Panasonic has launched itsinto Australia. Like rivals LG and Samsung, the focus is on 4K panels and Blu-ray upscaling, but Panasonic seems to be hoping that a greater integration of Netflix will prove to be the company's point of difference.
Panasonic is offering 23 new TVs over eight different ranges, with 60 percent of the lineup offering 4K Ultra HD resolution. The flagship CX800 series will come in both 64- and 55-inch sizes, although the units won't be available until the fourth quarter of 2015.
All of the 4K Viera range have quad-core processors under the hood and offer a smart TV experience based on the new Firefox 2.0 operating system. Twin tuners have made their way into all 4K and Full HD TVs on offer, allowing for Picture-in-Picture viewing as well as recording of one program while watching another.
Panasonic is also continuing to push its TV Anytime service. This allows you to stream live TV from your Viera to a tablet or smartphone, no matter where you are in the world. Content recorded to an attached USB drive can be viewed via smartphone or tablet, no matter where you're connecting to the internet.
Netflix is a major part of Panasonic's new strategy. Every TV except the C400 range will not only have the Netflix app already installed, it will feature a dedicated Netflix button on the remote.
Panasonic is also baking Netflix into its top tiers of Blu-ray and PVR products. The flagship Blu-ray/PVR, the DMR-BWT955GL, has 2TB of storage, three tuners, offerings 4K upscaling and HbbTV, as well as keyword and series recording. The latter two allow for the recording of shows based on keywords, such as a particular sport, topic or even actor. Series recording lets you register a show, then have each episode automatically recorded. The BWT955GL will be on sale early June for AU$955.