updated 04:30 pm EDT, Wed August 22, 2007
Panasonic LCX and LCZ Ship
Panasonic on Wednesday announced that it had begun shipping its LIFI HDTV sets, becoming one of the few direct competitors to Sony's SXRD line. The LIFI system at the heart of the new rear projectors' names is meant to overcome the longevity and performance problems of past sets, the company says: by switching to an electrode-free lamp, the screens avoid premature lamp replacements and supplies a wider range of warmer colors, including reds and greens. Startup time is also cut dramatically from a full minute to just 15 seconds.
Models are split into premium and entry lines. The LCZ70 series includes 50-, 56-, and 61-inch models with a true 1080p resolution; the simpler LCX70 drops to 720p resolution in 56- and 61-inch versions. Every set includes a trio of HDMI ports, a PC display input, and an SD card slot for viewing photos directly from the set itself. The LCX70 line ships for $1,700 and $2,000 respectively while the sharper LCZ70 is available for $1,700, $1,900, and $2,200 depending on size.