New York -
gave the shipments of the majority of its 2011 Viera 3D plasma and LCD TV lines a formal sendoff here Wednesday, and indicated that a new lower price for 3D glasses will soon be on the way.
Although it had previously shown its 2011 3D plasma and LCD sets at January's International CES and then again at a line review last March, the company offered yet another promotional opportunity with the press to present the technology and feature packages shipping in its new VT (65 and 55 inches), GT (65, 60, 55 and 50 inches), and ST (all sizes 42 to 65 inches) 3D plasma series sets and its DT LCD 1080 displays (32 and 37 inches).
New this time was the announcement of new dealer calibration software designed for Panasonic by
to enable precise picture calibration of VT Series models based on SMPTE performance criteria and optimized for the ambient lighting conditions of the room. Measurements are taken in the home through the software using a special meter that is placed on the screen to read color, grayscale and luminance so the software can make automatic adjustments to the set.
All a set owner would have to do after the calibration is switch from day to night modes on the TV to achieve the best picture results for the room.
Panasonic is selling the software, which is distinguished by its ability to make rapid adjustments, to those dealers who wish to offer their clients a value-added customized service for the purchase and installation of the advanced TV models and home theater systems.
Meanwhile, with word that LG and Vizio have launched inexpensive HD LCD TVs using lower-cost passive 3D glasses technology, and Samsung has cut the pricing on its active-shutter glasses, Panasonic said it is making preparations to sell a new pair of rechargeable active-shutter eyewear that is compatible with its 3D TVs at a retail price, "somewhere south of $99." The exact time and release date will be disclosed later.
Currently, Panasonic is planning to offer in June a special limited time promotional bundle with glasses and a 3D Blu-ray Disc copy of "Avatar" to help promote the new sets. The VT series is the only series that offers one pair of 3D glasses standard with the purchase of the TV.
All of the new plasma and LCD models this year will feature some form of connectivity, with step-up model series featuring the new Viera Connect app-based TV platform that has the ability to access downloadable video games, connect to exercise equipment to monitor heart rates and assist with treadmill workouts (among others), and access out of market sporting events via the NHL, NBA, MLB and MSL. For streaming video content the VieraConnect platform adds access to HuluPlus, CinemaNow and AlphaLine services, among others.
The VieraConnect models all have access to an app "market" where they can buy literal dozens of applications created for the TVs by third party developers.
Panasonic VieraConnect sets also include Skype video conferencing through the TV.
All models this year also offer DLNA compliance.