Panasonic might be struggling in the financial mire lately, but this isn't going to stop the Japanese CE giant from upping the ante with their latest salvo of Viera HDTVs. The Osaka-based manufacturer is known to reserve larger screen sizes for their bread-and-butter plasma faction. However, this conservative trend is about to change with the arrival of the company’s 2012 range of LED-backlit TVs. The European Convention, held in Hamburg two days ago, saw a total of five 47-inch and three 55-inch models unveiled by Panasonic, with the very slim and radically sexy WT50 taking center stage.
Fitted with a dual-core Pro4 processor, the WT50 will support active 3D as well as Panasonic's current Internet or Smart TV platform - Viera Connect. More importantly, Panasonic has placed a greater emphasis on remote apps and secondary devices for their newest premium range; an approach adopted by the likes of Samsung and LG. According to Which?Tech Daily's report, operations on the WT50 can be complemented with Remote App Pro, an app which enables users to stream content from the TV to their tablets or smartphones. A secondary remote, called the 'Touch Pad', will accompany the WT50 as well. LG has a point-and-click solution with the Magic Remote. Panasonic's 'Touch Pad' , however, enables viewers to control the onscreen cursor via a touchpad found on the remote. The WT50 will be available in 42-inch, 47-inch, and 55-inch sizes.
One step down from the WT50 is the DT50 range. The DT50 won't carry any dual-core processors, and may sport a lower contrast ratio ("Brilliant Contrast") compared to the WT50's "Infinite Contrast". Further down the aisle is the entry-level ET50 series, which lacks an ISFccc calibration mode and Panasonic's anti-reflective filter, Clear Panel Pro. Backlight scans and frame interpolations rates have also been dropped to 800Hz, compared to the WT50's and DT50's 1600Hz. Other noteworthy models include Panasonic's first passive 3D TV model, the ET5, available in sizes ranging from 32 to 55 inches. Those on a tight budget might want to look to the E5 set instead. It won't feature any 3D perks or integrated Wi-Fi, although Viera Connect is supposedly present.
Do note that all models mentioned here are slated for a European release. Panasonic has yet to reveal what they have in store for the Asian market.