CES: Panasonic Shuns Ultra HD and Supersize Screens

Panasonic’s new flagship plasma TV is ultra flash but not Ultra HD.

Unlike rivals Samsung, Sony and LG, which are betting on Ultra HD and OLED technologies to captivate consumers in 2013, Panasonic’s focus appears to be on exacting higher 1080p picture quality from screens no bigger than 65 inches.

Today at CES it unveiled 16 new Viera plasma models, including the premium ZT60 series that the company says goes “Beyond the Reference” level with its Studio Master Panel (which is expected to be THX-certified in both 2D and 3D modes).

Panasonic claims the new panel structure, which eliminates the air gap layer between the front glass and plasma panel, cuts out dim and double images.

“The quality of the ZT60’s 3D images is greatly enhanced, with clear, natural Full HD 3D images because of reduced crosstalk. 3000 Focused-field Drive also produces image resolution of 1080 lines for 2D images, to provide crisp, clear image motion.

“A wider colour gamut (DCI 98% Colour Space) is achieved thanks to a newly developed pure red phosphor. “

The introduction of the ZT60 series, in 60- and 65-inch displays, means the previous flagship model, the VT, is being repositioned as mid-range with 55-, 60- and 65-inch options.

The rest of the range will be split among the ST60, S60 and X60 series, with not only picture quality separating the budget models from the premium.

Panasonic also is pushing smart TV innovations in its higher-end sets, including:

My Home Screen: a personalisation function that allows each user in the home to create their own personal home screen giving them quick access to their favourite content (ZT60, VT60, ST60)

Swipe & Share 2.0: turns the TV into a hub for streaming and sharing photo and video content seamlessly with smartphones and tablets (ZT60, VT60, ST60)

Touch Pen: allows users to add their own writing to their photos on screen and transfer them back to their smart devices using the optional Electronic Touch Pen (TY-TP10U) accessory (ZT60, VT60, ST60, S60)

Voice Guidance: uses text to speech functions to verbalise text content as it appears on your TV (ZT60, VT60)

Voice Interaction: saying a key word into the Smart Viera Touch Pad Controller or smartphone (Viera Remote 2 App must be installed), the search result is displayed on the HD screen and also verbally read out (ZT60, VT60).

For more details, see the press release; expect Panasonic NZ to roll out most of the new models, starting with the entry displays, between April and June.

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