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In our last article, HD Guru leaked Panasonic’s pricing for its mid-end 2009 plasmas and all of its LCD flat panels. Below, HD Guru covers the rest of Panasonic’s 2009 HDTVs, including previously unreleased prices on its top of the line models.

Z1 Series

The Z1 (pictured above) is Panasonic’s most advanced HDTV.  Available only in the 54” screen the Z1 packs every advanced feature into a 1” thick Full HD 1080p plasma panel.  The Z1 has a native contrast ratio of 40,000:1, a low energy consuming Neo PDP panel technology, an included swivel table stand, Digital Cinema Color gamut, THX Certification, 1080 lines of motion resolution, 24 Hz Cinematic Playback and an HDMI wireless receiver.  The companion wireless transmitter tuner/switcher box has VIERA Link Internet connectivity and VIERA Link SD card reader for viewing still photos or AVCHD video playback.  Currently, the only thin competitor in this size range (an obese 2.25” at the thickest part) is the Sharp LC52XS1, an LCD HDTV with separate tuner box and speaker bar which retails for a whopping $12,000 plus the cost of the optional wireless box (when available).

The Z1’s wireless HDMI box allows purchasers to hang the panel on the wall with only an AC power cord connected.  Speakers are built-in and the wireless tuner box is included with the Z1 plasma.  It will ship in June at a retail of $5999.95

Model             MAP

TC-P54Z1    $5999.95

HD Guru Verdict- The Z1 may be the hottest HDTV for 2009.

V10 Series

The Panasonic V10 series plasma models are (compared to the Z1) a beefy 2” thick.  It is replacing the current (2008) top of the line 1080p PZ850 series plasmas.  The V10s will be available in the 50” (May ship; it has a one sheet glass front) 54” (June), 58”(August) and 65” (Aug.) screen sizes.

All V10 models include: Neo PDP low energy consuming panel, 40,000:1 contrast ratio, Digital Cinema Color gamut, VIERA CAST Internet connectivity, VIERA Image Viewer SD card slot for still photos and AVCHD playback, 4 HDMI inputs, swivel table stand, THX Certification, Full 1080 line motion resolution, 24 Hz playback.

Model             MAP

TC-P50V10    $2299.95
TC-P54V10    $2699.95
TC-P58V10    TBA
TC-P65V10    TBA

HD Guru Verdict- The V10 offers many upgrades from the 2008 PZ850 series it replaces including THX certification, higher motion resolution, better contrast ratio (40,000:1 V10 vs. 30,000:1 PZ850) deeper black levels and lower power consumption.  However, the PZ850 is still one of the best 2008 HDTVs available today.  6 Ave Electronics is closing out the 50” TH50PZ850 for $1648 making a purchase decision for either series a win-win, though if you can afford the difference in price, based on the new specs and features, the V10 series is well worth the extra bucks.

G15 Series

The G15 offers the 2” thick design of the V10 and retains the THX certification, 40,000:1 contrast ratio, 1080p resolution, VIERA CAST Internet connectivity, SD card reader with AVCHD playback and Neo PDP panel.  To step down from the V10 you give up Digital Cinema Color, 1 HDMI input (for a total of 3 HDMI inputs) and the swivel in the table stand.  The G15s come in 42” 46” and 50” screen sizes and all are shipping in June.

Model             MAP

TC-P42G15    $1499.95
TC-P46G15    $1799.95
TC-P50G15    $2099.95

HD Guru Verdict- The G15 series is all new and provides a compelling sets of features and specifications for a $200 retail savings (for the 50”) from the V10.

U1 Series

The U1 series represents Panasonic’s entry level Full HD 1080p plasmas.  The U1 does not have the energy saving Neo PDP panel.  Motion resolution is rated at 900 lines and the contrast ratio is 30,000:1.  Features include 3 HDMI inputs, Viera Image Viewer SD card reader for still photos and Viera Link Internet connectivity.  Available screen sizes of 42”, 46” (April) and 50” (March)

Model             MAP

TC-P42U1    $899.95
TC-P46U1    $1199.95
TC-P50U1    $1499.95

HD Guru Verdict- With the low retail price the U1 series should provide a wider viewing angle, better contrast ratio and higher motion resolution than any competing 1080p 60Hz or 120 Hz LCD flat panel in the U1 size classes.  Better images for less money, how can you beat that?

C1 Series

Panasonic’s entry level 768p plasmas offer 15,000 contrast ratio, 2 HDMI inputs, VIERA Link Internet connectivity and VIERA Image SD card reader.  They’re available in 42” (March) and 50” (April) screen sizes.

Model             MAP

TC-P42C1    $749.95
TC-P50C1    $999.95

HD Guru Verdict- A Panasonic 42” HDTV plasma flat panel with a retail price of less than $750 says it all.

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