2012 Panasonic Viera TV pictures and tech specs revealed

Tue, 21 Feb 2012, 9:20am

Panasonic Viera WT50

After the US launch of its 2012 TVs at CES last month, Panasonic has unveiled the new sets we will see in the UK this year.

A new flagship plasma, larger LED-backlit LCD TVs and its first passive 3D models join the line-up, which include six series of plasma sets and six of LCD - the latter all LED-backlit.

You can read more about the 2012 Panasonic TV range in our news story here; this blog will build to include pictures, tech-specs and UK prices as they become available.

2012 Panasonic plasma TVs

Panasonic claims to be the market leader for plasma TVs, with more than 42% share of the global sales of plasmas in 2011.

Panasonic has announced six Viera plasma ranges for 2012, five of them 3D. The 46in plasma screen-size has disappeared, and Panasonic has chosen not to take the 60in sets available in the US - leaving the UK with 42-, 50-, 55- and 65in plasma options.

VT50 - the new Viera flagship

Panasonic VT50

The Panasonic VT50 range will be available in 50-, 55- and 65in screen sizes. [Note to Panasonic: don't think that's the screenshot we'd have chosen to use on the press picture above, considering the issues some customers reported with green tinges on their 2011 sets.]

Here are the key VT50 specs:

- Full HD resolution
- Full HD 3D (active 3D)
- Infinite Black Ultra
- High Contrast Filter Pro
 - Dual Core Pro4 Processor
 - VIERA Connect with Web browser/built-in WiFi
 - 2500Hz FFD (Focused Field Drive)
- Fast-switching phosphors
 - 2D to 3D conversion
 - 24,576 steps of gradation technology
 - THX in both 2D and 3D modes
 - ISF Calibration Mode with Advanced Calibration
 - Multi-Tasking capability to switch between Apps
 - V-Audio Pro Surround 2.1
 - VIERA Touch Pad Controller (pictured below)
 - Bluetooth
 - DLNA
 - Media Player (can view allows photos and HD video recorded on a SD Memory Card or USB stick)
 - Four HDMI sockets
 - Three USB ports
 - Two pairs of active shutter 3D glasses
- Freesat HD tuner
- Freeview HD tuner

 

Panasonic touchpad remote

As well as its new remote control option (it's in addition to the standard handset), the VT50 has a new style of pedestal stand, too.

How is it different to the 2011 VT30?

As is traditional at such product events, Panasonic showed us several examples of the 2012 sets running alongside both last year's models and rival sets.

The new VT50 (and GT50) plasmas use a new plasma panel from last year's VT30/GT30 TVs, plus a faster processor and a new filter. Panasonic claims - and demonstrated - this delivers better blacks and superior contrast (hence the new Infinite Black Ultra and High Contrast Filter Pro specs), with the bonus of the screen being also less reflective.

The dual-core processor also enables the VT50 (and GT50) to offer full web browsing, including displaying Flash-based sites; the other sets offer HTML-5 web browsing. The superior processor also enables multi-tasking between Viera Connect apps (of which more later).

The Panasonic Viera TX-P50VT50 will be available in the UK from late March, with the TX-P55VT50 and TX-P65VT50 (shown below) following from April. Pricing is expected to be similar to the current VT30 level (from @£2000), with the TX-P65VT50 topping the range at around £4000.

Panasonic Viera VT50

GT50

The GT50 range - available in 42- and 50in screen sizes - shares many of the features of the VT50 range, but loses the Infinite Black Ultra filter, the advanced ISF calibration capability and the two free pairs of 3D specs.

Key tech specs are:

- Full HD resolution
- Full HD 3D (active 3D)
- Infinite Black Pro
- High Contrast Filter Pro
 - Dual Core Pro4 Processor
 - VIERA Connect with Web browser/built-in WiFi
 - 2500Hz FFD (Focused Field Drive)
- Fast-switching phosphors
 - 2D to 3D conversion
 - 24,576 steps of gradation technology
 - THX in both 2D and 3D modes
 - Multi-Tasking capability to switch between Apps
 - V-Audio Pro Surround 2.1
 - VIERA Touch Pad Controller
 - Bluetooth
 - DLNA
 - Media Player (can view allows photos and HD video recorded on a SD Memory Card or USB stick)
 - Four HDMI sockets
 - Three USB ports
- Freesat HD tuner
- Freeview HD tuner

The Panasonic Viera TX-P42GT50 and TX-P50GT50 will be available in the UK from March, with prices expected to be around the same as the outgoing GT30 TVs were when introduced (think around £1500).

ST50

The ST50 range  - available in 42-, 50-, 55- and 65in screen sizes - loses some of the feature frills of the VT50 and GT50 models, but is still based on the new-generation plasma panel. Key tech specs:

- Full HD resolution
- Full HD 3D (active 3D)
- Infinite Black Pro
- High Contrast Filter
 - Dual Core Pro4 Processor
 - VIERA Connect with Web browser/built-in WiFi
 - 2000Hz FFD (Focused Field Drive)
- Fast-switching phosphors
 - 2D to 3D conversion
 - V-Audio Pro Surround 2.1
 - DLNA
 - Media Player
 - Three HDMI sockets
 - Two USB ports
- Freeview HD tuner

The Panasonic Viera TX-P42ST50, TX-P50ST50, TX-P55ST50 and TX-P65ST50 will be available in the UK from next month, at some very tempting prices: that 65in model is expected to cost £2500 at launch.

UT50

This is the point in the new line-up where more standard plamsa panels kick in. The UT50 series will be available in 42- and 50in screen sizes. Key tech specs:

- Full HD resolution
- Full HD 3D (active 3D)
- VIERA Connect with Web browser (wi-fi ready)
 - 2000Hz FFD (Focused Field Drive)
- Fast-switching phosphors
 - 2D to 3D conversion
 - DLNA
 - Media Player
 - Two HDMI sockets
 - Two USB ports
 - Freeview HD tuner

The Panasonic Viera TX-P42UT50 and TX-P50UT50 will be available from next month; UK pricing to be confirmed.

XT50 - Panasonic's first passive 3D plasmas

Panasonic has acknowledged that there's room for a lower-cost 3D TV solution, which it has introduced in the form of the new XT50 range, available in 42- and 50in screen sizes. Key specs are:

- HD Ready resolution
 - Passive 3D
- 600Hz sub-field drive
- Viera Connect; web browser (wi-fi ready)
- Game mode
- DNLA
- Media player
- Two HDMI sockets
- Two USB ports
 - Freeview HD tuner

The Panasonic Viera TX-P42XT50 and TX-P50XT50 will be available in the UK from next month; price details to follow.

X50 - Panasonic's entry-level plasma

Finally we reach Panasonic's X50 series, which replaces last year's 'C' range. It will be available in 42- and 50in screen sizes. The key specs are:

- HD Ready resolution
- 600Hz sub-field drive
- Game mode
- Media player
- Two HDMI sockets
- One USB port
- Freeview HD tuner

The Panasonic Viera TX-42X50 and TX-50X50 will be available in the UK from next month; pricing to follow, but expect sub-£1000.

 

Panasonic's largest-ever LCDs

For many years, Panasonic has banged the drum for plasma at larger screen sizes, insisting that LCD sets are best kept small. But this year sees it introduce larger LCDs as an alternative to plasma sets.

Fabrice Estornel, whom heads up Panasonic's TV division in the UK, explains: "We're committed to plasma, but can't ignore the demands of the market. There are some people who'd never buy a plasma, whatever we say."

Panasonic Viera WT50

WT50 - Panasonic's flagship LED-backlit LCD series

With 46in plasmas absent from Panasonic's plasma range, 47in LCDs make a clear showing - including in the flagship LED-backlit LCD range, the WT50, which will be available in 42-, 47- and 55in screen sizes. Here are its key tech specs:

 - 3D IPS LED panel
 - 1600Hz Backlight Scanning
 - FullHD resolution
 - Infinite Contrast
 - Dual Core Pro4 Processor
 - VIERA Connect with built-in WiFi and browser
 - 2D to 3D conversion
 - Multitasking feature to switch between Apps
 - V-Audio Pro Surround 2.1
 - Media Player
 - DLNA
 - Bluetooth
 - VIERA Touch Pad Controller
 - USB/SD recording
 - Four HDMI sockets
 - Three USB ports
- Two pairs of active 3D glasses
 - Freesat and Freeview HD tuners

The Panasonic Viera TX-L42WT50, TX-L47WT50 and TX-L55WT50 models will be available from next month; UK prices to be confirmed.

What's new in those LCD tech specs?

Technical highlights of the new Panasonic LCDs include a new IPS LCD panel with much faster processing and wider viewing angles.

The 1600Hz Backlight Scanning applies that extra processing power to the TV's refresh rate. Inherently the WT50 is a 200Hz TV, but the backlight is being scanned an extra eight times to mask the gap between frames and reduce on-screen blur.

The limited demo we saw certainly served up a slicker picture than a rival TV, but we'll need to run real-life tests before we can judge whether the backlight scanning offers the faster response times promised.

All the 2012 Panasonic LCD TVs are also Energy A+ rated for their power efficiency.

DT50 - a few less thrills, most of the function

Panasonic DT50

Panasonic's DT50 range shares a lot of the features of the WT50 range, though with a plainer pedestal stand, no touchpad controller, no Bluetooth connectivity and mere 'brilliant' rather than 'infinite' contrast.

Like the WT50, it will come in 42-, 47- and 55in varieties; here are the key specs:

 - 3D IPS LED panel
 - 1600Hz Backlight Scanning
 - FullHD resolution
 - Brilliant Contrast
 - Dual Core Pro4 Processor
 - VIERA Connect with built-in WiFi and browser
 - 2D to 3D conversion
 - Multitasking feature to switch between Apps
 - V-Audio Pro Surround 2.1
 - Media Player
 - DLNA
 - USB/SD recording
 - Four HDMI sockets
 - Three USB ports
 - Freesat and Freeview HD tuners

The Panasonic Viera TX-L42DT50, TX-L47DT50 and TX-L55DT50 will be available from next month; pricing details to follow.

ET50

Panasonic ET50

Next up is a new range with 42- and 47in models. Here are the key tech specs for the ET50 range:

- 3D IPS LED panel
 - 800Hz backlight scanning
 - Brilliant Contrast
 - FullHD resolution
 - VIERA Connect with built-in WiFi and Web browser
 - DLNA
 - USB HDD Recording
 - PC input
 - Four HDMI sockets
 - Three USB ports
- Freeview HD tuner

The Panasonic Viera TX-L42ET50 and TX-L47ET50 will be available from next month; expect pricing to be 'highly competitive', Panasonic says.

ET5 - passive 3D LCD, courtesy of LG

Panasonic is also offering a cheaper, passive 3D option in its LCD line-up, based on panels sourced from LG. The ET5 series will be available in 32-, 37-, 42-, 47- and 55in screen sizes, each coming with four sets of Panasonic's new passive 3D glasses (pictured).

Panasonic passive glasses

Other key tech specs for the ET5 sets include:

- IPS LED panel
- 300Hz backlight scanning
- Brilliant contrast
- Viera Connect with built-in wi-fi and browser
- 2D to 3D conversion
- Media player
- DLNA
 - four HDMI sockets
- three USB ports
 - PC input
- Freeview HD tuner

The Panasonic Viera TX-L32ET5, TX-L37ET5, TX-L42ET5, TX-L47ET5 and TX-L55ET5 will be available from next month, with pricing to follow - though again, 'value' will be the keyword with this range.

E5 no 3D but still LED

All Panasonic 2012 LCD TVs are LED-backlit, even at this lower end of the line-up, where we find a pair of 2D ranges.

The E5 series features four models, at 32-, 37-, 42- and 47in screen sizes. Key specs are:

- IPS LED panel
- Full HD resolution
- 150Hz backlight scanning (except 32in model, which is 100Hz)
- Brilliant contrast
 - Viera Connect (wi-fi ready)
 - DLNA
 - Four HDMI sockets
 - Two USB ports
 - PC input
 - Freeview HD tuner

The Panasonic Viera TX-L32E5, TX-L37E5; TX-L42E5 and TX L47E5 will be available from next month, at 'sub-£1000' pricing.

X5 - here come the smaller sets

The 2012 Panasonic LCD range is rounded out by the X5 range, featuring smaller screen sizes: 19- 24- and 32in. There's an odd mix of specs here, as you can see below.

The TX-L32X5 is an HD Ready IPS LED panel with High Contrast; Media Player; three HDMI sockets; one USB port; a PC input and a Freeview HD tuner.

The TX-L24X5 is a Full HD LED model featuring an anti-reflective panel, two HDMI terminals; one USB, a PC input and game mode - plus, again a Freeview HD tuner.

The TX-L19X5 is an HD Ready LED panel with High contrast; Media Player, two HDMI sockets and one USB input. It too has a Freeview HD tuner.

And that's it for the TV model line-up. In other news, Viera Connect will be updated with Netflix movies-on-demand, and Panasonic's new smartphone/tablet app will allow you to 'swipe' content from your portable onto the big screen: we'll bring you full updates on that when the app goes live in the Apple App Store/Android marketplace.

 

Comments

The last 2 pictures are upside down.

Only on certain platforms/browsers, oddly! Trying to find out why...

Clare Newsome wrote:

Only on certain platforms/browsers, oddly! Trying to find out why...

You're right! The pictures are fine when viewed on FireFox, but upside down on my iPad. Undecided

bigboss wrote:

Clare Newsome wrote:

Only on certain platforms/browsers, oddly! Trying to find out why...

You're right! The pictures are fine when viewed on FireFox, but upside down on my iPad. Undecided

The irony is that they were taken on my iPhone! I suspect some Apple OS detection of that fact: it's trying to be clever.....

Brilliant comment Clare : "[Note to Panasonic: don't think that's the screenshot we'd have chosen to use on the press picture above, considering the issues some customers reported with green tinges on their 2011 sets.]"

 

I was on the phone to a Panasonic exec today and the first thing he was extemporizing on, was the 'green blob' issue.
And yet here we have a promo shot in lovely green!Wink

And NO I'm still not sorted, I have seen sloths move faster than Panasonic managers!!