Panasonic has introduced new plasma TVs for 2012, and for the first time Panasonic is also introducing large-size LCD-TVs up to 55 inches. In 2012 it is all about picture quality, design, 3D and Smart TVs. Panasonic calls the concept Smart Viera and introduces VT50, GT50, ST50, WT50, DT50 – and more. In this article we give you the full overview.
Update: Panasonic's answers to questions have been added at the bottom. Pricing details have also been added.
Panasonic’s new TVs will arrive in March-April and build on previous years’ success in the plasma range. But Panasonic also plans to introduce new LED models up to 55 inches – a new route for Panasonic.
Design is a key element of the new line-up. Panasonic has aimed to create slim, minimalistic and elegant TVs that fit into the modern home. The cabinets are slimmer than ever and Panasonic has also strived to make bezels almost invisible.
Most models are labeled Smart Viera to signal Panasonic’s wish to make the everyday life easier. Smart Viera TVs come with TV apps but Panasonic has also extended their offerings beyond that. A new remote app for smartphones and tablets lets users control their TV but also swipe video, music and pictures from the handheld device onto the TV screen.
The high-end models (VT50, GT50 and WT50) even allow users to “pull” media content, live TV broadcast and recorded programs from the TV’s hard disc onto a tablet or smartphone screen via the Viera Remote PRO app. Lastly, Panasonic highlights the option to connect an external Skype camera and use multi-tasking on TVs with the new dual-core Pro4 processor.
The new plasma line-up will cover many models but VT50 is the flagship. In 2012, Panasonic introduces 2500 Hz FFD (focused field drive) - in the VT50 and GT50 – to improve motion reproduction and a 24,576 color gradation system for better color performance. The plasma TVs will be available up to 65-inch sizes and most of them also come with 3D. Panasonic also promises deeper blacks, better performance in brightly lit rooms and lower power consumption than ever. The VT50 even comes with a Louver filter.
The new LCD-TVs will come with Edge LED backlight and in sizes up to 55 inches. The flagship is WT50 but DT50 packs most of the advanced features as well. Panasonic turns our attention to IPS panels with 178/178 viewing angles and a 1600 Hz system that covers frame interpolation and scanning backlight technologies for better motion performance. Most of the models come with active 3D but Panasonic has also found room for passive 3D LED models in the ET5 range.
A new touch pad remote will come bundled with the most advanced Smart Viera TVs. Smartphones and tablets can also be used as game controllers for the games available in the app store.
Panasonic Smart Viera and the new touch pad remote
Below we have highlighted the new Panasonic 2012 TV ranges; first the plasma TVs, and further down the LED models.
Panasonic VT50 plasma
Panasonic VT50 is the new flagship model with Panasonic’s most advanced picture technologies such as the Infinite Black Ultra panel, and a new slim one-sheet-of-glass design.
VT50 also comes with all of Panasonic’s Smart TV offerings.
Panasonic GT50 is the step down from VT50 and leaves out the Louver filter and Ultra panel. Instead it features the Infinite Black Pro panel from last year’s flagship TVs, as well as all of Panasonic’s Smart TV features.
Shin Natsume do panasonic has any plan to adopt google tv, beacause we know that the new version of the uniphier had an ARM dual core Cortex A9, and goole had move out from intel chips to ARM with google TV.
Panasonic: No, we think that Viera Connect is the suitable base to deliver online content. Panasonic already has many of the local services and broadcasters on board, and it is a controlled system.
Shin Natsume what about Wigi, do panasonic has the intension to launch wireless TVs like the Z series this year.
Panasonic: We will support a range of wireless functions via DLNA this year, including pull and push media content sharing. No plans to release a new Z series this year, no.
Shin Natsume Do PANASONIC has the intention to launch 4K TVs this year, if this is the case, which technology panasonic will choose for the 4k (plasma, LCD or OLED) and at which size.
Panasonic: We were the first company that sold a commercial 4K TV with our 152” plasma TVs. We are closely monitoring the development. That’s all we can say right now.
Shin Natsume we all have the feeling that Plasma TV don't make real progress anymore, do PANASONIC has any plan to bring plasma TV like PROJECT KURO to the market on the next few years, or it will rather focus on LCD and OLED TVs.
Panasonic: We are developing our plasma technology in many areas and the new 2500 FFD technology will implement many different new technologies under one name. Panasonic believes that they have moved further ahead in 2012.
Shin Natsume The WT LCD series, is it EDGE or FULL LED TV.
It’s edge LED.
Shin Natsume any information you can get about Panasonic OLED TV.
sina some europian contries ( austria, croatia) are starting dvb-t2 services later this year, wich european (non uk) models will have dvb-t2 tuners built in?
Panasonic has had DVB-T2 in 2011 models in some countries. Panasonic says that the decision depends on the adoption of DVB-T2 in the specific country. Unfortunately our contact person does not have the full European overview at this time.
Juan Confirmation o screen sizes available in Europe for Plasma VT50 and LED WT50. By the moment only too big sizes (even bigger in plasma) but perhaps in Europe there will be more models.
See the article. All the screen sizes have been confirmed.
AV Fanatic 1) Will there be any fans at the back of the sets, as last year and year before? Samsung don't have fans, so why can't they do without them!
2) will be picture be brighter in 'normal' mode. We were told new sets will be 1.5 brighter than last year's. please give more details.
1) Our Panasonic contact was not sure which models use fans in 2012. We will have to confirm this in our reviews. 2) Exactly. Panasonics claims; 30 % brighter plasma TVs but the same power consumption. So if you use the Normal mode you will have brighter pictures.
audiphile76 - What are the release dates for GT50 in the nordics? - Will there be a 46 incher? - Will all HDMIs face sideways or downwards for GT50? - Will the TV for rest of europe automatically switch to any input? atleast 2008 models did not and had to use the Hotel Mode to bypass this lack of feature - Is 50Hz problem solved? - What about the green blob issue? - How green(energy consumption) are these GT50s?
Release dates are around March-April. For size classes see the article. All sizes have been confirmed. HDMI faces down or to the side on most models – including GT50 – in 2012. HDMI CEC will let you automatically switch to active inputs, Panasonics says.
Gamotiratsasas The ET5 LED passive claims 178 degrees viewing angle. How is this possible with a LED TV?
All IPS based LCD panels claim 178/178 viewing angles. This is measured from left to right over the middle.
Gillah Will the 2012 Panasonic Tv's support the new higher frequency HDMI standard so that you can view 1080P @120Hz, so for 3d meaning 60 Hz per eye at Full HD resolution. The new AMD graphics cards supposedly allready support this new HDMI chip, so could you ask if the 2012 plasmas support this too? Here a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... for more information on the HDMI question if this wasn't elaborate enough.
Panasonic: Theoretically it should be done, but Panasonic only supports the HDMI specification.
Maurodelaplata what about picture quality? from what I saw on CES videos these 2012 PDPs look very noise and grainy - is there still false contouring on 96Hz? improvements on image s?
Panasonic is not commenting on specific picture elements. They want their products to speak for themselves in shops and reviews. We will have to confirm these things in our later reviews.
Alexander Mzhavia 1) Will the announced 37 ich first gen OLED HDTV from Panasonic use PenTile matrix or they will come in standard pixel size RGB matrix? 2) Whats the power usage of VT42 and 50 inch models for 2012? 3) Are high end models this year good for gaming or it's better to look for lower end models... lower lag?
1) There is no 37-inch OLED-TV announcement from Panasonic. 2) Panasonic continues to strive for lower power consumption but it is an evolutionary process. The specific power consumption number will be available at Panasonic’s website and we will also measure it in our later review. But Panasonic has made a 30% improvement to the power/brightness ratio. 3) Panasonic was unable to supply input lag numbers at the Convention but we will examine this in later reviews.
Fresh Will Panasonic release 46/50" VT50 later this year, or will only 55/65 be available as announced during CES ?
See the article above. These sizes are the final ones and confirmed by Panasonic. In Europe there is a 50-inch coming but no 46-inch version.
Aickid How much faster are the phosphors in the 2012 models when compared to the 2011?
The phosphor is faster and the 2500 FFD makes response time much faster. For many years Panasonic had 600 Hz sub field drive, but now Panasonic is moving onwards to 2500 FFD that includes a number of technologies. We will tell you more about the new 2500 FFD technology in a later article – our initial impressions was good.
Israel De La Rosa Price aprox? May Be
We will receive pricing details later. It has not been decided yet.
Ernst I have a question regarding Panasonic home theater systems: The 2.0 speaker sytem SC ZT2 is no longer available. Is Panasonic planning a successor for this model ?
Panasonic has a many new sound systems coming, including two new 2.1 soundbars with wireless sound bars. Learn more in the Panasonic section.
Dieter Mestermann will there be a 42'' or 46'' version of the new VT50 or GT50 series plasma TV?? How many 3D glasses will be included in the box ?(for TVs sold in Germany)
See the article above for confirmed size classes.
3D glasses included in VT50 and WT50. 2 pairs for Germany. ET5 with four pairs of passive glasses.
Olivier PARFAIT Any dual-tuner for watching a channel while recording another using the integrated DVR capabilities ?
No dual-tuner, no. But you can push the TV channel to your tablet/smartphone with the flagship dual-core TVs in 2012.
Olivier PARFAIT Will 2012 sets finally be able to pass through multichannel audio? My G20 down samples everything it gets through HDMI to stereo before outputting it via optical audio out...
Panasonic: Not sure at this point. But why not connect the receiver first and connect the receiver to the TV?
Olivier PARFAIT Any built-in wireless display capabilities like WiDi or Airplay?
DLNA push and pull is integrated. See this article for more information.
Olivier PARFAIT Will the Flixster app be made available to G/V/VT20 owners on VieraConnect?
Panasonic: Not sure, it depends on Flixster. Unfortunately the 2010 models require a different app version than newer models.
David van der Zande Do they still have noisy fans?
We will have to confirm that in later reviews. Our Panasonic spokesperson was not sure which models that have fans inside in 2012.
TL12 Will there be a 50VT50 in Europe ? If yes, what will be its price, width/height and release date ? Also, price and release date info for 47WT50 and 47DT50 in Europe?
Yes, 50” VT50 will be available. No pricing details yet.
tonyjd40 i was considering a samsung but with their price mapping now the e8000 is too high priced and etailers cant sell it any lower. anyway, why is panasonics ui (user interface ) so cluncky, it is not very user friendy , can they or have they improved this ? and can panasonic vt/gt 50 connect to laptops,computers,blu rays etc .. that are not panasonic ?
Viera Connect now has multitasking and multi-window. Viera Connect now also supports folder. The UI is the same but the navigation is much faster on the dual-core models, Panasonic says.
Joe I really hate the Panasonic G30 media player. The file read is extreme slow on "big" (1G or bigger) pendrive or hard disk . Will be any improvements on ugly sluggish media player and viera connect UI?
More codecs are supported and the dual-core TVs will be much faster. See this codec list.
Joe Will be any Panasonic model without 3D in 2012 ?
Yes, a few. But 3D is mostly an added feature – it’s not necessarily affecting price.
Tomeo Sereval questions for the Panasonic team: - Do they plan to sell a 60VT50 for europe? - Did they fix the numerous issues that affected the VT30 in 2011. The reliability of the VT30 was a real disaster.
65 in Europe. The other things have to wait for our reviews.
Bhushir Mankad there was a rumour that Panasonic will move out of the volume segment (42" & 50" HD Plasmas) since they lead to a lot of losses for the company. is that correct since you have the new lineup details with you?
Panasonic will still have 42 and 50 inch TVs but the plasma line-up will mainly focus on larges sizes. The LED models will cover 32 and up to 55 inches.
Michael I occasionally still read reviews where users experience burn-in on their Panasonic Plasmas from gaming; will any of the new technology this year reduce the likelihood of this occurring?
Panasonic claims same-level or lower retention that the 2011 models. The 2500 FFD technology will implement some technical improvements.
Micko 1) Will any of the 2012 models be able to accept 120hz 1920x1080 signal when connected to PC ?
2) quote from Panasonic WT50 page:
"1,080p Pure Direct
The 1,080p Pure Direct function transmits and outputs high-quality YUV 4:4:4 30-bit video signals directly to the TV. This reproduces colors that are highly faithful to the original."
Does that mean WT50 models will be able to display 4:4:4 chroma correctly when displaying a PC output, ie. no more blurry red text on a dark background and if so, will any of the cheaper models feature this too ?
Me and many others who are planning to use HDTV as a PC monitor would be very interested in these two questions.
Thanks in advance.
1) See previous answer. 2) We will have to confirm that in a review. But Panasonic showed a very nice demonstration of a new “Pure” mode that displayed chroma patters perfectly, also 4:4:4.