Panasonic today unveiled the PX600 series digital high-definition wide-screen flat-panel plasma TVs.
The four PX600 VIERA HDTVs feature a new plasma display panel, promising viewers deeper, richer blacks and superb images with the industry's highest contrast ratio. The new models also offer the VIERA Link, a single remote control solution for operation of home theater components. The 50-inch TH-50PX600, 42-inch TH-42PX600 and 37-inch TH-37PX600 will be available on the Japanese market on April 15, followed by the 58-inch 58PX600 on May 1.
The VIERA HDTVs incorporate the new PEAKS (Picture Enhancement Accelerator with Kinetic System) Panel, new Deep Black Filter and upgraded Real Black Drive System. The combination has achieved a 4,000:1 contrast (10,000:1 contrast at maximum). The new VIERA HDTVs use a maximum 16-bit signal processing, displaying 50 percent more shades of gradation than the previous PX500 series.
All four models introduce the VIERA Link, an HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface)-cable based solution for integrated home theater systems. When a PX600 HDTV is connected with a DIGA DVD recorder and a Panasonic AV amplifier via HDMI cable, users can operate all three devices from the VIERA remote control. The VIERA Link is supported by the four DIGA DVD recorders1 and the SU-XR57 digital AV control amplifier, all of which are also unveiled today.
Panasonic said that the new TVs can display an electronic program guide more quickly, 30 percent faster than before. Users can enjoy high-quality wide-screen viewing of MPEG2 moving pictures shot with SD Video Cameras2 on a new VIERA HDTV just by inserting the SD Memory Card in the slot. JPEG still images (DCF format) stored on the cards can be shown on a large VIERA screen in a slide show format by pressing a remote button twice. Still pictures taken with Panasonic LUMIX cameras3 can be displayed full screen.
The new PEAKS Processor also supports dual screens and a variety of other features. Equipped with two digital tuners, the new VIERA HDTVs offer dual screen mode. Users can select and view any combination of two channels simultaneously. These include terrestrial, BS and 110-degree CS digital broadcasting and terrestrial analog broadcasting services.
Panasonic also trimmed the glass thickness of the new plasma panel from 2.8 mm to 1.8 mm, using less glass materials. The trimming resulted a reduction of overall weight of the TV set. For example, the 42-inch 42PX600 weighs 33 kg, 18 percent lighter than the PX500 series with a comparable screen size. The new HDTVs use up to 37 percent less electricity compared to the PX300 series.
However, none of TVs fully supports the HD resolutions, to our disappointment. All the devices are HD-Ready offering maximum resolution of 1366x768.