The wave of new TV introductions that started last week with Samsung continues now with Panasonic. This month and next month the ST50, UT50, and XT50 Plasma TVs and E50, ET5, E5 and X5 LED LCD TVs will be arriving in stores.
While most people know Panasonic as a plasma TV company, the biggest expansion this year is in the company’s LED LCD TVs. Panasonic will offer LED TVs in larger sizes, including 47- and 55-inch models. The assortment includes 16 LED models, more than double what the company offered last year.
The company’s E50 Series features an IPS (in-plane switching) LED panel and a slim design in sizes 42-, 47- and 44-inches. All three will include 360 backlight scanning, VIERA Connect smart TV functionality including new social networking features. Users will also be able to access their PC content via DLNA connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi.
The ET5 Series brings Panasonic’s first passive polarized 3D LED TVs. Available in 42-, 47-, and 55-inch versions, they also include 2D to 3D conversion, and four sets of polarized 3D glasses.
The E5 series LED TVs include the IPS LED panel and range from 37- to 47-inches.
While LED TVs are dominating the market, for videophiles plasma is still delivers the best combination of picture quality and value. With that in mind, Panasonic enhanced it’s plasma line with some technology improvements. Some of the new models will be built around a NeoPlasma Black 2500 panel with a 2500 Focused Field Drive which helps moderate light and preserve detail. It includes 24,576-steps super fine gradation. The new panels also boast better contrast and ambient light rejection.
The ST50 plasma series, available in April, includes 50-, 55-, 60- and 65-inch models. They include built-in Wi-Fi, an Infinite Black Pro Panel Full HD 3D; VIERA Connect with a web browser , 2500 FFD (Focused Field Drive), fast switching phosphors, 2D to 3D conversion, Bluetooth, DLNA and other features.
The next line is the UT50 series in 42-, 50-, 55- and 60-inch models. All are full HD active 3D 1080p, VIERA Connect (WiFi ready), 2500 FFD (Focused Field Drive), fast switching phosphors; 2D to 3D conversion, Social Networking TV, Bluetooth; DLNA, VIERA Link and more.
A 720p line, the XT50 series is a more affordable 3D plasma option. It doesn’t include the full VIERA Connect online platform, but does include some online content selections for video and music. The TC-P50XT50, 50-inch models features 2D to 3D conversion, 600 Hz subfield drive, Bluetooth, Media Player, DLNA; VIERA Link, two HDMI and two USB connections and will be available this month.
To learn more about Panasonic’s smart TV and social TV platform check out this.
For an up-close look at Panasonic’s VT series plasma check out this.
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.