The company has revealed its upcoming 4K and HD display lineup, including new LED sets it claims will rival plasma picture quality.
Though they may be out of the plasma business, Panasonic did announce its new series of LCD TVs last week at CES. Available in Ultra HD and 1080p models, the VIERA Life+Screen lineup is aimed at enhancing interaction and personalization for consumers. Likewise, the series' upcoming 4K sets use advanced LED technology to offer "plasma-like" picture quality.
"There are so many things you can do with your TV these days…from watching TV shows and films, connecting with family and friends via social media, accessing video on demand and user-generated content via the cloud, gaming, and so much more," said Julie Bauer, President, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "Technology has brought us access to a seemingly endless list of content options directly through your TV and it is getting harder to find what to watch. So we decided it was time to redefine what a 21st-century TV should be by taking into account how people live their lives today, and how that will change in the future. The result is our new 2014 Panasonic VIERA Life+Screens."
The lineup will include the AX800 Series 4K TVs in 58 and 65-inch sizes; the 55-inch AS680 Series 1080p TV; the AS650 Series 1080p TVs in 50, 55, and 60-inch sizes; the AS640 60-inch 1080p TV; and the AS530 Series 1080p TVs in 39, 50, 55, and 60-inch sizes. The displays all use Panasonic's redesigned Smart TV interface with improved navigation, personalization, and voice recognition. In addition, the AX800 Series of 4K LED LCD displays is said to have picture quality that surpasses the company's previous plasma sets.
Whether or not this ends up being the case remains to be seen, but CNET did go eyes-on with the manufacturer's prototype Studio Master Drive 4K LED TV with local dimming, and came away impressed by the display's deep blacks. To achieve its superior quality, the LED TV actually uses technology from Panasonic's discontinued plasma line to analyze black levels and manage colors.
The VIERA Life+Screen line will be available this spring. For pricing and preorder information, check out Panasonic's website.