Panasonic began CES by announcing a huge raft of new products, with most of them focussed squarely on high definition content, be it Full HD HDTVs, Blu-ray players, camcorders or a massive, in capacity at least, 32GB SDHC memory card.
Indeed, as if to underline all this HD goodness it began by talking about its frankly beguiling 'Living In High Definition' initiative in association with director Brett Ratner, best known for completely ruining the previously excellent X-Men trilogy of films - a fact, not an opinion. However, products are what we're really interested in, so let's dive straight into the thick of things, starting with HDTVs.
To begin with, Panasonic announced that its entire HDTV range will now come under the Viera brand. This includes two new Full HD sets, the 46in TH-46PZ80 Plasma and the 37in TC-37LZ800 LCD. Starting with the Viera TH-46PZ80 (pictured above), it features an improved 20,000:1 native contrast ratio, an SD memory card slot and, most importantly, 24fps 1080p playback. Three HDMI ports are also included, with a US release slated for Spring 2008, and though there's no word on a European launch just yet.
As for the Viera TC-37-LZ800 (pictured below), it features a 1,200:1 native contrast ratio and 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, while connectivity is boosted by an impressive four HDMI ports, which could do away with any need for a HDMI switcher. It also features an SD card slot and adds Digital Cinema Color Re-mastering; a technology that Panasonic claims allows it to meet the Hollywood DCI colour standard.
Though Full HD was very much at the forefront of the agenda, Panasonic also found time to announce two new 720p models, the 26in TC-26LX85 and the 32in TC-32LX85. Both have three HDMI ports and sport the same 1,200 native and 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratios found in all of the company's LCD offerings.