Ranging from 42- to 65-inches, Panasonic’s 2013 plasmas will be offering a number of improvements, plus the usual “more features at lower prices,” like built-in cameras, more connectivity, and so on.
Perhaps most interesting is a new top-of-the line plasma series, the ZT, to slot in above last year’s award-winning VT Series.
All the info on all 16 new models after the jump.
Look for the new models to start rolling out in February. Let’s start at the low end.
The X60 Series has two screen sizes, the TC-P42X60 and the TC-P50X60 (the middle number is the size, in inches diagonal). Both models are 720p, and feature the 600 HZ Sub-Field Drive. These models are not 3D, and have two HDMI and one USB input.
Stepping up from there is the S60 Series, with five screen sizes: TC-P42S60, TC-P50S60, TC-P55S60, TC-P60S60, TC-P65S60. This is likely similar to, and an expansion of, last year’s U50 Series. These are not 3D, but are 1080p. Like the X60, there’s a 600 Hz Sub-Field Drive and 2 HDMI inputs (plus 2 USB). All have built-in Wi-Fi, but only a scaled-down version of Panasonic’s VIERA Connect service, called Online Movies. If the S60 performs as well as the U50, expect some good value in this range.
The ST60 Series is the lowest end of Panasonic’s 3D line. There are four models, TC-P50ST60, TC-P55ST60, TC-P60ST60, TC-P65ST60. Last year’s ST50 was one of the best performance/value combos available in plasma, so hopefully that continues here. The 1080p ST60s have Panasonic’s Infinite Black Pro Panel with 2500 Focused Field Drive, the full VIERA Connect suite including a web browser, Swipe and Share 2.0 (more on this in a second), 3 HDMI, and 2 USB. Unlike last year’s model, the ST60 comes with 2 pairs of 3D glasses.
Swipe and Share 2.0 is a new feature that allows iOS and Android devices to send and receive photos to/from the TV with a “swipe of the finger.” I’ll presume setup is required before that functionality works. All the models from the ST up have this feature.
Gone is the GT series, so the next step up is the VT60 Series (above). Does this mean the VT is the new GT? Probably, but we’ll know when we start getting the then in to test. There are three models in the series, TC-P55VT60, TC-P60VT60, and the TC-P65VT60. All have built-in cameras, Infinite Black Ultra panels, 3000 Focused-Field Drive, and are THX Certified. ISFccc with Advanced Calibration seems like a great boon for calibrators. There are 3 HDMI and 3 USB inputs.
At the top is the ZT60 Series (shown at top) with two sizes, the TC-P60ZT60 and the TC-P65ZT60. Interestingly, there’s no 50-something inch model. Numerous improvements are claimed for a
“Beyond the Reference” level of picture quality. These include front glass that’s attached directly to the plasma panel, a new red phosphor (that allows a wider color gamut), Studio Master Panel glass, and a new panel driving method that is claimed to have even better black levels and contrast. Since last year’s VT50 had some of the best black levels and contrast we’ve seen, this is a strong statement. There’s also voice control and most of the features found in the VT50 Series.
Also check out Panasonic’s new LED LCDs.
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