UPDATE - CES 2012: Panasonic puts TV picture quality first

Panasonic has showcased a range of slimmer, more power-efficient TVs that claim to offer enhanced picture quality - even with streamed content.

You can read about the new models in our blog post here.

The company has also cleared up confusion (see below) about its new Smart Viera branding, which is NOT a new name for its Viera Connect portal of on-demand and online content.

Instead, as our blog details, it is an umbrella term for the features and technologies offered by its TVs and Blu-ray products.

Published 10/1/2012

Panasonic's CES 2012 Press Conference was a curious do – what it lacked in firm product news it more than made up for with little cameos from some well-known 'friends of the brand'.

Ed Begley, Jr may not be an out-and-out household name, but Justin Timberlake certainly is – and it was Timberlake's appearance that elevated the Press Conference from a slightly stilted, staunchly fact-light affair into something that generated genuine excitement in one of the Venetian Hotel's largest conference rooms.

Justin Timberlake appeared to remind us that there's a social networking site out there called MySpace, and to explain how invigorated he is by MySpace's partnership with Panasonic.

All of the company's 2012 Smart TVs (on a platform that my now be called Smart Viera, or may still be called Viera Connect – opinion seemed very much divided on that subject) will feature an app called MySpace Companion. This is intended to allow viewers to interact, in real time, with their MySpace friends and spark discussion about the TV programmes they are watching.

Next year's Panasonic TVs (of which 93% of plasmas and 40% of LCDs will be 3D-ready) will also feature a Miramax app – a Miramax honcho was wheeled out to articulate his company's excitement at a Panasonic tie-in, too.

In fact, most of the information imparted dealt with peripherals – a tie-in with Disney for interactive children's books, touchpad remote controls for those who want to have one eye on the TV and the other on the internet – while concrete details about the TV ranges were in short supply.

We learned the plasma ranges are called GT and VT, while the LCDs are DT and L, but that's about it. We hope to learn more tomorrow when we have a stand tour with representatives from Panasonic UK, who should be able to give us details of UK models, release dates and prices.

For now we're left with the knowledge that Justin Timberlake is able to provoke a reaction of mild hysteria even in a room filled entirely with jaded, tired and preoccupied journalists. Which is no mean feat.

Follow whathificom on Twitter

Join whathifi.com on Facebook

Simon Lucas is a freelance technology journalist and consultant, with particular emphasis on the audio/video aspects of home entertainment. Before embracing the carefree life of the freelancer, he was editor of What Hi-Fi? – since then, he's written for titles such as GQ, Metro, The Guardian and Stuff, among many others.