Panasonic is a great TV manufacturer. It sells model from small 32 inch HDTVs costing a couple of hundred to high-end 55-inch 3D plasma screens costing several thousand dollars. In this article we are going to look at the best Panasonic TVs for 2012, from budget TV’s to the most expensive HDTV’s on the market.
VIERA Line of HDTVs
The VIERA line is Panasonic's HDTV product range. The VIERA name covers LCD TVs and plasma TVs, and the accessories to go with them. The range is available in both the United States of America and other parts of the world including United Kingdom. According to Panasonic, they divide their VIERA line of flat screens into 4 categories–Smart Viera TV, LED LCD TV, 3-D TV and finally, their plasma TVs. However there is much overlap between the categories and make things simpler I'm going to divide the categories into basic TVs, smart LCD TVs and smart plasma TVs.
Smart LCD HDTVs
These range from around 40 inches up to 55 or 60 inches. They have LCD panels with LED backlight and are extremely thin and suitable for wall mounting. The vast majority of them have built-in Wi-Fi and Panasonic's smart TV interface. The smart TV software allows you to access applications such as Netflix, sports apps such as Major league baseball and some apps which are dependent on region e.g. BBC iPlayer in the United Kingdom. The higher end versions have hardware that includes a dual core processor which powers those applications allowing the TV to be very snappy in use. They've also included technology such as 1600 Hz back light scanning, built-in HD tuners and active shutter 3-D. Active shutter 3-D requires powered glasses but does currently produce the better 3-D experience at home when compared with some passive TV sets.
Smart VIERA Plasma HDTV’s
Plasma TVs tend to be slightly bigger than the LED LCD counterparts. Panasonic offers screens from 42 inches all the way up to 65 inches–with a pricetag to match. One of the highest end Smart Viera plasma TVs, the TX-P65VT50B, costs thousands of dollars but comes with one most impressive specifications available. It features the same active shutter 3-D as the high-end LCD TVs but combines it with the excellent picture quality of plasma screen technology. Panasonic claims that its a “reference model in both functions and picture quality”, and I doubt many would really disagree. The contrast is claimed to be 6,000,000 to 1, and comes with an impressive electronics that provide very fast refresh rates and access to the same software as the LCD HDTV’s.
Most of the Panasonic plasma TVs available are of a very high specification and they tend to cost slightly more than the LED LCD alternative. I'm still of the opinion that plasma screens provide the best picture quality but only when the room can be darkened. Plasma screens don't tend to be as bright as LED backlit LCD screens, which are far more suitable environments like gyms, kitchens and multipurpose rooms.
Basic Panasonic VIERA HDTV’s
Panasonic also does a basic range of TVs. These are offered from several hundred dollars with screen sizes as low as 32 inches. They don't have as much technology and/or missing features such as 3-D and advanced software with application support. However they provide a good value for money TV for use in rooms like kitchens or children's bedrooms.
Which is your favorite Panasonic VIERA TV? Do you always buy LCD or plasma? Have you bought any of the 2012 Panasonic TVs? Feel free to help others by leaving a comment below.