NEWS: Panasonic to offer Freesat-ready flatscreens

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.

Technorati Tags: Freesat, Freeview, HD TV, LCD, Panasonic, Plasma