Despite sluggish retail sales, Panasonic has moved to take on LG and Samsung in what is shaping up to be a bruising smart TV battle with retailers being urged to retain margin in a new generation of TVs; a move that could push up costs of the next generation of TV.Panasonic, who today launched 23 new TV models founded on Plasma and LED LCD technologies, is set to fight the battle on design, screen quality and content.
Steve Rust, the CEO of Panasonic Australia, said “conditions in the TV market are tough. What we are delivering is superior TV technology and the best Plasma TV in the world today. Retailers should not discount this technology out; especially in today’s considered purchase market.”
Great pride has been taken in making the new TV range network savvy, whether it comes to accessing a slew of content or “deeply integrating 3rd party products.” As of today, Telstra’s BigPond Movie service will be available on Panasonic’s TVs, with QuickFlix expected for release on the 17th of April. Ben Kinealy, Director of IPTV, T-Box, Pay TV and Video at Telstra claims the service will work better on a Panasonic TV than its rivals.
“The new Panasonic TVs deliver BigPond movie service significantly quicker than both LG and Samsung smart TVs. We achieved this by working with Panasonic engineers to place the application software directly onto an embedded chipset inside the Panasonic TV.
“This, coupled with our Widevine technology is allowing us to download movies almost instantly to a Panasonic TV.”
|Panasonic’s range-topping VT50|
Joining its Video On Demand capabilities is Panasonic’s Viera Connect which, according to the company, “allows an infinite number of apps,” which can be organised through intelligible multitasking so that users can access information while simultaneously watching TV. Dressed in aesthetic animations, the TVs can manage a skype call or generate a real-time Twitter feed while watching TV.
People using an Apple iPhone/iPad or a Google Android device will benefit from free applications, bringing remote control to their existing smartphones, and allowing them to ‘flick’ multimedia from the device onto the TV’s screen.
The company remains adamant Plasma technology is relevant despite other manufacturers investing elsewhere. Panasonic’s 10 new NeoPlasma sets will span between 50 to 65 inches, with the top of the range VT50 and ST50 series featuring “panels with 2500Hz focus field drive to produce the best moving picture quality.” The VT50 is capable of 24,576 steps of gradation capable of discerning subtle brightness variations, rich colours and incremental differences in black tones.
Their smaller televisions will make use of LED LCD technology and will range 13 TVs spanning from 24 to 55 inches. Of the 13, 12 models will use Panasonics IPS (In Plane Switching) LED technology which consumes 25% less energy compared to the models before it.
|The WT50 tops the range of the Panasonic’s LED LCD TVs|
Richard Tassone, Panasonic’s General Marketing Manager, believes Panasonic is leading the market with its new TV new range.
“Our new range is about display quality, network connectivity, content, and the connection of high quality AV and Blu-ray attach devices. We think we lead in this area and our new range today clearly demonstrates that we have an excellent offering.”
“Unfortunately, several retailers still don’t have fast connectivity in their stores and this is a problem. We are currently working with select retailers to deliver a good connected TV experience.”
Read: New Panasonic OZ TVs Among The Best In The World
Several models in the new range will make it to the market by April; however, their top of the range sets won’t be available till June.