CES 2011 – Panasonic Press conference reveals Viera Connect Market, new VT30 flagship 3D TV range

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Panasonic’s North American CEO Joe Taylor kicked off his gang’s press conference by describing Panasonic’s continued work in 3D developments. A 3D innovation centre will be set up in Hollywood, alongside an International 3D society to create more 3D content around the world, while universal specs for 3D active shutter screens were also teased.

Eco plans were also described, with Panasonic looking to halve C02 emissions at their North American factory, and double the sales of their energy-efficient gear.

Shiro Kitajima, head of Consumer Sales at Panasonic, then took to the stage, announcing a 30% increase in consumer tech sales over the previous year’s holiday period. 54 inch + screens had what Kitajima described as “unprecedented demand” from consumers. 32% of TV sales will be 3D capable by 2014, he continued. Five new 3D camcorders are on the way in 2011, while 3D TVs will benefit from improved cross-talk technology.

Viera Connect Market will hit Panasonic’s connected TVs, with two-way features (gaming and social networking) live streaming, fitness and on demand TV, as well as Skype calling and (intriguingly) U-Stream services.

James Sanduski, senior Vice President of Panasonic’s Consumer Electronics arm then showed off the new 3D hardware from the company.

The ST30 series is Panasonic’s new entry -level 3D model, with an Infinite Black 2 panel and sizes starting at 42 inches. They have the thickest bezel of the new sets and are not THX-certified.

The GT30 series is the next step up – 3D capable, THX certification, thin panel design, and 4 HDMI ports round out this plasma set. Four screen sizes are available; 50, 55, 60 and 65 inches.

The VT30 series is the flagship range- anInfinite Black Pro 2 NeoPDP panel with a frameless appearance thanks to a single-sheet-of-glass-design, THX certification, 600Hz subfield motion technology, four HDMI inputs, three USB ports, and an RS232C/ ISF connection

Gerald Lynch

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