LAS VEGAS--Panasonic's press conferences aren't known to be all that scintillating, but the good news this year is that the Japanese electronics giant kept things relatively short.
As expected, we got to hear about second-generation 3D TVs and, as usual, several new digital-imaging and home theater-products were announced, many of them featuring some 3D angle.
Perhaps most interesting was the company's decision to rename its Viera Cast streaming media platform Viera Connect. The rechristening was part of a concerted effort of the company to build out its smart TV platform. One of the demos included Gameloft CEO Michel Guillemot showing off a downloadable racing game that would be available at some point in the Viera Connect Marketplace. So, yes, Panasonic is literally upping its Internet game, though its unclear just how many games would be launching this year and how much they will cost.
Also, while the company continued to talk up the evolution of its plasma sets (deeper blacks are coming), it also made sure to mention that its LCD factory was up and running and more LCD sets were on the way.
Here's a look at some of the other highlighted announcements (we'll add links as individual write-ups are posted):
- New Full HD 3D plasma sets will come in 65- and 55-inch screen sizes and are slated to ship in the April/May time frame (no prices yet).
- The Viera series FullHD 3D plasma sets will include four screen sizes: 65, 60, 55, and 50 inches. All have built-in Wi-Fi and the Viera Connect IPTV pack (the Viera series will offer similar features but fewer HDMI inputs and won't have THX certification)
- Panasonic's first 3D-capable LED edge-lit LCD TVs (DT30 series) will come in 32- and 37-inch screen sizes
- Three new standard-definition camcorders With 78x Zoom and wide-angle lenses
- 3MOS HD Camcorders for Professional-Level Video Shooting in 3D and 2D
- Four compact stereo systems, some of which have built-in Bluetooth
- Slim Bar audio system With wireless subwoofer and 3D Pass Through
- Three new Blu-ray home-theater systems
- 3D video conferencing makes its debut
- New 3D Blu-ray players