Panasonic's following their very highly regarded 750 series plasma with a PZ850 series. Since the 750 was king for awhile (pre Pioneer Kuro), we can expect great things from the 850. The biggest change is the introduction of an IPTV system, which will stream content like the YouTube (maybe) they demoed at the keynote. The set has an improved contrast ratio of 30,000:1 (1,000,000:1 dynamic), 24p support, an SD card slot that can playback even H.264 AVCHD high def movies, increased panel light efficiency for 50% less power usage, and 4 HDMI ports. The Catch: May not be good enough to beat those Pioneer Kuro.
PANASONIC PREVIEWS FIRST IPTV PLASMA DISPLAY
Panasonic's VIERA PZ850 Flagship Series Introduces Four New Full HD 1080p
Las Vegas (January 7, 2008) - Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal U.S. subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE:MC), the industry leader in high definition and Plasma televison, today, with the introduction of its flagship PZ850 series, previewed the industry's first IP enabled television. Building upon the market and critical success of Panasonic's previous Plasma models, the 2008 PZ850 series includes a number of step-up features that will further strengthen Panasonic's leadership position.
Panasonic's VIERA full HD 1080p PZ850 series features four models - the 46-inch class TH-46PZ850, the 50-inch class TH-50PZ850, the 58-inch class TH-58PZ850 and the 65-inch class TH-65PZ850. The introduction of the IP enabled televisions, a technology that provides access to on-line content directly from the televison with VIERA CAST™ technology, is one of many advances found in the PZ850 line. In addition, the PZ850 series features a Pro Setting Menu, allowing the consumer to access professional calibration software; an improved native resolution contrast ratio of 30,000:1 and a dynamic ratio of 1,000,000:1; Digital Cinema Color Re-Mastering; 24p native reproduction; Game Mode; an SD memory Card slot; RS-232C connection; four HDMI connections; increased luminous efficiency; lead free panels; 100,000 hours to half brightness and a PC input. The 850 series further expands the capabilities of the SD Card feature by utilizing the H.264 codec to display high definition video recorded on a HD camcorder equipped with the H.264 codec.
Recognizing the growing use of Plasma HD televisions in the gaming world, Panasonic created the Game Mode, which minimizes the time lag when displaying game images on the Plasma screen. The Mode synchronizes the response of the game image to the player's operation, thereby producing an extremely clear image with no motion artifacts.
Digital Cinema Color Re-Mastering is a value added technology that allows for color reproduction, enabling VIERA displays to reproduce the essential colors for viewing movies. 24p native reproduction, which negates the need for 3:2 pulldown, resulting in a smoother picture, is another feature that provides the best possible viewing experience.
"We're very excited about the technological advances that have been incorporated into VIERA's PZ850 series," said Dennis Eppel, Vice President, Panasonic Display Products Company. "IPTV in particular is a technology that by providing access to on-line content directly from the TV, allows the consumer to optimize his or her options and use the VIERA Plasma for more than entertainment. Now the consumer has a large screen TV that is also the source of an endless stream of internet information.
"As a result of listening to our customers, Panasonic's flagship VIERA line features a Pro Setting Mode that provides the consumer with access to calibration software. This is yet another example of Panasonic's philosophy of ideas for life from life."