Panasonic Press Conference – CES 2011

Posted Wed Jan 5, 2011 at 10:00 PM PST by Dick Ward

After some strong showings from LG and Samsung, Panasonic came off a bit disappointing. Still, the improvements the company is making to its plasmas sound promising.

Things start off with introductions of CEOs and presidents of other companies who are in attendance. These included an unsurprisingly large amount of people from the word of 3D. There’s a lot of “we couldn’t have done it without you” style congratulations and then it’s down to business.

Panasonic starts by saying that the international 3D association announced a new initiative to bring more content to Asia. The company is also working to create a universal standard for active shutter 3D glasses. With so many companies trying out theater style 3D though, it might come too late to really matter.

Like Samsung, Panasonic is introducing a wide range of apps for TVs. This includes health and fitness apps, which seem to be incredibly popular in theory if not in practice. It also includes TV based games, which took up more of the press conference than expected.

Panasonic is working with a company called Gameloft – best known for iPhone ports of ‘Assassin’s Creed’ and other popular games – to get games onto the Panasonic app store. It’s an interesting idea, but it just doesn’t seem like it would pan out.

Using a remote as a game controller is less than optimal, but it’s possible to do. Thankfully, you’ll be able to hook up a USB controller to the set, allowing for more comfortable and precise gaming.

Perhaps the best announcement made by Panasonic is the improvement of the company’s already well respected plasma TV lineup.

Thanks to a brand new manufacturing plant, Panasonic is able to kick up the sizes of its plasmas by a few inches. Instead of a 55 inch set, for example, Panasonic is making a 58. A few extra inches is always welcome, but the improvements to picture quality sound even more exciting.

Panasonic is introducing new features that help produce the great pictures that the company is known for. Panasonic TVs will use a special filter to keep ambient light from ruining those deep blacks, and new methods for ensuring light output will be introduced.

Blu-ray players got touched on a bit, with Panasonic stating that every 2011 player from Panasonic will boast an SD card for digital media playback and Skype, which allows you to make free video calls to your friends and family.

It wasn’t all bad, but Panasonic’s press event was the least impressive of the day. Still, we can’t wait to get a look at those new plasmas.

Tags: Plasmas, CES 2011, 3D TVs, Panasonic (all tags)