Panasonic's Viera range of plasmas is getting an updgrade for 2006, with therange morphing into the PX600 range. While the company is still making LCD TVs, it firmly believes that plasma is the way forward at screen sizes of 37 inches and above. The new range will arrive in May with 37, 42 and 50-inch sizes all badged as HD Ready and all with integrated Freeview.
Crave saw the new range in action at Panasonic's launch on Tuesday, and the company's new V-Real processing system produced the gorgeously colourful pictures we've come to expect. The chipset is designed to process 720p and 1080i high-definition images in their native resolution, while also being able to upscale standard-definition images to HD resolution.
The PX600 range also features SD card slots as standard, so you can view camera images or record television programmes to watch on a portable device. The televisions are also one of the first plasmas to boast dual HDMI sockets, which could come in useful if you're an HD junkie with a Sky HD box and a Blu-ray player. The glass screen is quite reflective, but it has been reduced in thickness by 35 per cent, which means that the sets are significantly lighter than before.
If you're a passionate plasma supporter then it looks like it'll be a two-horse race between this range and the latest Pioneer TVs. We'll be keeping a close eye on these new sets and we'll bring you the full lowdown later in the year. -GC