New York -
revealed additional prices and availability on 2012 Smart Viera plasma and LCD TVs, during a formal line unveiling for the press here Tuesday.
Panasonic said models in the ST50, UT50, and XT50 plasma series and the E50, ET5, E5 and X5 LED series will be available this month.
Also announced were ship dates on LED LCD TV models in the 47-inch screen size (available this month) and 55-inch screen size (available in April and May).
In total, the 2012 LED LCD model line features 16 SKUs this year, up from seven a year ago.
All new LCD TVs offer LED edge lighting systems, and all new LCD and plasma sets feature newly restyled slim-cabinet, slim-bezel designs, with many models employing a new "glass and metal" design concept.
Panasonic is also spreading 3D capability among the new sets and is advancing its Viera Connect IPTV platform to, among other things, include open web browsing in step-up models.
Viera "Smart TV is not just an Internet television, as people are calling it, but it is based on five pillars, including picture quality for both LED and plasma, ease of use, networking with an open platform to the Cloud, eco-friendliness and design," said Henry Hauser, Panasonic display division VP.
Energy efficiency was improved this year in both LCD and plasma models.
Panasonic said it was able to reduce power consumption further in its 2012 Viera plasmas by using a newly improved phosphor mixture and more efficient electronics, while at the same time a new drive system enables a 1.5x improvement in brightness output.
New LCDs employ advanced LED IPS (in-plane switching) panels using Panasonic's proprietary approach that expands the viewing angle while reducing on-mode power consumption by about 25 percent from a year ago.
Black level performance has also been boosted in 2012 Smart Viera plasma HDTVs, while the LED LCD TVs have faster response times.
Select Smart Viera plasma models employ NeoPlasma Black 2500 Focus Field Drive technology that is said to improve clarity in fast moving subjects. The system is also said to control lighting to bring out subtle details in dark scenes based on 24,576-step super fine gradation.
All 3D models include DLNA connections to network with PCs and other devices to share digital entertainment content between similarly configured devices.
Plasma models in the VT/GT/ST series feature a 2 million pixel dimming driver, a new custom driver LSI, a fast switching phosphor panel and 1080p 3D capability.
The ST50 series is the first of Panasonic's 2012 plasma models to ship.
The 50-inch TC-P50ST50 and 55-inch TC-P55ST50 are now available, while the 60-inch TC-P60ST50 and 65-inch TC-P65ST50 will be available in March and April, respectively.
The ST50 models include the Infinite Black Pro panel; FullHD 3D; Viera Connect with a web browser and built-in Wi-Fi; 1080p FullHD resolution; 2500 FFD (Focused Field Drive); fast switching phosphors; 2D-to-3D conversion; Social Networking TV, which allows the user to simultaneously view a program on the TV and connect with their Twitter and/or Facebook account on the same screen; 3D Real Sound with 8-train speakers; Media Player; Bluetooth; DLNA; Viera Link; three HDMI connections and two USB ports.
The 42- and 50-inch FullHD 3D UT50 series models will be available later this month.
The 55-inch TC-P55UT50 and the 60-inch TC-P60UT50 models will be available in April and May, respectively.
All offer 3D 1080p resolution, 2500 FFD, Viera Connect Wi-Fi, fast switching phosphors, 2D-to-3D conversion, Social Networking TV, media player, Bluetooth, DLNA, Viera Link, two HDMI connections and two USB ports.
The value XT50 LCD series offers 3D capability and online movie streaming. The 50-inch TC-P50XT50 offers 720p HD resolution and 2D to 3D conversion; Bluetooth; Media Player; DLNA; Viera Link; two HDMI and two USB connections and will be available this month.
The E50 series features mostly larger-sized LED LCD TV models with slim-design cabinets, including the 42-inch TC-L42E50, 47-inch TC-L47E50 and the 55-inch TC-L55E50. All offer 360 backlight scanning, improved resolution of fast-moving images, 1080p, Viera Connect, Social Networking TV function, DLNA, a PC input, four HDMI terminals and two USB ports.
The series is Wi-Fi ready and Energy Star certified.
The ET5-series models are Panasonic's first 3DTVs to use passive polarized 3D glasses, and four pair will ship with each set. The 47-inch TC-L47ET5 and 55-inch TC-L55ET5 ship this month while the 42-inch TC-L42ET5 ships in April. The ET5 models incorporate an IPS LED panel, 360-degree backlight scanning, Viera Connect with built-in Wi-Fi and browser, 2D-to-3D conversion, Social Networking TV function, media player, DLNA, Energy Star compliance, four HDMI and two USB terminals, and a PC input.
The four E5-series LED LCD TVs available this month include an IPS LED panel, 1080p resolution, online Movies, DLNA networking, four HDMI terminals, two USB ports, a PC input, Wi-Fi connectivity and Energy Star compliance.
Also available this month is the 32-inch LED LCD TV model TC-L32X5, featuring the IPS LED panel, three HDMI and one USB connections, and an SD memory card slot.
Panasonic's top-of-the-line plasma series, the VT50 and GT50, will be available later this month and in April. Top-of-the-line LED models will begin shipping this month, starting with the TC-L47DT50. It will be followed by the TC-L55DT50 (shipping in April) and the TC-L55WT50 and the TC-L47WT50 (both shipping in May).
Pricing for the 2012 Viera TV lineup follows:
2012 Viera Plasma Prices
2012 Models Suggested Retail
- TC-P65VT50 $3,699*
- TC-P55VT50 $2,499*
- TC-P65GT50 $3,299*
- TC-P60GT50 $2,599*
- TC-P55GT50 $2,099*
- TC-P50GT50 $1,799*
- TC-P65ST50 $2,999*
- TC-P60ST50 $2,099
- TC-P55ST50 $1,699
- TC-P50ST50 $1,399
- TC-P60UT50 $1,799*
- TC-P55UT50 $1,399*
- TC-P50UT50 $1,099
- TC-P42UT50 $799
- TC-P50U50 $899*
- TC-P50XT50 $799
- TC-P42XT50 $649*
- TC-P50X5 $579*
- TC-P42X5 $429*
- TC-50PU54 $749*
*Newly announced prices
2012 Viera LED/LCD Prices
2012 Models Suggested Retail
- TC-L55WT50 $2,999*
- TC-L55DT50 $2,499*
- TC-L55ET5 $1,899
- TC-L47WT50 $2,299*
- TC-L47DT50 $1,899*
- TC-L47ET5 $1,299
- TC-L47E50 $1,099
- TC-L47E5 $849
- TC-L42ET5 $1,099*
- TC-L42E50 $899
- TC-L42E5 $679
- TC-L42U5 $599*
- TC-L37E5 $599
- TC-L32E5 $499
- TC-L32X5 $399
- TC-L32C5 $319
- TC-L24X5 $249*
*Newly announced prices