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Panasonic announces 4K LED TV lineup, touts ‘plasma-like’ 1080p LED TVs

At its press event today in Las Vegas, Panasonic spent a lot of time discussing its business and enterprise solutions, highlighting its work on products that exist outside of the consumer electronics category. However, even though diversification is a major focus for the company, products bound for the home are still a big part of its business. Trouble is, televisions aren’t playing as big a role as they once were for the company’s consumer division.

For CES 2014, Panasonic announced a single 4K Ultra HD LED TV series with 58- and  65-inch sizes, as well as an 85-inch 4K prototype to be shown at its display booth once the show floor opens on Tuesday. As for Panasonic’s 1080p HD LED TV line, the company plans four series of televisions. Panasonic didn’t discuss details on the new LED series, but it was quick to point out that it intends to deliver plasma-like picture quality with its LED televisions. 

If that sounds like a snore of a press conference, you’re right. Perhaps that seems unfair considering it is bringing 4K televisions to market, but after a landmark year  delivering the best plasma televisions the world has ever seen, it still hurts to think that this year is the end of that legacy. The limitations of LCD panels preclude even the best-made LED/LCD from coming close to the excellent plasmas we saw this year, meaning it is up to OLED to represent super-premium picture quality in the TV market. And since Panasonic and Sony recently broke up after a failed joint-venture to bring consumer OLED TV’s to market, it appears OLED TVs we can afford will have to wait. Instead, we’ll have to settle for 4K Ultra HD resolution for now. 

As for Panasonic’s 4K offerings, they seem a little limited and a little late from the crowded press room in which we’re sitting at the moment – but perhaps that perception will change when we get up close looks at Panasonic’s 4K TVs on the show floor. We’ll be sure to report our impressions once we’ve had a chance to get some face time with them. Until then, we’ll just have to hope that Panasonic has an ace in its hand that it hasn’t tipped yet.