MISSISSAUGA, ON (March, 2012) – Panasonic Canada Inc. today revealed the 2012 showcase of products featuring the latest developments in VIERA televisions, LUMIX digital imaging and audio home entertainment. With an eye on evolving Smart home connectivity and adding even more user-friendly features for tech novices and pros, Panasonic’s team of experts have focused on making every product experience intuitive, accessible, and even more memorable. Straight from the show floor of Panasonic’s 2012 product showcase, please find below a snapshot of products to keep on the radar this year.
As usual, however, I’m not going to cover every single piece of item available on the floor. I will only concentrate on items and features that I find to be ground-breaking and more suitable for my readers.
Panasonic Viera High Definition Televisions
Delivering on the company’s five defining elements of IPTV lifestyle – picture quality, networking, ease of use operation, design and eco – Panasonic is introducing a cloud-based architecture that increases the VIERA Connect IPTV platform to include an unlimited number of apps and an enhanced Internet platform via a new browser feature. With support of the new and improved Panasonic VIERA Connect (now dubbed as SmarTViera) platform, a new wave of the company’s proprietary two-way Internet functionality, users can access a wide range of internet-based video-on-demand content and applications (both for-free applications and to-be-purchased applications), along with even more options for streaming video and social networking, a fully-integrated music application, unique apps for children, as well as intuitive and broader search features including a new touch remote for select TVs.
The system is now integrated into 12 of the new models, providing easy access to such sites as: Netflix, Facebook, CinemaNow, Skype, Ustream, sports sites (MLB, NHL, Fox Sports), gaming, health and wellness sites, news services (AP and WSJ), BigFlix and YuppTV for high quality Bollywood movies and TV channels. Furthermore, later on this year, the 2011 models Viera Connect devices can be upgraded (to the same or lesser degree) to SmarTViera too!
Following the world’s ecological consciousness, Panasonic also continues its commitment to producing eco-friendly HDTVs. The new and improved high efficient LED LCD Panels reduce targeted power consumption up to approximately 25 percent over last year’s models. Obviously, power consumption can be pushed down even further with professional THX / ISF calibration done by certified professionals.
Panasonic VIERA LED LCD HDTVs
The 2012 line-up of VIERA LED LCD HDTVs continues to benefit from the addition of the IPS LED LCD Panel (In Plane Switching) technology which delivers a wide viewing angle and almost no picture degradation at off-angle viewing; a super high speed 1920 Backlight Scanning for higher moving-picture resolution during fast action scenes; reduction of afterglow; and a smooth, crisp image. (see comparison photo of non-IPS panel on the left vs IPS panel on the right, below)
Panasonic VIERA Full HD 3D Plasma TVs
Panasonic’s 17 new models in the 2012 Smart VIERA line-up of HDTV Plasmas feature a range of screen sizes from 42-inches to 65-inches. For the ultimate in home entertainment, Panasonic has also added “3D Real Sound” with 8-Train Speakers to enhance sound quality. To further improve 3D viewing the latest generation of 3D glasses are lightweight, at only 27 grams, utilize Bluetooth technology, and feature a rechargeable battery and full compatibility with any brand that is 3D-Consortium compatible.
Beyond Panasonic’s “regular” 600Hz subfield drive, Panasonic have now developed NeoPlasma Black 2500 technology which includes 2,500Hz-equivalent Focused Field Drive which results in zero judder without the need of any frame interpolation. Imagine that, smooth picture (very noticable during panning) without the after effect of the dreaded soap-opera look. Even better, the quest of “blacker-ness” continues on resulting in 50% darker blacks than last year’s model (see picture below of last year’s vs this year’s model)
Continuing the long tradition, Panasonic also continues its relationship with THX with six Full HD 3D Plasma HDTVs certified in both 2D and 3D mode. This time the THX mode comes in three flavours: THX, THX Bright Room, and a Custom Mode to store THX professional calibrator’s settings.
Panasonic Blu-Ray Disc Products
With a focus on smart home networking, high-quality picture and sound, ease-of-use, new slim design and eco-efficiency, Panasonic’s expanded Blu-ray Disc™ player line-up features ultra-fast booting and loading, low power consumption and are Energy Star Qualified.
What excites me most is the introduction of audiophile/videophile grade DMP-BDT500 (Available in April, MSRP $499.99) which special features includes high-grade components, anti-vibration feet and most important of all, front-facing twin Wi-Fi antennae for top notch wireless internet connectivity especially in a rack-mount configuration. Another fancy schmancy thing is the touch remote which I find to be very useful especially when accessing the SmarTViera contents.
Of course if you don’t need the audiophile / videophile-grade quality, the stylish DMP-BDT320 (Available in March, MSRP $249.99) is also available. I have to admit, it’s pretty slick.
Panasonic Home Audio System Products
Quite honestly I’m not a fan of micro system. However, one unit truly caught my eyes.
For merely $199.99, you can get the SC-GT07 in May which styling offers a modern classic guitar box design with a faux-wood-like front panel, setting stand and rotary volume knob to simulate the look of a classic guitar. The cabinetry features Aero Stream Port for robust bass and Pure Direct Sound System for clear sound reproduction.