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Panasonic Expands 1080p Plasma Line

Panasonic is introducing at International CES its 2008 line of Viera plasma Full HD 1080p televisions, with a new cosmetic look and the addition of the company’s first 46-inch screen size.

The 2008 1080p line, which will ship this spring at prices to be announced, will include 10 models across four series. All feature a new panel with increased contrast ratio and an improved anti-reflective screen, a game mode, Viera Link (HDMI-CEC) component interconnectivity, luminous efficiency, and lead-free panels rated at 100,000 hours to half brightness.

At the entry level, the company will also offer 720p resolution in 42-inch and 50-inch HD plasma models under the PX80 series. Features include: a 15,000:1 native contrast ratio, and three HDMI connections.

The step-up PZ80 series includes three models in the 42-, 46- and 50-inch screen sizes. All feature 1080p resolution, a 20,000:1 native contrast ratio, and three HDMI inputs.

The PZ85 line also includes the 42-, 46-, and 50-inch screen sizes, and adds a 30,000:1 native contrast ratio, PC input and hidden front-mounted speakers.

The PZ800 series offers four models in the 42-, 46-, 50- and 58-inch screen sizes. The models add THX Certified Display specifications, a 30,000:1 native contrast ratio, 24p input support, four HDMI connections and a new one-sheet of glass design concept.

All models will be supported under the company’s Viera Concierge program, which offers purchasers a support phone line to handle any questions or problems related to set-up and use.

Panasonic said it will continue to support the plasma category in a big way, and will start up a fifth plasma panel factory, this one will be in Amagasaki, Japan, in 2009, with a production capacity of 1,000,000 sets a month.