This year's CES show has been dominated by news of enhanced IPTV features, iPad-rivaling tablets, and more 3D, and Panasonic has made announcements involving all three.

First up is Viera Connect, formerly known as Viera Cast, which is being opened up as a platform to encourage third-party developers to launch apps. These will be available in the Viera Connect Market, and will include more video and music streaming services, more social networking, and even games.

 

If the thought of games built into TVs fills you with images of rubbish Tetris clones, you're likely to be as impressed with launch title Asphalt 5 as we were when we had a go at it on Panasonic's stand. It's a racing game with fully licensed bikes and cars from the likes of Ducati, Mini and Audi, and a number of road tracks based in locations around the world. Most impressively it's got online multiplayer, and you can control it using a standard USB gamepad. Graphically, it's not going to make you want to sell your PS3 or Xbox 360, but think last generation consoles and you're on the right path.

 

Then there are Panasonic's tablets, known rather unsurprisingly as Viera Tablets. There are to be three of them: a 4incher, a 7incher and a rather hefty 10incher, and as well as offering media streaming and ebooks will work in conjunction with the company's Viera Connect TVs by adding information and interactivity to whatever you're watching on your main screen. At this point the Tablets are really prototypes, but we'd expect them to hit the market towards the end of the year.

Now, the real meat: TVs. Below you'll find a list of some of the new models with some specs and pictures, but do bear in mind that the model numbers are for the US and will inevitably be different when they reach the UK. Panasonic's European press event will be in February, and we're expecting official model numbers, prices and launch dates to be announced then.

 

DT30 series

 

Perhaps most interesting is the DT30 series, which not only extends Panasonic's range of 3D TVs down to 32in and 37in, but also signifies the company's first 3D LCD sets.

32in (TC-32DT30) and 37in (TC-37DT30)

IPS Alpha LED panel

Viera Connect

Wi-fi ready

3D Viera Image Viewer

DLNA

4x HDMI inputs

240Hz Motion Picture Pro 5

 

ST30 series

 

Plasma is obviously still key to Panasonic's 3D plans, and in fact it's 2011 range will consist of twelve 3D plasmas, up on the eight released last year. The new ones are largely made up of the new ST30 series, which Panasonic describes as 'entry-level 3D'.

42in (TC-P42ST30), 46in (TC-P46ST30), 50in (TC-P50ST30), 55in (TC-P55ST30), 60in (TC-P60ST30), 65in (TC-P65ST30)

Full HD 3D

Infinite Black 2 Panel

Viera Connect

Wi-fi ready

3D Image Viewer

3 x HDMI inputs

Fast Switching Phosphor

600Hz Sub-field drive

 

GT30 series

 

50in (TC-P50GT30), 55in (TC-P55GT30), 60in (TC-P60GT30), and 65in (TC-P65GT30)

Full HD 3D

Infinite Black 2 Panel

Viera Connect

Wi-fi ready

3D Image Viewer

4 x HDMI inputs

THX certification

Fast Switching Phosphor

600Hz Sub-field drive

 

VT30 series

More after the break

 

These are Panasonic's top-of-the-range 3D models with suitably high-end looks, including a one sheet glass panel on the front and a 'sleek new design'. This model also has Infinite Black Pro 2, which is said to produce brighter, punchier colours and whites and more delicate, subtle and deep blacks.

55in (TC-P55VT30), 65in (TC-P65VT30)

Full HD 3D

Infinite Black Pro 2 Panel

Viera Connect

Wi-fi ready

3D Image Viewer

4 x HDMI inputs

THX certification

Fast Switching Phosphor

600Hz Sub-field drive

 

X3 series

 

Last year's 2D range will all get a refresh in 2011, but Panasonic is also launching a brand new series called X3, which looks like being the new entry level to Panasonic plasma.

42in (TC-P42X3), 46in (TC-P46X3), and 50in (TC-P50X3)

720p

Easy IPTV

Viera Image Viewer

DLNA

2 x HDMI inputs

600Hz Sub-field drive

 

Blu-ray players:

Panasonic will release three 3D Blu-ray players and one 2D model this year. Interestingly, all three of the new 3D models can convert 2D DVDs and Blu-rays to 3D, and the depth of the all 3D images can be adjusted by the user for greater comfort or spectacle. Any user adjustment of this parallax will be reset when the disc is ejected, so that every time you start a film it will have the 'correct' 3D depth.

A new version of the company's UniPhier chip is said to improve picture quality while improving power consumption, and Adaptive Chroma Processing is designed to better express fine details and colour nuance. Skype, which was already available on Panasonic's TVs, will also make it's debut in the three 3D players this year. Other new web services will be added in line with the 2011 TVs.

All three of the 3D models are very slim, and the 'BDT210 and 'BDT310 feature a neat, touch-free eject system - swipe your hands above the player and the tray slides out. There will also be an iPhone app that will allow you to control the players using our Apple portable, and Panasonic says loading and operation times are now 'ultra-quick'.

 

DMP-BDT310

 

Perhaps the biggest news regarding Panasonic's top-of-the-range model for 2011 is that, like the 'BDT300 before it, it has twin HDMI outputs so that owners of 3D-incompatible amps can split the picture and sound signals. It looks very much like the more affordable '210 and '110 models, but Panasonic assures us that it's a big step-up from them, especially where audio is concerned.

Twin HDMI outputs

2D to 3D conversion

Viera Cast inc. Skype

Touch-free sensor

Built-in wi-fi

DLNA

iPhone remote control app

 

DMP-BDT210

 

Single HDMI output

2D to 3D conversion

Viera Cast inc. Skype

Touch-free sensor

Built-in wi-fi

DLNA

iPhone remote control app

 

DMP-BDT110

 

Single HDMI outputs

2D to 3D conversion

Viera Cast inc. Skype

Touch-free sensor

Wi-fi read (need additional dongle)

 

Home cinema systems:

Of course, Panasonic will also launch a number of 2.1 and 5.1 systems this year, but perhaps most interesting is the announcement of the company's first soundbar system.

This SC-HTB520, which the company refers to as a 'slim bar audio system', consists of a compact, wall-mountable speaker unit and a wireless, downward-firing subwoofer. The up-to-date spec includes 3D passthrough and Audio Return Channel, and unlike some soundbar systems, the 'HTB520 does have virtual surround technology.