Panasonic’s 3D-capable Plasma HDTVs are still considered among the best for stereoscopic 3D use and each year the company is improving and adding new features in their new lineup and now it is time for the 2012 lineup. There is of course a new top model – the VT50 Series, that will offer all the top features and it will be only available in 55-inch and 65-inch configuration, but also four more new 3D-capable series – GT50, ST50, UT50 and XT50 as well as just one non 3D-capable series – the U50. The focus of the new 2012 lineup is of course the Smart functionality that should make the TV set way more functional and go beyond just a TV, but the 3D capabilities and image quality are also among the key points and the new and improved Plasma panels should bring better quality in stereoscopic 3D mode as well.
The 2012 models employ NeoPlasma Black 2500 provide a crisp image even when the content shows very fast motion. The 2012 panel further reduces reflections and creates sharper pictures with higher contrast in brighter environments. In addition, a new panel structure and pre-discharge control technology contribute to an increased native contrast level. Additionally, all the 3D models include DLNA connections for easy link-up to other DLNA equipped products. Improved power efficiency has been addressed with, among other technology advances, new and improved phosphor mixtures and more efficient electronics.
The six VIERA Plasma series, VT50, GT50, ST50, UT50, XT50 and U50 (the only 2D one), feature self illuminating panels with ultimate black levels, NeoPlasma technologies (VT/GT/ST) providing a black filter with a higher efficiency panel that generates the best balance of black and white under brighter environments. The new Louver filter and new high performance panel result in improved external light shading, improved clarity and improved light transmittance. The 2012 models employ the NeoPlasma Black 2500 (VT/GT/ST/UT), a 6,220,800 pixel cells FULL local dimming, 24,576 steps of gradation technology (VT/GT) (previously only available in professional monitors), a new custom driver LSI and a fast switching phosphor panel on all of Panasonic’s 1080p 3D models. Panasonic also continues its relationship with THX with six Full HD 3D Plasma HDTVs, certified in both 2D and 3D mode by the prestigious company founded by George Lucas. THX certification indicates to the consumer that the picture quality has been certified to meet the stringent standards of Hollywood’s top film makers.
All in all what you should expect from the new 2012 lineup of 3D-capable Plasma HDTVs from Panasonic is better image quality – brighter picture, higher contrast, richer colors, better external light blocking and faster response. And when all this is applied in stereoscopic 3D mode you should get even nicer looking and realistic image with less crosstalk. The built-in media player should also be further improved to support more formats. What is not mentioned however is if the new 2012 lineup of 3D-capable Plasma HDTVs from Panasonic will use higher bandwidth-capable HDMI 1.4 chips, so that you could be able to run them in 1080p 30Hz 3D mode or even 1080p 60Hz 3D mode as this is something that will immediately make them way more attractive for stereo 3D gamers and not only for 3D movie lovers. Hopefully we’ll get more details about the extra questions that arise as soon as the first reviews of the new 2012 product line start to appear online.