Panasonic has announced its UK range of HD TVs for 2013 including six LED and four plasma ranges.
The LED lineup starts with the EM6 at the entry level, moving up to the mid-range E6, ET60 and FT60, rounding off with the DT60 and WT60 at the high-end.
Conspicuous by their absence are any 4K models - everything here is 1920x1080. Panasonic has a 56in 4K OLED prototype, but unlike LG, Sony, Samsung and others, Panasonic isn't really getting behind 4K this year. See also: The problem with 4K TVs
One of the best new features - and a significant reason to opt for a Panasonic TV this year - is the inclusion of a second HD tuner in the DT60, WT60, VT60 and ZT60 models. In fact, there are four built-in tuners - a pair of Freeview HD and a pair of Freesat HD tuners.
Only two of the tuners can be used at once, but it means you can record one channel without being forced to watch that channel - you can use the second tuner to watch any other channel. That second tuner can also be commandeered by other compatible TVs, Blu-ray players and digital recorders from Panasonic's range to stream the content to that device. Or, you can view two channels side by side (click to enlarge all images):
Alternatively, you can stream it to an iOS or Android device using the Viera Remote app. You won't get the same HD quality that you'll see on the TV, but it's a handy feature nonetheless.
WT60 LED range
The WT60 is the successor to last year's excellent WT50, and will be available in 47in and 55in screen sizes. As with all this year's models, it has the latest Smart Viera interface, including the new My Home Screen. This lets you add widgets around a smaller TV window for things like reminders, app shortcuts and web bookmarks.
Like the WT50, the WT60 has an IPS panel for wide viewing angles, plus local dimming for better contrast. We'll have to wait until we can run our own tests on the WT60 to find out how much better it is than the WT50.
Another addition is the pop-up camera which is used for face recognition (to launch your personal My Home Screen) and, more usefully, for Skype.
Unlike most of the other LED ranges, the WT60 has a distinctive glass and metal stand.
It uses passive 3D rather than active (as used by 3D plasma models). You get four pairs of glasses in the box (the same as the DT60 below).
DT60 LED range
The DT60 is a step down from the WT60 but still has the four tuners. Its IPS panel is paired with a scanning backlight that runs at half the speed of the WT60's, with the exception of the 60in model, which runs at 1000Hz instead of 1600Hz.
It has the same 'Hexa-processing engine' and also uses passive 3D technology. You don't get a camera - you have to buy the optional USB version.
The DT60 comes in five sizes: 60in, 55in, 50in, 47in and 42in (TX-L42DT60)
The DT60 range has a V-shaped stand which is used by a fair number of the 2013 LED and plasma models. It looks good, but has the drawback of no cable management so won't hide the mass of cables running to the three HDMI inputs, three USB ports and aerial sockets.
FT60 LED range
Another step down the range is the FT60 which comprises just two models: the 47in TX-L47FT60 and 42in TX-L42FT60. It has the same IPS panel and image processor as the DT60 (with passive 3D) but lacks the twin tuners. Two pairs of glasses are included in the box.
Like the WT60 and DT60 the FT60 has Wi-Fi plus voice interaction for controlling certain functions, including web searches.
ET60 LED range
Moving down the lineup, the ET60 has an IPS passive 3D panel, but with a 600Hz scanning backlight. It's available in 55in, 50in, 47in and 42in sizes.
Again, two pairs of 3D glasses are included in the box. Plus, you get built-in Wi-Fi. What you can't do is record programmes to a USB hard disk - you can, however, play back media from one.
What you don't get is the Hexa-processing engine (it's the V-real 3D Pro), nor the Clear Panel Pro of the more expensive models - this is claimed to improve black levels and colour saturation.
The other difference from the FT60 is the different stand design, which is similar to previous models - a flat metal base with a central pillar.
It still looks stylish in silver with a slim bezel, though.
EM6 LED range
Available in 50in, an unusual 39in and 32in sizes, the EM6 is a budget LED TV which lacks an IPS LCD panel. Naturally, it's still Full HD but not 3D. It has a 100Hz scanning backlight. It also drops down from three HDMI inputs of the higher ranges (which itself is down from four on 2012 models) to just two HDMI ports.
You do get a USB port for media playback, but that's about it. There's no Wi-Fi, no Viera Connect, nor My Home Screen or voice interaction.
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