Days after LG and Samsung rolled out new LCD TV’s Panasonic a major sponsor of the Olympic games in Beijing is this week, set to roll out a new range of web enabled plasma TV’s a new generation of home theatre kits and new blu ray players.
Days after LG and Samsung rolled out new LCD TV’s Panasonic a major sponsor of the Olympic games in Beijing is this week, set to roll out a new range of web enabled plasma TV’s a new generation of home theatre kits and new blu ray players along with new camcorders.
The new range will be used to re position Panasonic from being a brand known by an older audience to a brand for everyone. Backed by an extensive marketing campaign primarily on the Seven Network Panasonic are using the Bejing Olympics as a spingboard to grow the Company up alongside the likes of Sony and Samsung.
It is expected that the Japanese Company who are the market leader in plasma TV sales in Australia will roll out a new version of their Viera HDTV range for 2008, including the 46-inch TH-46PZ80 plasma and the 37-inch TC-37LZ800. Across the whole range Panasonic is offering better contrast ratios, SD card slots, HDMI connections and a Game Mode feature that cuts time lag when playing console games.
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Another interesting feature that could be announced in their top-end plasmas is IP-enabled TV, letting people watch YouTube videos and access other websites (e.g. photo-sharing site Picasa) directly from their TVs. Meanwhile, the LCD Viera range boasts a native contrast ratio of 1200:1.
While we have not offically been told the sizes that Panasonic will push running into the Olympics we suspect four models – the 46in TH-46PZ850, the 50in TH-50PZ850, the 58in TH-58PZ850 and a monstrous 65in TH-65PZ850.
The new range will all offer a dynamic contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 or a native contrast ratio of 30,000:1, Full HD with 24p native reproduction, Digital Cinema Color Re-Mastering and Studio Reference Mode, a quartet of HDMI connectors, PC input and SD card slot with H.264 codec for playing back HD camcorder footage along with the VIERA Link remote control function.
Also set to be introduced is Panasonic’s first home theater in a box system with integrated Blu-ray player along with a third-generation Blu-ray player.
The new Blu ray Home Theatre kit will be the company’s first stand-alone player with embedded decoders for all of the optional surround-sound formats authorized for use on BD discs. The optional formats are Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital TrueHD, DTS-HD High Resolution, DTS-HD Master and 7.1-channel 96kHz/24-bit PCM. It will also be Blu-ray 2.0 profile (a.k.a. BD Live), whose bi-directional capability lets players download additional extras content via an Ethernet connection for playback. It also enables interactive applications such as playing video games over the Internet or engaging in online polling and ordering.
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Late on Friday Panasonic announced that is has developed a single chip Blu-ray chip which combines both reading the disc and decoding the content. Previously these functions were performed by seperate chips and required seven extra memorychips on the mainboard of the Blu-ray player. By combining the functionality into one chip, 50% less space is required and 25% energy is saved.
Thanks to the one chip solution, manufacturers are able to make smaller Blu-ray players that consume less energy at possibily lower costs. This also means that this development can result in cheaper Blu-ray playback devices.
The chips supports Blu-ray 2.0 standard, MPEG-4 H.264 and VC-1 codecs and high quality audio, including losless coded content. The chip is also able to playback video on two screens and can display 3D graphics. Of course it also supports CD and DVD playback.
Panasonic expects to start shipping the chips to manufacturers in June 2008.