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Monday, January 06, 2014
Panasonic Unveils Personalized 'Beyond Smart' TVs At CES


Panasonic unveiled today at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Life+ Screen -- a new category of television "designed to take consumers beyond Smart TV to a new level of personalization and interaction."

Debuting this spring in 4K Ultra HD and 1080p models, many of Panasonic's 2014 line of VIERA Life+Screens are available now for pre-order at www.shop.panasonic.com.

Panasonic Life+ Screens overhaul the user interface and implement enhancements regarding learning the content preferences of individual users, breaking different content out of its silos and making navigation easier.

Panasonic's Life+ Screens get to know the preferences of individual users (or the family as a whole) and uses that knowledge to have your favorite content waiting for you as soon as you switch them on. Rather than relying solely on cumulative viewing patterns to generate recommendations, Panasonic's new Life+Screens are able to recognize each user individually and build up a personalized profile of their favorite content thanks to the My Button on the remote control. Pressing the My Button alerts the Life+Screen that you like the kind of content you are currently viewing, and uses the program metadata together with advanced algorithms to present more appropriate recommendations.

Panasonic is introducing My Stream, an individualized channel of content personalized just for you, including content from different sources. This means that recommended films and shows from cable, terrestrial broadcast and VOD, are all presented within the same interface allowing users to simply view the content they want to see without having to worry about the source. Recorded content, home movies, family photos, web pages, and online videos are also included in the My Stream interface.

Searching for content is as simple as telling the TV what you are looking for - the Life+Screen Voice Assistant functionality removes the need for any complicated navigation or searching.

In order to make Life+ Screen more than just a content viewing device, Life+ Screen will automatically wake from standby mode when it senses somebody nearby and will display useful information graphically such as the time, date and weather - a feature called Info Bar. Furthermore, when Life+ Screens identify the nearby user via the built-in camera, they will present further information specifically personalized to that user, such as video messages, other notifications, and recommended content.

Working with Panasonic's cloud service, My Home Cloud, Life+ Screen forms a network to share information and content with smartphones and PCs. For example, an online video link bookmarked at your work place would also be reflected on your Life+ Screen in the living room , and will display in your My Stream when you get home.

Panasonic's Life+Screen models include the AX800 Series (4K), AS680 Series (1080p), AS650 Series (1080p), AS640 Series (1080p), and AS530 Series (1080p).

Visitors of Panasonic's booth will also have the chance to see the company's 4K Curved OLED TVs. Six curved OLED panels were lined up as a gigantic wave display nearly 21 feet (6 m) long.



New multi-room speaker system

Panasonic also today introduced a new multi-room speaker system, the SC-ALL series, which incorporates AllPlay, a new smart media platform from Qualcomm that enables music to be streamed into multiple rooms from multiple sources with high fidelity sound. The new models include the SC-ALL8 and SC-ALL3 Wireless Speaker Systems and the SH-ALL1C Network Audio Connector which will be available on www.shop.panasonic.com later this year.

The new Multi-room Hi-Fi System with AllPlay makes it easy to setup a multi-room configuration based on an already existing home Wi-Fi network. Using an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, music can be wirelessly transmitted throughout the house with a music subscription service or Internet radio. "Party mode" provides even more fun by allowing the same songs to be simultaneously played to several connected speakers. Because control is possible directly from the GUI of Internet radio or a music subscription service app, AllPlay can be enjoyed with constantly updated screens and functions. Also, after listening to music from your smartphone while away from home, you can conveniently switch to other compatible speakers right from the screen when you return home without changing the App.

By using the smartphone application, Panasonic Music Streaming App, different music -- for example, songs from music subscription services, Internet radio, songs stored on a smartphone, or songs archived on a PC or NAS -- can be easily played to different speakers with the "Multi-Zone" function.

The Panasonic SC-ALL8 Wireless Speaker System is equipped with LincsD-Amp 2nd generation and evolved version of the LincsD-Amp jitter correction, which applies noise shaping technology to reproduce a highly stable clock, reducing jitter to a frequency range that is below the audible limit. XBS Master amplifies low-frequency sounds to achieve robust bass. Multi Band Gain Control eliminates unnatural sounds which are generated during the process of controlling distortion and H.BASS adds harmonics to enable the reproduction of bass sounds of 80 Hz or less, which were previously difficult to reproduce with this class of speaker.

The Panasonic SC-ALL8 utilizes a five-speaker system with Nano Bamboo Double Layer for the woofer and tweeter. The formed Mica 4-3/4inch (12cm) Subwoofer resolves unbalanced drive unit problems that can cause distortion in subwoofer sounds.

With the simple connection of the Panasonic SH-ALL1C, an existing speaker system can be easily upgraded to a multi-room configuration. A Gold Plated Analog Audio Terminal system and Digital/Optical system enable connection to most speaker systems. Also, a High Class 192-kHz/24-bit DAC is used to suppress sound quality degradation in the wireless signal from a smartphone, so high-quality audio signals are transmitted to the speaker system.

The new Panasonic SC-ALL8, SC-ALL3 and SH-ALL1C will be available in spring 2014 on www.shop.panasonic.com.

Home theater systems



Panasonic's 2014 lineup of wall-mountable bar-style home theater systems includes three slim models that complement a users home. The SC-HTB880, SC-HTB580 and SC-HTB8 Home Theater Systems will be available later this year on www.shop.panasonic.com.

The SC-HTB880, SC-HTB580 and SC-HTB8 Home Theater Systems feature speaker units with a triangular cross section to achieve a slim body size, and incorporate a Delta Form Design to deliver dynamic sound. The top panel of each model's main unit is inclined to provide extra space inside for the installation of large speaker units.

The Panasonic SC-HTB880 premium model features a 4K Pass Through function to feed 4K video signals directly from a Blu-ray Disc player. The SC-HTB880's main unit houses the front, center and surround speakers; combined with the wireless subwoofer, this model's sound system delivers 5.1-channel dynamic surround sound. This model incorporates the LincsD-Amp 2nd generation, which boasts a performance level that rivals many high-end amps. It reduces jitter noise generated in the playback of digital data to the lowest possible level to reproduce clear sounds faithful to the original.

The Panasonic SC-HTB880 and SC-HTB580 are enhanced with Clear-mode Dialog, a function in previous models which achieves true-to-life ambience by making the dialog in a TV program or movie seem to come from the center of the TV screen, instead of from the center speaker. All three home theater system models also have a revamped linkage function with a TV, Blu-ray Disc or DVD player and smartphone. The Near Field Communication (NFC) function (featured in the HTB880 and HTB580) simplifies Bluetooth pairing with an NFC-compatible smartphone. A user need only wave their smartphone over the One-touch Connection mark to establish a connection, eliminating the need for going through cumbersome screen settings.

Smart Network 3D Blu-ray Disc Home Theater Systems

Panasonic's new Smart Network FULL HD 3D Blu-ray Disc Home Theater Systems include advanced network functions and will be available www.shop.panasonic.com later this year.

The SC-BTT465 and SC-BTT405 incorporate Panasonic's FULL HD 3D image reproduction technology to play back dynamic 3D movies faithful to the original. The 5.1-channel Rich Surround System with Powerful Bass-Reflex Subwoofer faithfully reproduces sound from Blu-ray Disc media through five speakers that are designed to surround the user's viewing position and a bass-reflex type subwoofer. The BTT465 is equipped with tall-boy front speakers, satellite speakers for surround sound and a bass-reflex type subwoofer, while the BTT405 uses satellite speakers for the front and surround, and a bass-reflex type subwoofer.

The new Smart Network 3D Blu-Ray Disc Home Theater Systems from Panasonic support popular Internet applications including YouTube, Netflix and CinemaNow. An optional wireless adapter can establish a wireless connection to a home network. Additionally, both the BTT465 and BTT405 have built-in Near Field Communication (NFC) capability.

1080p LED LCD Life+ Screen Line-Up

Panasonic' line-up of 2014 Life+Screen 1080p HDTVs is featuring four model lines ranging in screen size from 39-inch class to 60-inch class.

The AS680 Series (55-inch class) to AS650 Series (60-inch class, 55-inch class, 50-inch class) are advanced models featuring "Beyond Smart" features and picture-enhancing functions. The AS640 Series (one model: 60-inch class) and AS530 Series (four models: 60-inch class, 55-inch class, 50-inch class, 39-inch class) are basic models combining "Beyond Smart" features and practical picture-performance functions.

The AS680 Series, AS650 Series, AS640 Series and AS530 Series of LED LCD HDTVs will debut this spring.

Also debuting in 2014 is the Panasonic VIERA A400 Series (three models: 50-inch class, 39-inch class, 32-inch class) ? a non-Life+Screen series of models with a slim cabinet.

2014 Blu-ray Disc Player Line-Up

Panasonic's 2014 line-up of Blu-ray Disc Players includes the Smart Network 3D Blu-ray Disc (DMP-BDT360), and two Blu-ray-Disc Players (DMP-BD91 and DMP-BD81). All three models are available now for pre-order at www.shop.panasonic.com.

The BDT360 is designed for users who enjoy having access to a wide variety of digital content. While maintaining the 3D picture quality performance elements found on Panasonic models last year (Leaping Effect, Enhanced Depth, Luster and Texture) the BDT360 is further equipped with Built-in 4K (UHD) Up-scaling. This function up-converts the Full-HD images of BD media to ultra high-resolution 4K video signals (8 megapixels).

The BDT3601 also features Miracast, which allows photos, music, and video content stored on a smartphone or tablet to be displayed onto a large-screen TV for larger group viewing. Miracast applies Wi-Fi Direct technology, so content can be directly transmitted from a smartphone or tablet to the TV, even when there is no Wi-Fi access point in the house.

As for networking, Built-in Wi-Fi, which makes it possible to access the Internet without having to connect a LAN cable, is included on both of the DMP-BDT360 and DMP-BD91 models. Both models are also compatible with Internet Apps for IP services such as Netflix, CinemaNow, Vudu and Hulu plus. The DMP-BDT360 supports a Web Browsing3 function for viewing news, online shopping, and other websites on a large-screen TV, to expand viewing enjoyment beyond movies.

AS680 Series

TC-55AS680U (54.5 inches diagonal)

Key Features:

  • Native 240Hz Refresh Rate
  • my Home Screen
  • my Stream
  • Voice Assistant
  • Remote Sharing
  • Swipe & Share
  • Internet Apps
  • Wireless LAN Built-In
  • Touch Pad Remote
  • HEXA-Processing Engine

AS650 Series

TC-60AS650U (59.5 inches diagonal)

TC-55AS650U (54.6 inches diagonal)

TC-50AS650U (49.4 inches diagonal)

Key Features:

  • my Home Screen
  • my Stream
  • Voice Assistant
  • Remote Sharing
  • Swipe & Share
  • Internet Apps
  • Wireless LAN Built-In
  • 3D
  • 1500 Backlight Scanning
  • Touch Pad Remote
  • HEXA-Processing Engine

AS640 Series

TC-60AS640U(59.5 inches diagonal)

Key Features:

  • Home Theater System Bundle
  • my Home Screen
  • my Stream
  • Voice Assistant
  • Remote Sharing
  • Swipe & Share
  • Internet Apps
  • Wireless LAN Built-In
  • 240 Backlight Blinking
  • Media Player
  • HEXA-Processing Engine
  • Touch Pad Remote

AS530 Series

TC-60AS530U (59.5 inches diagonal)

TC-55AS530U (54.6 inches diagonal)

TC-50AS530U (49.5 inches diagonal)

TC-39AS530U (38.5 inches diagonal)

Key Features:

  • my Home Screen
  • Remote Sharing
  • Swipe & Share
  • Internet Apps
  • Wireless LAN Built-In
  • Media Player
  • 240 Backlight Blinking
  • Voice Guidance
  • DLNA
  • Narrow Bezel

A400 Series*

TC-50A400U (49.5 inches diagonal)

TC-39A400U (38.5 inches diagonal)

TC-32A400U (31.5 inches diagonal)

Key Features:

  • Media Player
  • 120 Backlight Blinking
  • HDMI Terminals
  • USB Terminals
  • Narrow Bezel
  • V-Audio

*A400 Series does not include the Life+ Screen functions




Collaboration on New Firefox OS Open Platform

Panasonic and Mozilla also today announced at CES that the two companies have agreed to form a partnership to develop and promote the new Firefox OS, an open platform based on HTML5 and other Web technologies, for next generation smart TVs.

The development of the new Firefox OS platform aims to deliver more expansive access into smart TVs by leveraging the HTML5 and Web technologies already prevalent on PCs, smartphones and tablets, to offer consumers more personalized and optimized access to Web and broadcasting content and services through the Internet.

With the launch of this new open platform, next generation smart TVs will gain full compatibility with Web technologies and HTML5 standards used for cloud services and various future networked devices, enabling data from Web services and devices to be easily mashed up on a single application. By using new Mozilla-pioneered WebAPIs for hardware control and operation, next generation smart TVs will also be capable of monitoring and operating devices inside and outside of the home, such as the emerging smart home appliances.

In next generation smart TVs, basic functions, such as menus and EPGs (Electronic Program Guide) which are currently written as embedded programs, will be written in HTML5, making it possible for developers to easily create applications for smartphones or tablets to remotely access and operate the TV. In addition, through the Web services, next generation smart TVs can display personalized user interfaces, featuring the user's favorites and even add new functions for multiple users sharing the same screen after devices are purchased.

Panasonic will release next generation smart TVs powered by Firefox OS, and Mozilla and Panasonic will work together to promote this Firefox OS and its open ecosystem.




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