. There are some hard buttons too, for accessing services like the new Telstra TV app and Skype.

The new Panasonic plasma technology has 24,576 steps of gradation, which means that images with subtle tonal changes between shades are clearly defined. The TV is also THX 3D certified, and is capable of converting 2D to 3D. 24p 3D is also smoothed, using Panasonic's new "3D 24p cinema smoother".

While Panasonic has made a name for itself in the plasma TV market the company has also moved to shore up their LED TV offering with a new range 3D LED LCD TVs with passive 3D technology.

Among the new LED range is a new 55-inch LED model.

The 2012 LED LCD line uses In Plane Switching, which helps deliver a wider viewing angle and high-speed backlight scanning. Panasonic also notes the new models use 25-percent less energy than last year's models.

Several of the new models include Panasonic's smart TV platform which is called VIERA Connect. This will give owners access to the new Telstra TV service which includes a Foxtel option and access to over 2,500 movies, as well as access to Facebook, Hulu Plus, Skype and YouTube TV.

Panasonic announced six new Blu-ray models at CES 2012, with separate 3D and 2D lines, plus the ultra slim DMP-BBT01. Half of the models also feature Panasonic's new touch pad remote, which might make it easier to navigate online content.


Click to enlarge

Panasonic also showed their 8-train speakers which double as a vertical or horizontal speaker system. These models are very thin, but offer a lot of power and a wide and clear soundstage. There is also a 22mm thick subwoofer at the rear, which helps provide low-end sounds and give the TV a nice wide sound.

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