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Panasonic Unveils 1,080p PDP During CES

Highlighting a range of new Panasonic product announcements at International CES will the company’s first 1080p high definition plasma set, and the launch of a new 58W-inch screen size.

The company will also announce a six-model DVD recorder line for 2006, led by a $249.95 suggested retail multi-format model with an electric program guide (EPG).

The new 65W-inch native 1920-by-1080 progressive-scan plasma set, model TH-65PX600U, is slated to ship in the fall at a price to be determined.

It will be the flagship of Panasonic’s new 600 Series of step-up high definition plasma sets. All models in the series — which also includes the 58W-inch 50W-inch, 42W-inch and 37W-inch screen sizes — will feature built-in ATSC and NTSC tuning, a digital CableCARD slot, HDMI/HDCP and PC inputs, an SD card slot and TV Guide On Screen electronic program guide.

The new 58W-inch TH-58PX600U, which will ship this spring at a $5,999.95 suggested retail, is one of two models in a new screen size for the company. It will offer 1,366 by 768 resolution.

Its counterpart, model TH-58PX60U ($5,499.95 suggested retail), will be the highlight of Panasonic’s new 60 Series plasma line, which will include models in the 50W-inch (1,366 by 768 resolution), 42W-inch (1,024 by 768) and 37W-inch (1,024 by 768) screen sizes.

All 60 Series models include ATSC and NTSC tuning, an SD card slot and HDMI/HDCP input. They omit the CableCARD slot.

Panasonic will also use CES to unveil its expanded DVD recorder line, which goes from three models in 2005 to six models this year.

The entry model DMR-ES15 ($249.95 suggested retail) will offer multiformat recording, HDMI output, one-second start-up time and an EPG.

The DMR-ES25 ($249.95) adds an SD card slot and photo viewer.

The DMR-ES35 ($299.95) is a combination multiformat DVD/VHS recorder and the DMR-ES45 ($349.95) is a combination DVD/VHS recorder with an SD card slot.

The DMR-EH55 ($499.95) combines a DVD recorder with a digital video recorder (DVR), incorporating a 200GB hard disk drive, EPG and SD card slot.

The DMR-EH75 ($599.95) is a three-way DVD/VHS recorder with a built-in 80GB hard disk drive, EPG and SD card slot.