NEWS: Panasonic to offer Freesat-ready flatscreens

Tue, 12 Feb 2008, 6:57pm

Freesat-Logo Panasonic is to launch flatscreens complete with Freesat receivers - meaning no need for a separate set-top box when the Freeview-and-HD-via-satellite services start later this year.

First up, in the summer, will be the PZ81 series of Freesat plasmas - available in 37-, 42in and 50in screen sizes. Yes, there WILL be 37in plasmas in Panasonic's 2008 range...

The plasmas will be followed later in the year by LZ81 Freesat LCDs - initially 32- and 37in models.

Pricing and further specification details are currently unavailable, but watch this space for updates.

We exclusively learned about the Freesat sets here at Panasonic's HD Networking Convention - stand by for further reports on the company's Blu-ray and systems plans over in our Home Cinema section.

Sadly, you may have to wait until March 1st for a full TV update, when the embargo is lifted on the European versions of the 2008 models launched at CES last month.

Naturally we're working on bringing you the story - and of course the product reviews - ASAP.

EDIT - that 37in plasma may NOT make it to the Freesat range, i've just heard (the plasma line-up looks like being 42-, 46- and 50in). However, there will be 37in plasmas in Panasonic's standard flatscreen range.

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So the requirements for HD tuners over freesat are set in stone unlike the confusion surrounding HD freeview tuners?

Panasonic talked about waiting to launch the sets until the spec and service was finalised - but with Freesat launching 'this Spring' (still no exact date), i'd imagine set-top boxes must be in production already....

Not a good news for me, I was hoping they will launch  new range in spring but from the above new it looks like we will only know in march when the new TV's will be available it very well could be in summer or autumn.

I guess I should go now and buy one Samsung LE46F86, instead of torchoring myself with 14" sharp.

Some of the new standard Panasonic sets will be available from March - i'm getting timelines on Monday, so should be able to share them, if not specific details on the sets themselves....

Nigel, just my 2 cents but personally I always think you're better off with a seperate receiver box anyway. Friends of mine who have satelite have had numerous box problems and with a seperate box, you simply replace the defective box, with an integrated solution, it means an expensive tv repair.

That said, its nice to see Panasonic taking the mantle and offering an integrated option for those who want one.

Will these new TVs handle 24FPS properly? as i'm stressed with the judder on my PZ70b

Hi Clare,

With reference to your earlier comment, were u able to get any details from Panasonic on the availability of new models?