If you had to pick a theme at 2010 International CES in Las Vegas, it would have to be 3D. The dimension of depth was ubiquitous in the product announcements of CE makers, from HDTVs to Blu-ray to gaming to PCs to camcorders...well you get the idea. But to view all that spiffy 3D content you'll need a new 3D-compatible HDTV, which helps explain why we awarded the 2010 Best of CES award to the Panasonic TC-PVT25 series.
Among the numerous 3D-compatible HDTVs announced at the show, the Panasonic will likely be the first to market, at least judging from the press release, which clams a "spring" release date. It also includes a pair of the necessary 3D glasses, something no other 3D maker (aside from Sony) was willing to commit to in writing. And although pricing was not announced, we don't expect it to cost too much more than the company's current high-end plasma, the V10 series.
Which brings up an important point: even if it wasn't for 3D, this flagship Panasonic plasma would probably be in the running anyway. That's because it's the successor to the company's TC-PV10 series, which was the only HDTV to earn an Editors' Choice from CNET's TV reviewers last year. The company claims improved black-level performance, and hence better picture quality, and with the company's track record of producing good-performing HDTVs, we have no reason to doubt that claim.
Even if 3D is a technology beset with problems, it's coming soon--like it or not. Panasonic's demos at its 2010 CES booth, and in its relentless promotional touring throughout the year, prove that the technology has come a long way since the cardboard green and red glasses of yore. Other 3D HDTV makers have joined up but Panasonic is the most vocal proponent of the latest craze in home entertainment, and the VT25 series will be a good ambassador for the third dimension.