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Panasonic, which yesterday rolled out its first 3D plasma TVs in Japan, is facing a wait-and-see exercise in Australia, with company officials admitting that stock availability will determine when the new models will be launched in Australia.

Paul Reid, the director of consumer electronics at Panasonic Australia, said, “Every vendor wants to launch their 3D offering prior to the Soccer World Cup. We are still waiting to hear from our factories as to the availability of stock, which is going to be limited due to the World Cup and the demands that Panasonic subsidiaries are putting on our factories to get stock prior to the event in South Africa.”

 At a press conference in Japan yesterday, Panasonic revealed its first 1080p 3D plasma HDTV.

The VIERA VT2 Series, which will be launched in Australia, is made up of the 54-inch TH-P54VT2 and 50-inch TH-P50VT2. The TVs come with 3D active shutter glasses, which use batteries to quickly block out each lens alternatively.

Each TV is capable of delivering a 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio for deep black colour reproduction and both 3D models have digital and analogue tuner built-in, as well as a 2.1-channel speaker system with 20W of power. Both models have four HDMI ports, a VGA output, D4 (component) output and an Ethernet port.

The two 3D plasma sets are due for a late April release date in Japan, with the 54-inch set priced at the equivalent of US$5900 while the 50-inch VT2 will cost about US$4800. 

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