LAS VEGAS - Panasonic used International CES to show an expanded line of LCD TVs, including some of its first models to adopted passive polarized glasses for 3D viewing.
The company also demonstrated its continued commitment to the plasma category it helped pioneer, by introducing 17 models this year, 16 of which will be 3D models using active-shutter glasses.
The biggest moves came in LCD, where the company is showing 15 FullHD 1080p LCD TVs, 13 of which will use LED backlighting and seven of which will be 3D capable. Three of those models in the ET5 series will use passive 3D glasses technology - a first for the early proponent of active-shutter 3D systems.
Panasonic is also moving in larger screen sizes this year, with 47- and 55-inch LCD models stepping up from 42 inches last year.
The 2012 LCD TV lines are highlighted by the WT50 series, including the 47-inch TC-L47WT50 and 55-inch TC-L55WT50.
Both feature FullHD 1080p 240Hz 3D IPS (in Plane Switching) panels, Viera Connect with built-in Wi-Fi and smart browser, 2D-to-3D conversion, Media Player, DLNA and four HDMI/three USB inputs.
The DT50 also offers the 47- and 55-inch screen sizes with FullHD 1080p 240Hz 3D IPS panels, Viera Connect with built-in Wi-Fi and browser, 2D-3D conversion, Media Player, DLNA and four HDMI/three USB inputs.
The ET5 series includes the 42-, 47- and 55-inch screen sizes, with passive 3D glasses technology (a pair of glasses ship with the set), 120Hz IPS panel, and Viera Connect with built-in Wi-Fi and browser.
The E50 LCD series includes the 42-, 47- and 55-inch screen sizes. All have 120Hz refresh rates, FullHD 1080p resolution, Easy IPTV, DLNA, a PC input and Wi-Fi.
The E5 LCD series features the 32-inch TC-L32E5 and 37-inch TC-L37E5, both with 60Hz IPS panels, 1080p resolution, Easy IPTV and DLNA.
The U5 LCD series features the 42-ich TC-L42U5 (one of two CCFL backlit models in the 2012 line). It offers 720/60p HD resolution.
The C5 LCD series features the 32-inch TC-L32C5 with CCFL backlighting, 720p HD resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate. It also has two HDMI, one USB and a PC input.
Meanwhile, new 3D plasma offerings feature a lighter-weight 3D glasses (26 grams) with rechargeable batteries and link to the sets via Bluetooth technology.
The top-of-the-line VT50 plasma series includes the 55-inch (TC-P55VT50) and 65-inch screen sizes (TC-P65VT50). Both offer Full HD1080p 3D panels, Viera Connect IPTV functionality with web browsing, built-in Wi-Fi, DLNA media sharing, and 2D and 3D THX certification.
Other features include enhanced 2D-to-3D conversion, and a single-sheet-of-glass look with matching glass pedestal.
The GT50 series includes the 50-, 55-, 60- and 65-inch screen sizes. All are 1080p FullHD 3D sets with Wi-Fi, DLNA, 2D/3D THX certification and a glass pedestal design.
The ST50 1080p 3D plasma series includes the 50-, 55-, 60- and 65-inch screen sizes; all offer Wi-Fi and DLNA.
The XT50 series includes the 42- and 50-inch screen sizes; both have 3D 720p HD resolution, Easy IPTV-select functionality and DLNA.
The U50 series is the only 2012 plasma TV series without 3D capability; it features 1080p FullHD resolution.