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Unedited press release follows:
PANASONIC BUILDS ON ITS AWARD WINNING TRADITION WITH 2012 SMART VIERA PLASMA HDTV MODEL LINE-UP
2012 Models Focus on Enhancing the User’s TV Experience With Expanded VIERA Connect™ Internet Accessibility, Targeted Web Browser Support, Superior FULL HD 3D, Pristine Picture Quality and Eco Advances
MISSISSAUGA, ON (March 21, 2012) – Panasonic Canada Inc. today introduced the latest additions to its 2012 Smart VIERA line of HDTV Plasmas – defining the core of a new IPTV lifestyle that goes beyond simple connected TVs with their focus on five main pillars: picture quality, networking, easy operation, design and eco. With 17 new models, ranging in screen sizes from 42-inches to 65-inches, Panasonic has expanded its 2012 3D line-up to deliver on the unique desires of consumers.
New for 2012 Panasonic is also introducing a cloud-based architecture that increases the VIERA Connect IPTV platform to an unlimited number of apps; consumers can also experience an enhanced internet platform with a new browser feature. For the ultimate in home entertainment, Panasonic has added “3D Real Sound” with 8-Train Speakers to enhance sound quality. And to further improve 3D viewing, the latest generation of 3D glasses are lightweight at only 27grams, utilize Bluetooth technology and feature a rechargeable battery.
Panasonic is dedicated to bringing new picture improving technologies to HDTVs and the 2012 line-up builds upon that philosophy. The 2012 VIERA HDTVs produce black levels that have consistently been recognized as among the best in the industry. VIERA Plasmas feature a super-fast and intuitive response time, easy to operate controls, an infinite number and variety of internet apps, plus a new clean and simple “glass and metal” design concept.
VIERA’s elegant design gives it a simple yet powerful presence by harmonizing materials and design. This new design maximizes the natural qualities of glass and metal to visually express the superb performance of the display. Select 2012 models also employ NeoPlasma Black 2500 to provide a crisp image even when the content shows very fast motion. The 2012 panel further reduces reflections and creates sharper pictures with higher contrast in brighter environments and a new panel structure and pre-discharge control technology contribute to an increased native contrast level. All of the 3D models include DLNA connections for easy link-up to other DLNA equipped products.
Panasonic’s company-wide commitment to sustainability and producing products that are ecologically sound is evident in the 100,000 hour life span of the Plasma Display panel and the lack of lead or mercury in the panels. Improved power efficiency has been addressed with, among other technology advances, new and improved phosphor mixtures and more efficient electronics.
“Panasonic is proud to be recognized by numerous reviewers for its superior picture quality and continuing commitment to the highest technology standards possible. We are continuing to uphold these standards by expanding the VIERA Connect internet functionality to deliver the best possible experience for consumers,” said Barry Murray, Director of Marketing, A/V Entertainment. “Panasonic is continually striving to surpass the previous year’s success by listening to what consumers are saying – we are proud to have been named one of the top ten global green brands of 2011 and look forward to launching our products this year.”
The six VIERA Plasma series (VT50, GT50, ST50, UT50, XT50, U50), feature self-illuminating panels with ultimate black levels and NeoPlasma technologies (VT/GT/ST) that provide a black filter with a higher efficiency panel that generates the best balance of black and white under brighter environments. The new Louver filter and new high performance panel result in improved external light shading, clarity and light transmittance. The 2012 models employ the NeoPlasma Black 2500 (VT/GT/ST/UT), 6,220,800 pixel FULL local dimming, 24,576 steps of gradation technology (VT/GT), previously only available in professional monitors, a new custom driver LSI, Smart VIERA Engine Pro, and a fast switching phosphor panel on all of Panasonic’s 1080p 3D models.
Panasonic also continues its relationship with THX with six Full HD 3D Plasma HDTVs, certified in both 2D and 3D mode by the prestigious company founded by George Lucas. THX certification indicates to the consumer that the picture quality has been certified to meet the stringent standards of Hollywood’s top film makers.
The VT50 series is the FULL HD 3D Plasma flagship series and is available in two screen sizes- the TC-P65VT50, 65-inch class (64.7 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-P55VT50, 55-inch class (55.1 inches measured diagonally). These two top of the line TVs offer a revolutionary level of picture quality; Neo Plasma with Smart VIERA Engine Pro; progressive FULL HD 3D; 1080p FULL HD resolution; Infinite Black Ultra Panel with a new Louvre Filter.
Deep Black hues are achieved thanks to new and advanced pre-discharge technology; VIERA Connect with Web browser, and built-in Wi-Fi; 2500 FFD (Focused Field Drive); Fast Switching Phosphors; 2D → 3D conversion; 24,576 steps of gradation technology ;THX 3D certification; ISFccc Calibration Mode with Advanced Calibration. Calibrators adjust the detailed picture setting with the calibration software (CALMAN™) provided by SpectraCal Inc.
Other features include:
• Social Networking TV function to allow users to access social network sites while simultaneously watching TV
• Multi-tasking feature to switch between apps
• 3D Real Sound with 8-Train Speakers
• VIERA Touch Pad Controller
• Bluetooth; DLNA; VIERA Link; Media Player
• Four HDMI connections and three USB ports
The VT50 series continues the design evolution as seen in last year’s VT30 series with a stunning one sheet of glass design. Flat and lustrous, this single pane of glass is totally obstruction-free. It expresses a minimalist sense of beauty by stripping away all unnecessary elements with a newly designed gradation metal pedestal.
The GT50 series includes four screen sizes – the TC-P50GT50, 50-inch class (49.9 inches measured diagonally); TC-P55GT50, 55-inch class (55.1 inches measured diagonally); TC-P60GT50, 60-inch class (60.1 inches measured diagonally); and TC-P65GT50, 65-inch class (64.7 inches measured diagonally). The series features:
• Neo Plasma with Smart VIERA Engine Pro
• Progressive FULL HD 3D
• Infinite Black Pro Panel
• VIERA Connect with Web browser and built-in Wi-Fi
• 1080p FULL HD resolution and 2500 FFD (Focused Field Drive)
• Fast Switching Phosphors; 2D → 3D conversion
• THX 3D certification
• 24,576 steps of gradation technology
• Social Networking TV function
• 3D Real Sound with 8 train speakers
• Media Player; Bluetooth; DLNA; VIERA Link
• Four HDMI connections and three USB ports
• Additionally the GT50 models incorporate the glass & metal design with a gradation metal pedestal.
The TC-P50ST50, 50-inch class (49.9 inches measured diagonally); the TC-P55ST50, 55-inch class (55.1 inches measured diagonally); the TC-P60ST50, 60-inch class (60.1 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-P65ST50, 65 inch class (64.7 inches measured diagonally) comprise the ST50 series of progressive FULL HD 3D VIERA HDTVs. The ST30 models include Infinite Black Pro Panel; VIERA Connect with Web browser and built-in Wi-Fi; 1080p FULL HD resolution; 2500 FFD (Focused Field Drive); Fast Switching Phosphors; 2D → 3D conversion; Pro Setting; 3D Real Sound with 8-Train Speakers; Media Player; Bluetooth; DLNA; VIERA Link, three HDMI connections and two USB ports.
There are four screen sizes in the UT50 series – the TC-P42UT50, 42 inch class (41.6 inches measured diagonally); TC-P50UT50, 50 inch class (49.9 inches measured diagonally); TC-P55UT50, 55 inch class (55.1 inches measured diagonally); TC-P60UT50,and 60 inch class (60.1 inches measured diagonally). All offer progressive FULL HD 3D; 1080p FULL HD resolution; VIERA Connect (Wi-Fi ready); 2500 FFD (Focused Field Drive); Fast Switching Phosphors; 2D → 3D conversion; Media Player with SD Card and USB playback; DLNA; VIERA Link; two HDMI connections and two USB ports.
The XT50 series provides the consumer with an affordable 3D solution with the Online Movies feature, a service that provides select Panasonic’s IPTV functionality by adding two of the most popular streaming movie platforms, including Netflix, to the TV’s internet functionality. The TC-P42XT50, 42 inch class (41.6 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-P50XT50, 50 inch class (49.9 inches measured diagonally) produce 720p resolution; 2D → 3D conversion; 600Hz Sub-field Drive; Media Player with SD Card and USB playback; Web Content Smoother; DLNA; VIERA Link; two HDMI and two USB connections.
The TC-P50U50, 50 inch class (49.9 inches measured diagonally) features 1080p FULL HD resolution; 600Hz Sub-Field Drive; Fast Switching Phosphors, Media Player with SD Card and USB playback; SD Photo Gallery; 24p cinematic playback; Game Mode; two HDMI connections and one USB port.
The TC-P42X5, 42 inch class (41.6 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-P50X5, 50 inch class (49.9 inches measured diagonally) produce 720p resolution; 600Hz Sub-Field Drive Media Player with SD Card and USB playback; SD Photo Gallery; Game Mode; two HDMI connections and one USB port.
About VIERA Connect and VIERA Link
Panasonic first introduced its concept of connected HDTVs five years ago and in 2012 VIERA Connect1, Panasonic’s proprietary IPTV platform continues to improve its functionality by employing a cloud based technology and philosophy, allowing for an unlimited number of apps available to the consumer. VIERA Connect provides access to apps in such categories as video and music, social networking, games, news and lifestyle, sports, health and fitness adhering to the philosophy that the consumer should be able to personalize the internet experience, VIERA Connect features a market site, where the consumer can select specific apps or accessories from a wide selection.
Popular sites, including Netflix, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Bloomberg News, AP, Wall Street Journal, Accuweather , Skype, Wealth TV, CinemaNow, sports sites such as Fox Sports, MLB, and NHL , BodyMedia and Withings continue on VIERA Connect and are joined by a host of exciting features and apps, all optimized for the best possible user experience2. In November 2011, Panasonic introduced an app, Social Networking TV that allows access to social network sites such as Twitter and Facebook, while simultaneously enjoying programming on their VIERA HDTV. At the same time, Panasonic also announced the addition of a new gaming application from PlayJam, a game channel with multiple game apps, and a movie/video channel dedicated to Bollywood, called BigFlix that allows users to access Bollywood Video on Demand.
With ease of use as a major focus, VIERA Connect’s interface implements quick keyword input (like a cell phone) to help retrieve favorite content faster and easier using any wireless USB keyboard. An optional Skype Communication camera (TY-CC20W) allows the consumer to communicate with friends and family via a large TV, rather than on a small computer or smart phone screen. There is also an app that allows enables the use of an iPhone/iPad as a remote. An e-HELP feature is accessible via the remote on the VT/GT/ST/UT models. This function provides access and help in exploring the TV’s capabilities.
Panasonic HDTVs also employ VIERA Link™ – a technology that utilizes HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) and allows a consumer to operate all VIERA Link compatible A/V components using only the TV’s remote control and helpful on-screen menus. In addition to operating a VIERA HDTV, video source (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD player) and home theater receiver, a VIERA Link capable Network Camera can be connected to a VIERA HDTV and controlled via VIERA remote. Users can then watch their child, pet and/or property by installing the camera and networking to the VIERA HDTV via Ethernet cable.
1 Access to a broadband internet connection is required to access VIERA Connect features.
2 Some services such as Netflix Amazon Instant Video and league sports sites have a separate fee structure to view movies and sports events
All prices are in Canadian dollars. All specifications are subject to change without notice.
Panasonic, Viera and Viera Link are registered trademarks and Viera Cast, Viera Connect and Viera Image Viewer are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation. All other trademarks are property of the respective owners
Panasonic products are marketed in Canada by Panasonic Canada Inc. (PCI). PCI is an affiliate of Panasonic Corporation (PC) of Japan, one of the world’s largest producers of electronic and electric products for consumer, business, and industrial use. Consumers seeking more information on the company’s products can call Panasonic’s Customer Care Centre at 1-800-561-5505 or access Panasonic’s home page at www.panasonic.ca.