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Panasonic Blu-Ray players and TVs set for US launch

updated 10:20 pm EDT, Wed September 3, 2008

Panasonic BluRay and TVs

Panasonic has announced the US launch of its DMP-BD35/DMP-BD55 Blu-Ray players and PZ850 series HD plasma TVs. The two new Blu-Ray players will be the upgrades of the BD30 and BD50. Both feature the PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus, claimed by Panasonic to offer color compensation that presents vivid colors very close to the original. Full HD 1080p resolution at 24fps is supported, with upscaling for standard DVDs. Both audio and video are processed through UniPhier, a 45nm integrated chip.

Special features including images, subtitles, multi-player games, and other content from Blu-Ray Profile 2.0 discs can be accessed through BD Live with a broadband connection. Bonus View allows simultaneous PIP showing of a disc's primary video and special content. Personal video, music, or photos can also be presented by using an included SD card slot. Controls are integrated with other Panasonic products using VIERA link.

Both players also support 7.1 channel HD audio, decoding Dolby TrueHD, Digital Plus, and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential. The BD55 offers additional audio capabilities- 192kHz 24bit DA conversion, higher quality insulators, and upgraded capacitors. Receivers that are not HDMI compatible can receive 7.1 direct analog connections from the BD55.

Additions to the PZ850 Plasma TV series include the 58-inch TZ-58PZ850 and the 65-inch TH-65PZ850. Both offer internet connectivity for access to on-line content, such as YouTube videos, from the TV using VIERA CAST, without being connected to a PC. Some of the features already available include weather, photos access from Picasa, and financial information from Bloomberg.

Both new TVs are claimed to have a contrast ratio of 30,000:1 with a dynamic ratio of 1,000,000:1, with color re-mastering, support 24p native reproduction, and increased luminous efficeincy with a brightness half life of 100,000 hours. An SD card slot can be used to view content including H.264 codec from personal HD camcorders. Four HDMI connections, an RS-232C, and PC connections are provided. A "Game Mode" synchronizes game images to the player's actions, reducing motion artifacts, according to Panasonic.

Specific pricing and release dates for the Blu-Ray players were not given. The TH-58PZ850 and TZ-65PZ850 Plasma TVs will be available this month for $4000 and $7000, respectively.

[Panasonic DMP-BD35 Blu-Ray player]

[Panasonic DMP-BD55 Blu-Ray player]

by MacNN Staff



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