Panasonic Booth – CES 2012
I expected to enjoy the trip to Panasonic’s booth at CES because I love looking at big, high quality HDTVs and historically they have delivered on both points. This year’s models will prove no exception to that as they have raised the bar again with better picture quality through panel improvements and higher internal refresh rates. There were many interesting things discovered at the booth, but the most impressive was the demo for “IPS LED Moving Picture Quality” which demonstrated a new feature found on their LCDs which provides near-plasma moving picture resolution. While TVs were the main reason for stopping by, we also too the opportunity to check out the Blu-ray player line up and some of the HTIB (home theater in a box) and audio systems that will come out this year – click through to check out the pictures and highlights.
- New sleek, thin design. In my opinion Panasonic wins the prize for best looking set so far.
- 3D Glasses are BT
- Web browser now part of VieraConnect
- VieraConnect looked, and for the most part acted the same (i.e. slow but reasonable functional) as previous generations. It is not nearly as slick as Samsung’s platform.
- No more S-series, it’s been replaced by a new “UT” model, which provides the only option for plasmas under 50″
- 2012 PDPs consume 50% of the electricity versus 2011 PDP.
- VT (PDP) and WT (LCD) include a BT touch-pad remote
- The plasma panel has been significantly redesigned across all models, Panasonic didn’t push last years panel down model like they have in the past
- VT includes the third version of Infinite Black, should produce deeper black than previous generations – “No comment” on what the MLL will be
- Also “No comment” on PDP rising MLL issues observed with previous generations
- This year’s LCD lineup includes a polarized (aka passive) option for budget 3D buyers, all of the plasmas are active
UT50: 42, 50, 55, 60
ST50: 50, 55, 60, 65
GT50: 50, 55, 60, 65
VT50: 55, 65
- There were several Blu-ray decks on display spanning the usual feature gamut. There was one stand-out though, a slick little player about the size of an external laptop optical drive.
- Power saving features available on some models where the deck goes into standby, but detects your proximity and automatically starts powering up (so it can receive a disc with little to no wait) when it detects movement.
- HTIB offers a 25 “channel” virtual surround mode that adds height to the sound field. The demo was pretty impressive, but it’s definitely something that could be highly dependent on source material.
- High-end HTIB is wireless surround kit ready, so you can buy an external device that operates in the 2.4GHz area to avoid running speaker wires to the back of the room. AC power is (of course) still required.