We've covered Panasonic's flagship connected plasmas from the beginning, first at CES and then later when pricing was announced. Today at CEDIA they've bumped pricing down, and confirmed availability for this month. The 65-inch TH-65PZ850 will sell for $7,000 (we reported it earlier at $8000), while the 58-incher will sell for an even $4,000, down $300 from the May pricing. Additional info on them below.
PANASONIC PREVIEWS LARGER SIZE INTERNET ENABLED VIERA PLASMAS AT 2008 CEDIA CONVENTION Industry Leader Panasonic Premieres 58-inch And 65-inch VIERA Plasma Displays to Custom Installers Denver, CO (September 3, 2008) – Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal U.S. subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE:MC), the industry leader in high definition and Plasma televison, today introduced attendees to the 2008 CEDIA convention to the latest additions in the company's already acclaimed internet enabled Plasma line, the PZ850 series. Joining the TH-50PZ850 and the TH-46PZ850, the industry's first internet enabled TVs, are the 58-inch class (58-inches measured diagonally) and the TH-65PZ850 class (64.7-inches measured diagonally), giving Panasonic a wide breadth of screen sizes in the flagship series of high performance Plasma TVs. Building upon the market and critical success of Panasonic's previous Plasma models, the 2008 PZ850 series includes a number of step-up features that will further strengthen Panasonic's leadership position. The introduction of the IP enabled televisions, a technology that provides access to on-line content directly from the televison with VIERA CAST™ technology, is one of many advances found in the PZ850 line. VIERA CAST is a revolutionary new feature that streams web content directly to your VIERA HDTV without the need for an external box or a PC. The consumer can access the unlimited YouTube™ library, share digital photos from Picasa™ Web Albums with friends and family, get local weather updates and gain access to financial data from Bloomberg. There is no fee for VIERA Cast and the feature automatically updates itself as new web content becomes available. "We're very excited about the technological advances that have been incorporated into VIERA's PZ850 series and the bigger screen sizes should prove extremely beneficial to both Panasonic and the CEDIA membership.," said Bob Perry, Senior Vice President, Panasonic Display Products Company. "The 58-inch and 65-inch now stand beside their smaller brethren to provide the installer with a number of screen size options. IPTV in particular is a technology that by providing access to on-line content directly from the TV, allows the consumer to optimize his or her options and use the VIERA Plasma for more than entertainment. Now the consumer has a large screen TV that is also the source of an endless stream of internet information." The state-of-the-art technology that is inherent in the PZ850 series provides the consumer with detailed images, high moving-picture resolution, advanced networking and excellent compatibility with other AV devices. The PZ850 series features a Pro Setting Menu, allowing the user to access professional calibration software; an improved native resolution contrast ratio of 30,000:1 and a dynamic ratio of 1,000,000:1; Digital Cinema Color Re-Mastering; 24p native reproduction; Game Mode; an SD memory Card slot; RS-232C connection; four HDMI connections; increased luminous efficiency; lead free panels; 100,000 hours to half brightness and a PC input. The 850 series further expands the capabilities of the SD Card feature by utilizing the H.264 codec to display high definition video recorded on a HD camcorder equipped with the H.264 codec. Recognizing the growing use of Plasma HD televisions in the gaming world, Panasonic created the Game Mode, which minimizes the time lag when displaying game images on the Plasma screen. The Mode synchronizes the response of the game image to the player's operation, thereby producing an extremely clear image with no motion artifacts. Digital Cinema Color Re-Mastering is a value added technology that creates a wide color gamut covering 120% of the conventional HDTV color standard , enabling VIERA displays to reproduce the essential colors for viewing movies. 24p native reproduction, which negates the need for 3:2 pulldown, resulting in a smoother picture, is another feature that provides the best possible viewing experience.Also: The quick-glance spec sheet we ran in May still appears to be valid.