Published on January 14, 2011 1:02 PM

CES 2011: Panasonic LCD TVs with IPS Panels ... and No Switching!

Although you may think Panasonic has been focusing its attention on plasma technology, the manufacturer will be storming its way into the 2011 TV market with a more diverse collection of LCD and plasma TVs. To do this, and hopefully to ensure consistent quality levels, Panasonic has built its own exclusive IPS panel factory!

Panasonic 3D TV

Panasonic only released two LCD TVs in 2010 and the the brand admits that panel switching was rife in both models. For 2011, however, the manufacturer will be outing no less than eight different series of LCD TV. So can we expect most of them be equipped with Panasonic-made IPS panels? We hope so! There will be five series of LED LCD TVs:

  • DT30 (TC-L37DT30 and TC-L32DT30 = two connected 3D TVs),
  • D30 (TC-L42D30 = 42" IPS 120 Hz with connected functions),
  • E3 (TC-L32E3, TC-L37E3, TC-L42E3 = 32"/37"/42" IPS TVs),
  • E30 (TC-L42E30 = 42" IPS 120 Hz),
  • C30 (19" TV only).

Panasonic DT30 Series
Beware: it's not actually 240 Hz but 120 Hz (in the USA, 100 Hz in Europe) with backlight scanning. In Europe, it wouldn't be allowed to be called '240 Hz'.

Three ranges of CCFL LCD TVs will be launched too—the C3, U3 and X30—that will be 32" to 42" in size.

It's clear that Panasonic doesn't (yet) count on overshadowing its range of plasma screen TVs with its new LCD models since, for the moment at least, the LCDs will only be smaller-sized models.

First Impressions

The Japanese manufacturer had several TVs on display on its stand at the CES. With dimmed lighting and bright, flashy demos set against dark backgrounds, the set-up was clearly designed to impress. However, it also made it easier for us to spot any problems with contrast, washed-out blacks and clouding (slight leaks of light onto some zones that should be black).

The good news is that we didn't notice anything of the kind! In fact, our first impressions of the new TVs were actually quite good, with blacks that looked just as dark as the TV surrounds. That kind of quality we usually only see in TVs with PVA, ASV, or the very rare and very expensive IPS panels with LED matrix backlighting.

Panasonic TV with cloud-based gaming
Connected services include cloud-based gaming

We can't wait to test Panasonic's LCD TVs for ourselves. We could have to be patient for little while yet though, as they may not be heading our way before summer 2011.