CES 2009: Panasonic’s New Plasma and LCD Model Series
Panasonic made a number of HDTV plasma announcements at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month.Ã‚Â Among the highlights: the expansion of its plasma HDTV line to 26 models; new Neo PDP (plasma) panels which consume only 50% of the power of their 2007 models; a new 54Ã¢â‚¬Â screen size; higher contrast ratios up to 40,000:1 (this is real contrast not dynamic contrast) and deeper blacks (Panasonic calls it Ã¢â‚¬Å“Infinite Black PanelÃ¢â‚¬Â).
Panasonic claims it has perfected motion resolution with all 1080 lines of HD resolution (per picture height) now visible on all many of its Neo PDP 1080p models.Ã‚Â This was confirmed during a motion resolution demonstration using the same test material as the HD GURUÃ‚Â®, a very impressive achievement and a plasma first.Ã‚Â Panasonic has raised the firing rate of the sub-fields that make up each of the 60 frames per second.Ã‚Â The rate is now 600 Hz up from 480.Ã‚Â Panasonic claims this higher rate contributes to its full motion resolution.Ã‚Â By comparison, 120 Hz LCD flat panels produce 120 frames per second and panels tested using standard CCFL backlights achieve only around 600 lines of motion resolution.
The new plasmaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s black levels appeared outstanding and lower then the 2008 model series, though confirmation that its black level is lower than Pioneers KURO models will have to wait until a production sample becomes available.
In LCD Panasonic expanded the line with six new series with screen sizes from 19Ã¢â‚¬Â to 37Ã¢â‚¬Â.Ã‚Â New features included new 120 Hz Picture Pro3 coupled to its top rated IPS Alpha panel, and new narrower screen bezels.Ã‚Â To date, Panasonic (like every other HDTV maker) has not released its 2009 pricing.
The plasma series from top to bottom are:
PanasonicÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s flagship plasma in 2009 is the single model Z1 series, which measures just an inch thick.Ã‚Â It features PanasonicÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s VIERA Cast Internet connectivity that enables the rental of streaming movies via AmazonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s video-on-demand as well as other services including photo uploads and downloads.Ã‚Â The Z1 comes only as a 54Ã¢â‚¬Â model.Ã‚Â Key features include 40,000:1 contrast ratio with Ã¢â‚¬Å“infinite black panelÃ¢â‚¬Â, a swivel table stand, 24p playback, 1080 lines motion resolution, wireless 1080p connectivity with included (separate) tuner/switcher, THX Certified, expanded color gamut via Digital Cinema Color (DCC) and full 1080 lines motion resolution.Ã‚Â Available in June, the model number is TC-54Z1
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only 2 inches thick and has built-in HDTV tuner.Ã‚Â Features include 40,000:1 contrast ratio, 1080p Neo PDP panel, 1080 lines of motion resolution, DCC, VIERA Cast, THX certified, 4 HDMI/24p compatible inputs, and a swivel Base.Ã‚Â Available in 50Ã¢â‚¬Â, 54Ã¢â‚¬Â sizes (June), 58Ã¢â‚¬Â and 65Ã¢â‚¬Â (August) the models numbers are TC-P50V10, TC-P54V10, TC-P58V10 and TV-P65V10
The G15 series is also 2Ã¢â‚¬Â thick and features 1080p resolution with Neo PDP Infinite Black high efficiency plasma panel, 40,000:1 contrast ratio, 1080 lines motion resolution, DCC, VIERA Cast, THX certified, SD card slot for still photos and AVCHD motion playback and 3 HDMI inputs.Ã‚Â Available in June in 42Ã¢â‚¬Â 46Ã¢â‚¬Â and 50Ã¢â‚¬Â screen sizes with respective model numbers TC-P42G15, TC-P46G15 and TC-50G15.
The G10 series is offered in 42Ã¢â‚¬Â, 46Ã¢â‚¬Â 50Ã¢â‚¬Â and 54Ã¢â‚¬Â screen sizes.Ã‚Â Unlike the above series, the G10s are standard depth plasmas (around 3.5Ã¢â‚¬Â).Ã‚Â The G10 uses Panasonics new Ã¢â‚¬Å“greenÃ¢â‚¬Â (low power) Neo PDP technology with Infinite Black and 40,000:1 contrast ratio and full 1080 lines of motion resolution.Ã‚Â Features include VIERA Cast Internet connectivity, THX Certification, SD card slot for still photos & AVCHD home movies and 3 HDMI inputs.Ã‚Â The 42Ã¢â‚¬Â, 46Ã¢â‚¬Â and 50Ã¢â‚¬Â models will be available in March with the 54Ã¢â‚¬Â arriving in May.Ã‚Â The model numbers are TC-42PG10, TC-46PG10, TC-50PG10 and the TC-54PG10.
This line has all screen sizes Panasonic offers (42Ã¢â‚¬Â, 46Ã¢â‚¬Â, 50Ã¢â‚¬Â, 54Ã¢â‚¬Â, 58Ã¢â‚¬Â and 65Ã¢â‚¬Â).Ã‚Â All are Full HD 1080p Neo PDP with full motion 1080 lines resolution, 40:000:1 contrast ratio, with 3 HDMI inputs, SD card slot for photo viewing and standard depth cabinet.Ã‚Â The 42Ã¢â‚¬Â, 46Ã¢â‚¬Â and 50Ã¢â‚¬Â will arrive in April.Ã‚Â The 54Ã¢â‚¬Â, 58Ã¢â‚¬Â and 65Ã¢â‚¬Â will ship in June.Ã‚Â Model numbers are TC-P42S1, TC-P46S1, TC-P50S1, TC-P54S1, TC-P58S1 and TC-P65S1.
This 1080p line is intended for warehouse clubs like Costco and features the energy efficient Neo PDP Infinite Black panel with a 30,000:1 contrast ratio, VIERA Image photo SD card slot and over 900 lines of motion resolution.Ã‚Â Available as the 54Ã¢â‚¬Â TC-54PS14, the 50Ã¢â‚¬Â TC-50PS14 and the 42Ã¢â‚¬Â TC-42PS14
This 1080p line is in the 42Ã¢â‚¬Â, 46Ã¢â‚¬Â and 50Ã¢â‚¬Â sizes.Ã‚Â Native contrast ratio is 30,000:1 but does not have the high-energy efficiency NEO PDP panel technology.Ã‚Â It includes VIERA Image photo SD card slot, over 900 lines motion resolution and 3 HDMI inputs.Ã‚Â The 50Ã¢â‚¬Â TC-P50U1 ships in April, and the 42Ã¢â‚¬Â TC-P42U1 and 46Ã¢â‚¬Â TC-P 46U1 arrives in stores in May.
This series is the replacement for the 2008 PX80 series of 720p plasmas.Ã‚Â None of the 2009 720p models have Neo PDP panels.Ã‚Â The improvements over the 2008 models include: an increased contrast ratio to 30,000:1 and over 900 lines (per picture height) of motion resolution.Ã‚Â All X1 models have 3 HDMI inputs and Viera image viewer.Ã‚Â Available in March the series comes in 42Ã¢â‚¬Â and 50Ã¢â‚¬Â screen sizes.Ã‚Â Model numbers are TC-P42X1 and TC-P50X1
720p HDTVs feature an Viera Image Viewer SD card slot for still photos, 15,000:1 contrast ratio with over 900 lines motion resolution and 3 HDMI inputs.Ã‚Â Available in April as the 42Ã¢â‚¬Â TC-42C1 and the 50Ã¢â‚¬Â TC-50C1.
This line is designed for the warehouse clubs and consists of a 42Ã¢â‚¬Â and 50Ã¢â‚¬Â 720p models with 15,000: 1 contrast, over 900 lines of motion resolution and Viera Image Viewer SD slot.Ã‚Â Models are the TC-42PX14 and the TC-50PX14.
Panasonic’s LCD Line
The 2009 Panasonic LCD HDTV expands to 5 model series as follows from top to bottom:
Two models with 1080p 120 Hz wide angle IPS Alpha LCD panels, 20,000:1 native contrast ratio, Viera Image Viewer SD Card slot for still photos, PC input, swivel Base, narrow screen bezel, 3 HDMI inputs and a PC input.Ã‚Â They will ship in May as the 37Ã¢â‚¬Â TC-L37G1 and the 32Ã¢â‚¬Â TC-L32G1
Two models with 1080p resolution, 15,000:1 contrast ratio, IPS Alpha wide view panel, Motion Focus Technology for improved motion resolution, Viera Image Viewer, PC input and 3 HDMI inputs.Ã‚Â The S1 line will ship in March as the 37Ã¢â‚¬Â TC-L37S1 and the 32Ã¢â‚¬Â TC-L32S1.
720p resolution panels with 12,000:1 contrast ratio, iPod connectivity and control with supplied kit, Viera image viewer and a PC input.Ã‚Â The 32Ã¢â‚¬Â and 37Ã¢â‚¬Â X1 models have 3 HDMI inputs and ships in March as the TC-L32X1 and TC-L37X1.Ã‚Â The 26Ã¢â‚¬Â TC-L26X1 ships in May with 2 HDMI inputs and the 19Ã¢â‚¬Â TC-L19X1 with 2 HDMI inputs will arrive in August.
This series will be available only in warehouse clubs in the 32Ã¢â‚¬Â and 26Ã¢â‚¬Â size class.Ã‚Â Features include 12,000:1 contrast ratio, Viera Image Viewer and 720p resolution.Ã‚Â The 32Ã¢â‚¬Â model uses an IPS wide-angle viewing LCD panel.Ã‚Â The TC-32LX14 and TC-26LX14 shipping dates have not yet been announced.
Offered in the 32Ã¢â‚¬Â screen size with 720p resolution, 10,000:1 contrast ratio, Viera Image viewer, PC input and 2 HDMI inputs.Ã‚Â It will ship as the TC-L32C12 in April.
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