Last week, HD Guru was first to provide pricing and availability information on Sony’s 2009 HDTV line.  Later today, Sony will officially issue some of the same information to reporters at its product line show.  While others publish last week’s news, the HD Guru has uncovered yet to be released pricing and availability information on Panasonic’s 2009 flat panels.


The X1 series replaces the 2008 PX80 models.  These 42” and 50” plasma HDTVs retain the 80 series 768p resolution.  Improvements include: new styling, new AR (anti-reflective) filter, improved contrast ratio (30,000:1 vs. 15,000:1) and 600 Hz sub-field drives.  These models are now appearing on store shelves.

Model             MAP

TC-P42X1        $899.95
TC-P50X1        $1099.95

HD Guru Verdict-It depends on price and your viewing environment.  Higher contrast will produced an image with better perceived sharpness. However, there are great deals on remaining 42” and 50” models.  For example, 42” TH42PX80 is being offered by 6th Ave. Electronics for under $649.

The S1 series is Panasonics 2009 replacement for its 2008 PZ80 series, its entry-level Full HD 1080p models.  They’re available in 42”, 46” 50”, 54”, 58” and 65” screens. The 42”, 46” and 50” models will ship this month (March), while the larger sizes are scheduled to ship in May.  The 2009 models have many significant changes over the PZ80s they are replacing including: new styling, higher brightness, Neo PDP energy savings technology, doubling of contrast ratio to 40,000:1 native (a doubling from its Z80 series), all 1080 lines motion resolution (per picture height) 600 Hz sub-fields, Viera image viewer with AVCHD for still image display from SD card.

Model              MAP

TC-P42S1        $1199.95
TC-P46S1        $1499.95
TC-P50S1        $1799.95
TC-P54S1        TBA

HD Guru Verdict- The many performance improvements afforded in the S1 series makes it an easy choice over the 2008 PZ80 models.  However, for those on a budget seeking the most bang for the buck, the value proposition of the low closeout pricing on the 2008 PZ80 series makes a compelling argument for prospective buyers to consider.  An example of these bargains, 6th Ave. Electronics is currently offering at its retail stores the 42” Th42PZ80 for $778, the 46” TH46PZ80 for  $948.44 and the 50” TH50PZ80 for $1188.

Panasonic’s 2009 G10 series replaces its 2008 Z85 plasma series.  The G10s retain all the features and performance of the new S1 series and adds: new styling, full motion high def AVCHD video playback with VIERA SD card reader and THX certification.  They’re available in the 42”, 46” 50” screen sizes this month.  The 54” will ship in May.

Model               MAP

TC-P42G10        $1399.95
TC-P46G10        $1699.95
TC-P50G10        $1999.95
TC-P54G10        $2399.95

HD Guru Verdict- As with the S1 series, from a performance viewpoint, the improvements over last year’s Z85 series are significant and very real, with better contrast, brightness, black level and full 1080 line motion resolution plus lower power consumption. Right now, you can find a terrific closeout on the 46” PZ85 6th Av. Electronics with TH46PZ85 at $988.44

The top of the line G15, V10 (PZ850 model series replacement) and 1” thin 54” Z1 are not scheduled to ship until June or beyond.  Pricing has not been made available.  HD Guru will update when pricing on these series is released.


Panasonic offers four series of LCD flat panels with a screen sizes from 19” to 37”

The C12 line is an all new series and consists of one 720p 32” model.  Main features and specs include 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, VIERA SD Card reader for still photos, 2 HDMI inputs and 1 PC input.  It will ship in May.

Model               MAP

TC-L32C12        $499.99

The TC-L32C12 is featured and priced to compete with entry level sets such as Sony’s L5000 and Samsung’s A330 models.

HD Guru Verdict- Panasonic’s C12 should be compared against all other sub-$500 LCDs.

The X1 LCD Series replaces the 2008 LX85 models, this year they will arrive in the 19” (August) 26” (May), 32” and 37” screen sizes (March).  All have 720p resolution and feature a 12,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, VIERA SD card reader, 3 HDMIs (32’/37”), PC input and iPod connectivity kit.

Model              MAP

TC-L26X1        $599.95
TC-L32X1        $649.95
TC-L37X1        $799.95

HD Guru Verdict- Panasonic’s performance upgrade this year is slightly a higher dynamic contrast ratio (12,000 vs. 10,000:1).  Check the closeout prices to learn if you can buy a 2008 for significantly less that the new models.  If you can find one heavily discounted and you don’t need the iPod connection, you should go for it.

The S1 series features Panasonic’s highly rated Alpha IPS 1080p LCD panel which some of the best off axis contrast and brightness in the industry.  The S1 series (available this month) replaces the 2008 LZ models. They boast an increase in contrast ratio to 15,000: 1 (versus 10,000:1 for the LZ models). Panasonic’s adds Motion Focus technology, which improves, motion resolution.  This feature was only found on last year’s top of the line LZ800.  The S1 retains all other features from 2008 including 3 HDMIs, VIERA SD card reader.

Model              MAP

TC-L32S1        $849.95
TC-L37S1        $899.95

HD Guru Verdict- The new models inclusion of Motion Focus and improved contrast ratio, along with a significant price drop (the 2008 37LZ85 retails for $1199.95) makes  choosing  a 2009 S1 series LCD a no-brainer.

The 1080p G1 series represents Panasonics best LCD flat panels.  The 1080p G1 series is available in the 32” and 37” screen sizes (May) G1s includes all the features of the S1 series (except Motion Focus) and adds 120 Hz refresh rate for improved motion resolution, swivel base and a contrast ratio of 20,000:1.

Model             MAP
TC-L32G1        TBA
TC-L37G1        $1099.95

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