January 7, 2014
CES 2014: Panasonic Unveils New Line Of High-Definition TVs
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Panasonic getting smarter with its new line of high-definition televisions. At the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show this week the TV manufacturer debuted its next generation VIERA Cast televisions. The new line was introduced as Life+ Screens.Life+ Screens offer the typical apps such as being able to stream from services including Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, as well as additional features. The new line of Life+Screens are built with voice and facial recognition features that are similar to those found on the Xbox One, according to an Engadget report. The Life+ Screens will be available in the spring in 4K Ultra HD, as well as 1080p models.
The user interface for the Life+ Screens centers on Panasonic’s established “My Home Screen” personalization features, which the manufacturer introduced last year. The new line offers a complete overhaul on the user interface, offering enhancements to learning the content preferences for individual users in the household by breaking content out into silos. Panasonic said navigation is easier and more intuitive than on sets in its existing line.
“There are so many things you can do with your TV these days…from watching TV shows and films, connecting with family and friends via social media, accessing video on demand and user-generated content via the cloud, gaming, and so much more,” said Julie Bauer, President, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, in a corporate statement. “Technology has brought us access to a seemingly endless list of content options directly through your TV and it is getting harder to find what to watch. So we decided it was time to redefine what a 21st-century TV should be by taking into account how people live their lives today, and how that will change in the future. The result is our new 2014 Panasonic VIERA Life+Screens.”
Among the Life+ Screen line is the AX800 series, which features a 4K LED LCD display. The AX800 series will be released in a 65-inch model (TC-65AX800U) and 58-inch model (TC-58AX00U), which are due out in the spring. The two models will be joined by an 85-inch 4K LED display later in 2014, Engadget reports.
What’s missing on Panasonic’s roster is plasma. Back in November the company said it would exit the plasma TV market after being one of the leading industry manufacturers of plasma for a number of years.
The absence of plasma might set Panasonic back in the coming year, writes David Katzmaier of CNET. “The result is what you're about to read: one of the least inspiring lineups of TVs I've seen so far at CES 2014. Even TCL and Hisense, with their Roku TVs, manage to elicit more anticipation than this offering,” he writes.
Life+ Screen features will also be included in Panasonic’s 1080p LED LCD line-up. The line includes sets ranging in size from 39-inch models to 60-inch class displays within the Life+ Screen AS680 Series, AS650 Series, AS640 Series and AS530 Series.
Also making headlines at this year’s CES from Panasonic is a new hair dryer that uses advanced nanotechnology to help infuse hair with moisture while it dries hair, according to a report from GeekWire.
“Although new to the US market, Panasonic has manufactured top performing prestige hair and beauty appliances internationally for over ten years,” said Natalia Salazar, Product Manager, Personal Care, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, in a corporate statement. “Our new hair tools are enhanced with nanoe™ technology to infuse hair with moisture to help keep it looking shiny and beautiful.”