LAS VEGAS –
The industry knows Panasonic as the king of plasma TV technology, but the company is using International CES to show an expanded assortment of larger-screen LCD TVs, including its first models to use passive 3D glasses technology.
In LCD, 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 activeshutter 3D systems.
Panasonic is also moving larger screen sizes this year, moving up to 47- and 55-inch LCD models from the peak 42-inch screen size in 2011.
The company is not abandoning its plasma roots, however, and is proving that with the introduction of 17 2012 plasma models, 16 of which will be 3D models.
The 3D plasma offerings feature new lighter-weight 3D glasses (26 grams) with rechargeable batteries. They 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 FullHD 1080p 3D panels, Viera Connect IP TV functionality which adds a web browser, built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, DLNA media sharing compliance, and both 2D and 3D THX certification.
The new sets will also offer enhanced 2D-to-3D conversion, feature four HDMI and three USB inputs, and sport a new one-sheet-of-glass and glass pedestal design.
The sets’ built-in media player allows viewing digital photos and HD video recorded on a SD memory card.
The GT50 series includes the 50-, 55-, 60- and 65-inch screen sizes. All are 1080p FullHD 3D sets with Viera Connect with web browser, built-in Wi-Fi, DLNA, 2D/3D THX certification, 2D-to-3D conversion, four HDMI/three USB inputs, SD card Media Player, and a glass pedestal design.
The ST50 1080p 3D plasma series includes the 50-, 55-, 60- and 65-inch screen sizes, featuring Viera Connect with browser, Wi-Fi, DLNA, 2D to 3D conversion, Media Player and three HDMI/ two USB inputs.
The XT50 series includes the 42- and 50-inch screen sizes, both of which have 3D 720p HD resolution, “Easy IPTV-select” IPTV functionality, 2D-to- 3D conversion, Media Player, DLNA and two HDMI/ two USB inputs. The U50 series, which is the only 2012 plasma TV series without 3D capability, features 1080p FullHD resolution, Media Player and two HDMI/two USB inputs.
Meanwhile, the new LCD TV models are highlighted by the top-of-the-line WT50 series, including the 47-inch TC-L47WT50 and 55-inch TC-L55WT50.
Both include FullHD 1080p 240Hz 3D IPS (inplane 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-to- 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, Viera Connect with built-in Wi-Fi and browser, 2Dto- 3D conversion, Media Player, DLNA and four HDMI/two USB inputs.
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, four HDMI/two USB inputs and Wi-Fi.
The E5 LCD series features the 32-inch TCL32E5 and 37-inch TC-L37E5, both with 60Hz IPS panels, FullHD 1080p resolution, Easy IPTV and DLNA.
The U5 LCD series features the 42-inch TCL42U5 (one of two CCFL-backlit models in the 2012 line). It offers 720p HD resolution, a 60Hz refresh rate, three HDMI/one USB inputs, and a PC input.
The C5 LCD series features the 32-inch TCL32C5 with CCFL backlighting, 720p HD resolution, a 60Hz refresh rate, two HDMI/one USB input and a PC input.