Panasonic today announced pricing and availability for the 2012 lineup of home audio products along with the company's initial wave of 2012 Smart VIERA Plasma, LED and LCD HDTVs.
Home audio systems
Panasonic 2012 line of Compact Stereo Systems, the SC series is comprised of six models. The SC-HC57, SC-HC37 and SC-HC27 offer ultra-slim designs with smart networking technology and can play music from a variety of music sources including iPhone/iPod, CD-R/RW and FM Radio. Additionally, the SC-HC57 Compact Stereo System features AirPlay which allows users to wirelessly stream music from an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch or MAC/PC directly into the device through a home's wireless LAN network. The Panasonic SC-HC series of Compact Stereo Systems will be available nationwide in April 2012 and will have the following SRP?s: SC-HC57 $199.99, SC-HC37 $149.99 and SC-HC27 $99.99.
Extending the 2012 line of Compact Stereo Systems, the SC-AP01 and SC-MC07 introduces users to a new micro system concept coupled with new design styles and user-friendly functionality. The SC-AP01 is a wireless, metal bar system that offers clear and dynamic sound in a slim design. Featuring nano-sized bamboo cone speakers, the SC-AP01 utilizes Aero Stream Port to create robust bass by controlling distortion and Direct-Vocal Surround to expand sound throughout a listening environment to mimic a concert hall and is equipped with AirPlay to wirelessly stream music from supported devices. The SC-MC07 is the smallest of the new compact stereo system products. Bluetooth compatible, the SC-MC07 streams music wirelessly from iPhone/iPad/iPod, Blackberry and other smartphone devices (with Bluetooth capability) to offer full digital stereo sound in the compact size of a cookie. The SC-AP01 will be available in June with an SRP of $169.99. The SC-MC07 will hit shelves in July with an SRP of $69.99.
Panasonic's new Full HD 3D Blu-ray Disc Home Theaters, SC-BTT490, SC-BTT195 and SC-BTT190 are equipped with 3D Cinema Surround as a standard feature. Additional expanded features incldue VIERA Connect, which has been expanded to offer more online content along with DLNA function. All 2012 Full HD 3D Blu-ray Disc Home Theaters feature a digital music connection for iPod /iPhone, which minimizes sound degradation. All Full HD 3D Blu-ray Disc Home Theaters will be available in April with the following SRP?s: SC-BTT490, $499.99; SC-BTT195, $399.99; SC-BTT190, $299.99.
The 2012 DVD Home Theaters, SC-XH170 and SC-XH70, feature high sound quality technology for clear sound reproduction and 1080p Up-Conversion. The 2012 DVD Home Theaters have been revamped with a more sophisticated appearance and the SC-XH170 offers a visible speaker design. The systems are equipped with VIERA Link, which provides one-touch control of Panasonic VIERA-enabled products along with the ARC (Audio Return Channel), which allows for one HDMI cable smart connection, Selectable Speaker Layout and simple setup. The SC-XH170 and SC-XH70 DVD Home Theaters will be available in April 2012 for a SRP of $199.99 and $149.99, respectively.
The 2012 lineup of Home Theater Systems, the SC-HTB550, SC-HTB350 and SC-HTB20, offer multi-positional, detachable speakers for flexible layout options in the home environment and are equipped with a wireless subwoofer. Each system's sound employs an Anti-Jitter Digital Amplifier to eliminate distortion, Clear-mode Dialog to deliver dialog that is more precise in the linking of picture and sound that seems like it is coming directly from the center of the TV and Auto Gain Control to provide users an automatic adjustment of volume between a movie or television show and commercial, reducing sudden volume increases. With the Wireless Music Streaming with Bluetooth function, users can listen to their favorite music from Bluetooth-compatible devices without having to plug the device into a docking station or hook it into the sound system. The Panasonic 2012 Home Theater System HTB series will be available in April. Pricing for the series is as follows: SC-HTB550, $399.99 SC-HTB350, $299.99; SC-HTB20, $229.99.
Smart Viera HDTVs
Panasonic models in the ST50, UT50, and XT50 Plasma series and the E50, ET5, E5 and X5 LED series will be available this month. The LED models introduce two new screen sizes - a 47-inch class (47 inches measured diagonally) that will be available this month, with 55-inch class (54.6 inches measured diagonally) models to follow in April and May. In addition to the two new screen sizes, Panasonic has increased its LED model line-up from seven models in 2011 to 16 in 2012.
The 2012 models feature a cloud-based architecture that opens the VIERA Connect IPTV platform to apps. In addition, Panasonic has improved the panel luminance efficiency of the VIERA Plasmas, as evidenced in the 100,000 hour life span of the panels, as well as producing mercury-and lead-free panels.
The 2012 Smart VIERA Plasma HDTVs produce black levels that have in the past been recognized as among the best in the industry. The VIERA HDTVs also feature super fast response time, easy to operate controls, internet apps, and a new simple design incorporating Panasonic?s Glass and Metal concept.
Select Smart VIERA Plasma models employ NeoPlasma Black 2500 to provide a crisp image with 2500 FFD (Focused Field Drive) technology even when the content shows very fast motion, and to control the light, which enables viewers to see subtle details in dark scenes, with the new 24,576-steps super fine gradation. The 2012 panel further reduces reflections and creates sharper pictures with higher contrast in brighter environments. In addition, a new panel structure with improved filter and pre-discharge control technology contributes to an increased native contrast level. Additionally, all the 3D models include DLNA connections for easy link-up to other DLNA equipped products.
The Smart VIERA LED line-up continues to benefit from the addition of the IPS LED Panel technology. The 2012 LED models deliver a wide viewing angle with almost no picture degradation at off angle viewing and offer up to 1920 backlight scanning for higher moving picture resolution during fast action scenes with a reduction of afterglow. The panel materials contribute to the 178° color viewing angle, high contrast performance and fast response time, which in turn dramatically reduces artifacts and 3D crosstalk.
The first Smart VIERA Plasma series to hit the market features self illuminating panels with deep black levels and Neo Plasma technologies. Select 2012 models employ the NeoPlasma Black 2500 (VT/GT/ST), a two million pixel dimming driver, a new custom driver LSI and a fast switching phosphor panel on all of Panasonic's 1080p 3D models.
The ST50 series is the first of Panasonic's Plasma HDTVs to ship. The TC-P50ST50, 50-inch class (49.9 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-P55ST50, 55-inch class (55.1 inches measured diagonally) are now available, while the TC-P60ST50, 60-inch class (60.1 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-P65ST50, 65-inch class (64.7 inches measured diagonally) will be available later this month and in April respectively. The ST50 models include the Infinite Black Pro Panel; Full HD 3D; VIERA Connect with a web browser and built-in WiFi; 1080p Full HD resolution; 2500 FFD (Focused Field Drive); fast switching phosphors; 2D → 3D conversion; Social Networking TV which allows the user to simultaneously view a program on the TV and connect with their Twitter and/or Facebook account on the same screen ; 3D Real Sound with 8-train speakers - eight dome type micro speakers with reflectors that deliver wide ranging sound; a new louver filter; Media Player; Bluetooth; DLNA; VIERA Link; three HDMI connections and two USB ports.
There are four screen sizes in the Full HD 3D UT50 series - the TC-P42UT50, 42-inch class (41.9 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-P50UT50, 50-inch class (49.9 inches measured diagonally) will be available later this month. The TC-P55UT50, 55-inch class (55.1 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-P60UT50, 60-inch class (60.1 inches measured diagonally) will be available in April and May, respectively. All offer Full HD 3D; 1080p Full HD resolution; VIERA Connect (WiFi ready); 2500 FFD (Focused Field Drive); fast switching phosphors; 2D → 3D conversion; Social Networking TV; Media Player; Bluetooth; DLNA; VIERA Link; two HDMI connections and two USB ports.
The XT50 series is an affordable 3D solution and the Online Movies feature, a service that provides select Panasonic IPTV functionality by adding five of the most popular movie sites to the TV's internet functionality. The TC-P50XT50, 50-inch class (49.9 inches measured diagonally) produces 720p resolution and features 2D - 3D conversion; 600 Hz subfield drive; Bluetooth; Media Player; DLNA; VIERA Link; two HDMI and two USB connections and will be available this month.
Panasonic?s move to larger LED screen sizes is evident in the E50 Series, featuring the IPS LED panel. The E50 is available in three screen sizes. The TC-L42E50, 42-inch class (42 inches measured diagonally) shipped in February, while the TC-L47E50, 47-inch class (47 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-L55E50, 55-inch class (54.6 inches measured diagonally) will be available later this month. Featuring 360 backlight scanning for higher moving picture resolution during fast action scenes, the E50 models also feature1080p resolution; VIERA Connect; Social Networking TV function; DLNA; a PC input; four HDMI terminals and two USB ports. The series is Wi-Fi ready and Energy Star certified.
The ET5 Series signals Panasonic?s initial entry into the polarized 3D arena. The TC-L47ET5, 47-inch class (47 inches measured diagonally) and the TC-L55ET5, 55-inch class (54.6 inches measured diagonally) ship this month while the TC-L42ET5, 42-inch class (42 inches measured diagonally) ships in April. The ET5 models incorporate the IPS LED panel; 360 backlight scanning for higher moving picture resolution during fast action scenes; VIERA Connect with built-in WiFi and browser; 2D - 3D conversion; Social Networking TV function; Media Player; DLNA; four HDMI and two USB terminals and a PC input. Furthermore, each of the ET5s comes with 4 pairs of polarized 3D glasses. The ET5 series is also Energy Star certified.
The four LED HDTVs in the E5 series ? available this month - include the IPS LED panel and feature 1080p resolution; Online Movies; DLNA; four HDMI terminals; two USB ports and a PC input. The TC-L32E5, 32-inch class (31.5 inches measured diagonally), TC-L37E5, 37-inch class (36.5 inches measured diagonally), TC-L42E5, 42-inch class (42 inches measured diagonally) and TC-L47E5-inch class (47 inches measured diagonally) are Wi-Fi ready and are Energy Star certified.
Also available this month is the TC-L32X5, a 32-inch class (31.5 inches measured diagonally) model. Featuring the IPS LED panel, the L32X5 includes three HDMI and one USB connection. The LED HDTV also incorporates a SD Memory card slot.
Panasonic's top of the line Plasma series, the VT50 and GT50 will be available later this month and in April. The top of the line LED models will begin shipping this month - the TC-L47DT50 ships later this month, the TC-L55DT50 ships in April and the TC-L55WT50 and the TC-L47WT50 will be available in May.