Plasma News: Could the Kuro’s days be numbered?

March 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, Product News

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We’ve said it before: the Pioneer Kuro line of Plasma HDTV units are among the best in the industry, but the industry is rapidly closing the gap with small leaps in technology being seen recently. Now Panasonic advances have possibly dethroned Kuro from the king of plasma screens.

At an event in New York City last week they announced a breakthrough in dark levels on Plasma units, telling the press that Panasonic’s new VT30 line will match the black levels of the 2009 (that’s 2 years ago!) Pioneer Kuros. The key (after reading through all the mumbo jumbo) is the new and improved louver structure of the filter that blocks reflective light from coming in, which in turn blocks ambient light — and Kuro fans around the globe moan in sadness as its king possibly falls.

We’ll have to wait to see if this indeed comes to pass, with the odd note that it took 2 years before a company caught up in this category to where Pioneer was previously.

Panny Parcel: Panasonic 2011 HDTV line debuts in Japan

February 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Industry News, Panasonic, Product News, TV Brands

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Panasonic usually releases new lines and news about upcoming models first in Japan, and the latest news has been released to great anticipation with news of fabulous Plasmas and HDTV recording to USB drives, among other developments. Read on:

Panasonic’s found time to show off its latest series of HDTVs in Japan, including the new top 3D-capable VT3, GT3 and ST3 generation plasmas, and DT3 LCDs, . As one might expect, the feature list is predictably similar to the US models with the next iteration of 3D panel technology, including a few Japan-specific features like VOD services and recording TV to USB drives.According to AV watch it looks like the starting prices have gone down slightly YoY as well, with the new 50-inch VT3 predicted to arrive March 18 for 380,000 yen ($4,654) down from 430,000 yen ($5,267) last year. The lower end GT3 series and new DT3 3D LCDs should arrive a week earlier on March 11, though we’ll probably have to wait until much closer to launch again to find out precisely what the predictably lower US pricing will be this time around.

We’ll of course cover any new notable releases individually if warranted. These new models look pretty cool overall.

CES 2011: Summary of Best Stuff (that we haven’t covered already)

January 15, 2011 by  
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CES 2011 is over and the highlights are legion, including lots of 3D developments, new models and other such news. Here our friends at Engadget have summarized the best of the rest, and given us a nice concise rundown for your reading pleasure.

Feel free to read, and drool over the coming growth in the world of HDTV, and get as excited as we are. Samsung and Panasonic in particular have some pretty neat stuff on the way, and we can’t wait to report it to you right here on these pages.

Thanks for reading on this fine Saturday!

Next Gen Goodness: Panny’s next Plasma line records to SDXC memory cards?

December 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Panasonic, Product News, TV Brands

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We have talked glowingly about Panasonic’s Plasma line of HDTV units, and with good cause: they’re among the most advanced and cool plasma sets out there right now. Even more so with this latest news:

Panasonic’s plasma sets get most of the attention, and perhaps rightfully so, but it’s actually the company’s new LCD lineup for Japan that can help you make use of your woefully neglected SDXC cards. In addition to compiling terrestrial HDTV footage on a standard external hard drive, the Panasonic Viera G3 and X3 can record to a new SD card slot as well, archiving up to five hours of 1080p footage on a ‘standard’ 64GB SDXC card. We put ‘standard’ in quotes because while that’s presently the typical capacity for that particular designation of flash, it’ll still cost you upwards of $200 to get in on the ground floor, and that’s a pittance compared to what Panasonic’s charging for its own. Who said magnetic storage was dead? If Tokyo’s where you hang your hat, expect both the G3 and X3 series to hit stores near you in February of next year.

We’re always a little sad the best items always usually start in Japan vs. US shores, but assuming it does well, it’ll arrive here too at one point.

Most Reliable HDTV: Panasonic?

November 30, 2010 by  
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Based on a recent large survey published in PC World Magazine, Panasonic is the big reliability winner with HDTV units – and that’s even with their consumer service being just about average. However, the mag said the results are clear: readers call the sets “very reliable” with few if any serious problems, if stats are to be believed.

PC World recently asked that consumers grade their units on a variety of “reliability” stats including whether the set had any problems right away and its ease of daily use. Panasonic finished #1, with “better than average” grades on “overall satisfaction with reliability,” “significant problems” and “severe problems.”, which should make Panny quite proud indeed.

The remaining top five in order: LG, Sony, Hitachi, Olevia (the last two are a bit of a shock really). The LG part certainly is not a shock, as we’ve always praised LG for their quality and reliability.

The bottom five of shame: View Sonic was the worst. 2nd to worst: Mitsubishi (a surprise), then comes JVC, Westinghouse, and Toshiba, in reverse of order of badness.

Thursday’s (Again) Thrilling HDTV Deals

September 16, 2010 by  
Filed under AOC, Panasonic, TV Brands

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The last time these deals were thrilling was here. It’s been awhile, so let’s revisit the thrill once again:

6ave.com has a very nice Panasonic TC-L42D2 42” 1080p 120Hz LED LCD HDTV for $823.00 – 4% off coupon we supply you with: “AFL4COUPON” = $790.08 with free shipping. For LED that’s pretty amazing we have to say.

Tiger Direct has a great deal on a top of the line smaller model: the AOC LE23H062 23″ Edgelit LED HDTV for $230 + $9 shipping = $239 shipped. First class tech, third class price; the kind of deals we love.

Thanks for reading and join us again soon for more amazing deals!

Exclusivity: Panasonic gets Avatar 3D Blu-Ray all to itself

September 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

In an interesting bit of BR HD news, it seems the age of exclusivity deals have arrived, as Panasonic secures an exclusive deal to distribute the hit movie in the 3D Blu-Ray format. It’s a big deal for the company, even if demand early on is not expected to be overwhelming.

The exclusive will run for an unspecified period of time, probably not forever, as we expected. But during that period, Panasonic will be able to include the disc with the purchase of a Panasonic 3D HDTV, or even sell it separately at retail.

It wasn’t clear exactly how it was expected to be sold (and the company didn’t make it obvious in their recent press releases), so we’ll wait and see what happens once it hits in early December. We suspect it’ll be a bundle of some kind to push those models out the door.

Wednesday’s Wacky HDTV Offers

August 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, Panasonic, TV Brands

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We always love a good deal, don’t we HDTV fans? Well, here’s a nice little selection of offers for your perusal:

BuyDig.com has the Panasonic TC-P42G25 42″ Viera G25 Series Plasma HDTV for $909 with free shipping as well. Use the Add to cart to see the sale price. Very nice deal on one of the newer, neater Pannys out there right now.

Walmart has a Proscan 47LED55SA 47″ LED 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV for $799 with free shipping, which is amazing considering the size and its decent ratings too. Check it out!

Thanks for reading and keep on visiting us for more HDTV deals and developments.

Friday’s Freaky HDTV Deal-O-Rama

August 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, Panasonic, Toshiba, TV Brands

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Yes, its once again time for some of the great hi-def deals anywhere on the web, courtesy of SS. Feel free to continue reading:

Walmart – Plasma is always a nice option, and here is the Panasonic Viera TC-P50S2 50″ 1080p S2 Series Plasma HDTV for $899, and with free shipping. WalMart is tough to beat for these mid-range deals, and this is just such a case. This HDTV would have been $2,000+ 2-3 years ago.

Adorama.com – The 40″ ranges are becoming more and more inexpensive we’ve noticed. This Toshiba 40XV645U REGZA 40” LCD HDTV for $599.95 with free shipping is a perfect point to accent this shift in pricing.

Feel free to click the links above. Happy HDTV shopping, and make sure to stop by and read us this weekend.

Panny’s New Move: New line of HDTVs with 2D-3D conversion

August 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Panasonic, Product News, TV Brands

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It seems 3D, in some form or another, is here to stay. And Panasonic is advancing the technology with the first line of HDTV products with 2D to 3D conversion included. Not cheap, but here’s the quick rundown from Engadget:

If you thought you could crawl in a corner and wait for this 3D onslaught to pass, you may be camped out for some time to come. Panasonic is following up on its CES introductions with a new pair of 3D plasmas for the gaming set, the Viera 3D GT25 range. Said series is debuting with a pair to choose from, the 50-inch TC-P50GT25 and the 42-inch TC-P42G25. The latter is Panny’s first-ever 42-inch Full HD 3D plasma, and as you’d expect, both of these guys will require active shutter glasses in order to operate. As for specs? You’re looking at a 1080p panel, 600Hz sub-field drive, 24p playback and (a company first) 2D-to-3D conversion that may or may not be the answer to all of life’s problems.

We like the approach, even if Sony and several other companies are planning similar products. Prices will start around the $1,700 USD mark or so.

Monday’s Mad HDTV Deals

June 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, Panasonic, Sony, TV Brands

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Here once again is our long-awaited HDTV deals segment, for your reading (and hopefully savings) pleasure. Read on:

Sony – How about a super-sharp Sony BRAVIA KDL-40EX600 1080p 40″ LED HDTV for $1080 – $210 off in cart price due to our offer = $990 with free shipping as well. Tough to beat that for a well-reviewed unit suitable for any room in the house. 7 HDMI ports, yes!

6ave.com – Here’s a very nice bundle package: the Panasonic TC-42PX14 42” 720p Plasma HDTV And DMP-BD60 Blu-ray Player, sold together in a great package for $698.00 with free shipping too. One of the better deals we’ve seen anywhere!

There you go, and feel free to check out those offers.

Best Ever?: Review of the Panasonic TC-P65VT25

June 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Panasonic, Product Reviews, TV Brands

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We always respect certain reviewers and sites, and CNET usually does a nice job of completely reviewing new HDTV units that come onto the scene. In this case, they’re calling this new Panasonic model ‘the best 2D model we’ve ever reviewed’, which is quite a statement indeed.

Here’s more about the review from a few blog sources:

When it comes to TV reviews, we have to give a node to CNet and its David Katzmaier for being one of the best around; so when he says it is the best TV he’s ever tested, we officially want one. The new Panasonic VT25 line didn’t rule every category though, and of course their are concerns that the black levels will prematurely degrade like last year’s — CNet intends to continuously test the VT25 to keep Panasonic honest. Now we know you’re wondering about how it compares to the legendary Kuro and while it lit up the light meeter at a crazy low .004 ftl, the PRO-111FD Kuro is still the winner at .001 ftl — interestingly the similarly speced G20 line only managed .007 ftl. Whether this difference is noticeable at home is up for debate, but Kuro still reigns king as far as the light black meter is concerned.

We always enjoy a little comparison shopping, so to speak, so keep your ears and eyes peeled for more updates on this review down the road.

Bigger is Better: Panasonic shipping out a 152″ 4K Plasma screen later this year

June 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Panasonic, Product News, TV Brands

Yes, we always love to cover really big screens with our reports, and Panasonic is definitely filling that void this week with their upcoming monster unit, the 152″ Plasma wonder of the world, described here on an Engadget blog (pic also courtesy of them):

Say goodbye to the former king of Panasonic plasmas, the old 103-inch that toured the country and took center stage in presidential elections is old news, moved aside for a new family of commercial displays including the 152-inch 4K resolution 3DTV towered over all at this year’s CES. Just in case 4096 x 2160 is too much resolution, there are 103- and 85-inch 1080p versions available as well, but seriously, look at that thing. You know Mark Cuban is going to buy one — why shouldn’t you?

Price will probably be in the $500K range or so to start out with, but don’t let that stop you if you’re a TV lover. (We’re – sort of – kidding). You’re welcome to oogle the picture here if you wish.

Reconsideration: Samsung still pondering Android powered HDTVs?

April 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Panasonic, Samsung, TV Brands

New reports are indicating that Panasonic and Samsung were going to pass on Sony / Google / Intel’s Google TV initiative as being too expensive to make, but a report today released by the Korea Herald indicates that may not be the case, and that they’re seriously reconsidering powered by Android HDTV as a very real option.

While LG has stated it “has not considered” producing a Google TV, the newspaper states an executive from Samsung says they are looking into making Android-powered HDTVs at some point in the future. It could signal a new wave of Android powered TVs and a new movement in the industry at large.

We estimate three or four more rumors with varying degrees of reliability before we hear anything official from Samsung or Panasonic themselves.

Release Info: Panasonic 3D Plasma lineup details and 65″ model on the way

April 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Panasonic, Product News, TV Brands

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Panasonic will be launching its 2010 3DTV run (along with other companies as we’ve documented) with a very limited Best Buy launch of the 50″ VT20 package, but if want a bigger unit with more juice, this may give you some more info to work with.

With improved black levels and 3D being the highlights, and throw in improved VIERA Cast networked features with Skype built in (now that’s using an HDTV for more than just watching TV).

The big launch starts May 3 with the jumbo 50″ TC-P50VT25 for $2,599 USD, and continues with a monstrous 65″ 3D model in June 2010 for $4,299 USD. That’s a few hundred more than traditional HDTV models of the same size, but extra dimensions cost money, after all.

The Fight Is On: LCD vs. Plasma

April 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News

Let’s face it: 2009 was a pretty bad year for Plasma in general. Prices went lower (a good thing), but how else could you describe a year where the ‘king of plasmas’ exits the marketplace for good, purposely?

It was hard enough when Kuro lovers learned that Panasonic would be manufacturing them instead of illustrious Plasma makers Pioneer, and its a good thing Panasonic, Samsung and LG continued on and didn’t hang their heads when Vizio joined the Plasma quitters club  — Panasonic even opened the biggest ever Plasma plant in 2009 which should continue the Plasma tradition for quite awhile to come.

We aren’t sure who will win the HDTV format wars for the next few years, but its looking apparent that LCD has huge favor with many large companies, and Plasma will have an uphill battle to regain its lost market share.

Andy Not Coming: Android HDTV sets deemed “too expensive”

April 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Panasonic, Samsung, TV Brands

32-inch-sony-hdtv-droidedSure, $150 3D glasses for HDTVs are just fine with them, but according to Bloomberg in a recently published article, Samsung and Panasonic have drawn the line at the rumored Google TV initiative, stating that adding Android doesn’t fit their needs from an economic standpoint, which is sort of a shame.

Panasonic VP Bob Perry stated the Intel hardware needed to run Android “adds too much to the cost of the set,” and Samsung pretty much said the same thing. So it looks like an Android set from those companies won’t happen for now. It’s sad given the decent but not extraordinary nature of the ‘widgets’ on HDTVs right now, that could be improved in terms of speed and flexibility by a system like Android.

We’ll keep an eye out for this as it develops.

Wednesday’s HDTV Deals

March 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Deals, Panasonic, Sharp, TV Brands

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392174Yet more amazing deals we scour the internet to bring to you, so feel free to stare, gawk and generally be amazed:

Sears.com has a very nice Panasonic TC-P50C2 50” Viera 720p Plasma for $719.99 with free shipping too, and that’s a heck of a deal for a company whose specialty seems to be of the Plasma persuasion. Check it out.

PcRUSH.com has an LED wonder, the Sharp AQUOS LC-40LE700UN 40” 1080p LED HDTV for $814.96 with free shipping as well, and that’s one of the lower prices for this we’ve seen around. Great reviews, great price, no strings.

Thanks for joining us, and see you all later!

Shoot it in HD: Panasonic HD camcorders to release in US

March 29, 2010 by  
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panasonic-hd700-camOccasionally we cover other HD related devices, and this one sounded particularly good: a new line of HD camcorders from Panasonic soon to make their debut on US shores.

Spring has sprung here in the US 50 states, which means that every single camcorder will begin to be tuned up for family gatherings, little league events and weddings. Panasonic is getting in on that action, with their HDC-TM700 and HDC-HS700 1080p 3MOS camcorders set to bow in around mid-April or so, and at $999.95 and $1,399.95, respectively. So these aren’t your father’s video camera for certain, but viewing that cherished family moment in full 1080p HD many years from now, isn’t it worth the cash?

We’ll update you as news leaks further about these.

Portable HDTV: Updates and Tragedies

March 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Industry News, Panasonic, Product News, TV Brands

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panasonic-portable-20100318-600Portable HDTV in general is a decent idea, but it never really caught on in the States for some reason. Maybe price, features, lack of channels, whatever the reason. It also seems to discourage companies from bringing newer HDTVs you can take with you stateside, needless to say.

so we’re left wishing for new offerings like the Panasonic DMP-HV100 and DMP-BV200, recently announced and ready to roll soon. Both are 10.1-inch HD sets that have 1024 x 600 resolutions (great for carrying along in the car with you) and, while either can tune DTV OTA, they can also connect wirelessly (with an WiFi dongle connected) to a Panasonic DVR and stream content to the screen.

The 200 model can also act as a sort of large PMP, playing back a variety of media formats from an SD card, so it has several uses, which we always like. No release date or prices announced, but sadly, for now no US release is planned. It’s sad indeed we may never see models like this in a US store, so let companies know if you want to see things like this here!

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