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Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Panasonic to Launch Slimmer, Energy Efficient Plasma TVs

Panasonic said it would launch in April in Japan plasma TVs that are a quarter of the thickness and consume half as much electricity. The 13 new models are part of the company's new Z, V, and G series.

Panasonic's Z series includes three models. All of them offer full high-definition picture, support the Wireless HD technology (with optional accessory) and use the company's "Neo plasma panel", which offers a contrast of 40.000:1. The lineup includes the TH-P54Z1 (54"), the TH-P50Z1 (50") and the TH-P46Z1 (46"). They are also extremely thin, making them ideal for wall mounting.

The company has also managed to reduce the power consumption of the new panels by half compared to the previous PDP models.

The models are equipped with a BS/110 S ground/digital tuner, 4 HDMI ports and offer the picture-In Picture feature.

The 50-inch screen model about an inch in depth that consumes an estimated 260 kilowatt hours of electricity a year is likely to sell for 600,000 yen ($6,685) and a 54-inch model for 700,000 yen.

The V series is avaiable in both PDP with the Neo Plasma panel with size ranging from 42", 46" and 50", but also with a LCD panel (New IPS alpha W Speed technology), with a size ranging from 32" to 37". Prices for the PDP models are estimated to be 400,000 yen ($ ), 370,000 yen ($) and 300,000 yen ($) for the 50", 46" and 42" models respectively. The full HD LCD versions are expected to sell for 220,000 yen ($ , 37") and 200,000 yen ($ , 32").

Finally the G series, is the entry level series with both PDP and LCD TVs (also full HD), featuring the same Neo PDP Panel and IPS alpha W LCD panels found on the V series as well as size ranging from 32" to 50". The difference between the V and G series is just design difference and cheaper material for the G Series.

In addition, the G series features a 40,000:1 contrast ratio.

Panasonic, the world's largest plasma TV maker ahead of Samsung Electronic, aims to boost its combined sales of LCD and plasma sets by 50 percent to 15.5 million units in the year starting in April.

Launches in North America are slated for this summer.

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