Connectivity and engagement appear to be the two buzzwords that characterised Panasonic’s launch of its 2011 home entertainment range with its Smart Viera TVs becoming the hub of the modern home and IPTV taking centre stage across its entire range.
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Instead, it is offering consumers a full interactive experience because “consumers are expecting more from their TVs, demanding not only exceptional picture quality but also immediate viewing of a broader range of content via advanced features,” said Paul Reid, director of consumer electronics.
With a 20 percent increase in Plasma sales last year, Panasonic introduced 16 new Plasma models, including 12 new Neo Plasma full HD 3D Tv models. A further 10 introduce full HD 3DTV to LED LCD Viera models and LCD models.
What this means for consumers, however, is that there is less to differentiate between the models, which Reid says will work to their advantage in the long run.
Acting on key GFK data, Reid says the company has identified its fastest growing sector to be those buying TVs for a second room in the home, while its key market at present is to those who are upgrading their sets.
With that in mind, its Smart Viera platform goes across the two ranges and there is plenty to keep both second roomers and upgraders happy.
Viera connect offers catch up TV, videos, music and internet radio, interactive games and social networking, as well as Skype, while a Viera Remote App allows easy menu selection via an iPhone, iPodTouch or iPad.
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New networking capabilities are also a key feature of the company’s entry level 2D range, the FHD U30 and HD X30 series. The 4 models offer ‘Easy IPTV’ offering ShoutCast Internet radio and Facebook access.
Expanding its cloud based IPTV platform, users can also now personalise their entertainment experience with apps downloaded from the Viera Connect Market.
The open IPTV platform will enable third party application developers, such as those featuring health and fitness, to be included onto Viera Connect. Currently this includes a Withings app, which enables users to measure and track their weight and body mass via an optional wireless scale which interacts with the Panasonic Viera HDTV.
At the top of the range, Panasonic’s 3D Neo Plasma TV series also focus on design with the VT30 series distinguished by a single sheet of glass.
The luminous efficiency of the range has also been increased by 15 percent for higher picture quality and lower power consumption.
New crosstalk canceller technology has also enabled it to reduce double images, and 2D to 3D conversion is also included on all new 3D models.
All that, together with a new lighter range of eyewear, as well as Australia’s first full HD 3D Blu-ray disc recorder that includes 1TB capacity, will help to keep its key targetted consumer firmly in the company’s eye, says Reid.