Panasonic VT50

Panasonic announced today a bevy of new models, with lots of different price points, sizes, and features.

All the details and our analysis after the jump.


VT50 Series (Shown above)
At the top of the plasma offerings, the VT50 comes in two sizes: 55-(TC-P55VT50) and 65-inch (TC-P65VT50). They’re active 3D, have built-in WiFi, and are THX Certified. They feature an “Infinite Black Ultra Panel” and VIERA Connect with a web browser that runs Flash. As you can see in the picture, it features the “one sheet of glass” design found on last year’s VT30. We’re expect it to be a stellar performer, with black levels even better (albeit slightly) better than last year’s model.


GT50 Series

Panasonic GT50

The next step down in the line is the GT50 Series, which will come in 50-(TC-P50GT50, etc), 55-, 60-, and 65-inch models. They’re active 3D, have an “Infinite Black Pro Panel,” built-in WiFi, VIERA Connect with a browser (like the VT50), and are THX Certified. The design is “glass and metal” with a “gradation metal” pedestal.


One step below the GT50 is the ST50, which will be available in 50-(TC-P50ST50, etc), 55-, 60-, and 65-inch models. Specs, as far as we’ve been given so far, are basically identical to the GT50. The design will likely be different, though. They’re also not THX Certified. Expect performance to be slightly less than the GT50.


With the UT50 Series, you’ll find 42-, 50-, 55-, and 60-inch (TC-P60UT50, etc) models. You’re still getting active 3D and VIERA Connect, but the UT50 models are WiFi-ready, and seem to lack the web browser of the upper models. There’s also only two HDMI inputs. Expect performance to be slightly less than the ST50, as it doesn’t feature that model’s “Infinite Black Pro Panel.”


XT50 Series
The 720p XT50 Series comes in 42-, and 50-inch (TC-P50XT50, etc) models. You don’t get VIERA Connect, instead there’s “Online Movies” a service that “provides select IPTV functionality by adding five of the most popular movies to the TV’s internet functionality.” Both models are 3D, though.


The 50-inch TC-P50U50 is the only non-3D plasma Panasonic is offering for 2012. It’s 1080p and has VIERA Link (not Connect).



Panasonic keeps pushing their LCD sizes upwards, this year with the WT50 series, available in 47-, and 55-inch (TC-L55WT50, etc) models. The 3D IPS-based LED LCDs feature “Super High Speed 1920 Backlight Scanning” and “New Clear Panel Pro.” VIERA Connect with web browser, and a “Super Narrow Metal Frame with a crescent stand.”



Panasonic DT50

The DT50 Series comes in the same screen sizes as the WT50, and has roughly the same hardware specs, lacking the “Clear Panel Pro” and a featuring a different design.


Brace yourself… the ET5 Series is passive 3D. There are three models, 42-, 47-, and 55-inch (TC-L55ET5). The IPS-based LED LCDs have a “360 Scanning Backlight,” VIERA Connect, and come with 4 pairs of passive 3D glasses.


E50 Series
The E50s are the top of the non-3D lines. There’s 42-, 47-, and 55-inch (TC-L55E50, etc) IPS-based LED-lit models. There’s also a “360 Scanning Backlight,” VIERA Connect, and they’re WiFi-ready.


E5 Series
IPS and LED, but no VIERA Connect for the four models in the E5 Series. Instead it has the “Online Movies” feature mentioned above. The WiFi-ready models will be available in 32, 37, 42, and 47-inch (TC-L47E5, etc) models.


Still IPS and LED, but the X5 is 720p and doesn’t have VIERA Connect. It’s 32-inches (TC-L32X5). There’s a 24-inch model, too.


Leaving LED lighting, the U5 Series has a CCFL backlight, but it is 1080p. No VIERA Connect. There’s one model, the TC-L42U5 which is, if you haven’t seen the trend so far, 42-inches.


Finally, there’s the C5. CCFL, 720p, no VIERA Connect.


While no pricing or availability info was given, expect the pricing to be in line with the order you see here (top most expensive, bottom cheapest, within each technology type). We’re expecting to see most models start shipping this spring.


Geoff Morrison @TechWriterGeoff
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