It’s chicken-and-egg time again. Right now the question is playing out in 3D television. There’s no content because there’s no TVs; there’s no TVs because there’s no content. Someone has to go first, before the others will follow. Panasonic has decided to be one of those first-goers, announcing it will soon start shipping its first 3D plasma HDTVs.
The VIERA VT2 series was introduced at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. The series is expected to contain four sets ranging from 50-inches to 65-inches. The two available now are the 50-inch TH-P50VT2 and the 54-inch TH-P54VT2. Each has 1080p resolution, and a contrast ratio of 5 million to one. Both digital and analog tuners are built-in, as is a 20W 2.1-channel speaker system. Each set has four HDMI ports, a VGA output, a D4 (component) output, and an Ethernet port. They also feature Panasonic’s VIERA CAST IPTV functionality and are THX certified.
The 3D effect is realized through the use of active shutter glasses, which are included with the set. (No word on how many pairs with each set, or whether other pairs will be available as an option.)
The new sets are due for release in April in Japan. No mention of a release date for the United States. And they won’t come cheap: the 54-inch model is priced about $6,000 (¥530,000), and the 50-inch model about $4,900 (¥430,000).