Panasonic Viera range for 2013
Panasonic's 2013 plasma TV ranges
Panasonic is well-known for its plasma models, and the 2013 lineup looks strong.
There are four ranges, the mid-range ST60 and GT60, plus the high-end VT60 and reference-level ZT60.
ST60 plasma range
The ST60 should be great value, as the ST range always has been. It has a full HD NeoPlasma panel with Infinite Black Pro - black levels are excellent. It uses active 3D and you get one pair of glasses in the box.
A new feature for 2013 is the Viera Touch Pen. We're yet to be convinced this is a worthwhile addition, but it allows you to draw on the screen to edit photos and add text to them before saving back to an SD card in the TV, or swiped back to a mobile device using the Viera Remote app.
The new My Home Screen is present as is the latest Viera Connect (including Skype, an on-screen web browser and Facebook/Twitter).
There's also built-in Wi-Fi, as with all of Panasonic's 2013 plasma TVs. There's no option to use a USB hard drive for recording, nor the voice interaction feature of the other plasma ranges. You won't find the touchpad remote control in the box, which is reserved for only VT60 and ZT60 models.
The ST60 will be available later this year from 42in to 65in, with 50in and 55in versions inbetween.
GT60 plasma range
The venerable GT range looks very similar to the ST, and still has a relatively thick bezel (compared to the LED TVs).
It’s a small range, available in only 42in and 50in - the TX-P42GT60 and TX-P50GT60. You won't find a 46in plasma anywhere in the 2013 range.
The GT60 is a step up from the ST60 range with the Hexa-Processing Engine, recording to a USB hard drive, two pairs of 3D glasses rather than one, and the addition of Panasonic's new Voice Interaction feature.
VT60 plasma range
The VT60 range comes in 50in, 55in and 60in models and has an edge-to-edge glass front panel which makes its bezel look much slimmer than the ST60 and GT60 models.
Compared to the GT60 it adds a touchpad controller and the highly useful twin tuners (2x Freeview HD and 2x Freesat HD).
The only other main difference is better claimed contrast - Infinite Black Ultra instead of Infinite Black Pro. We'll reserve judgement on the visible difference until we can test the two side by side.
ZT60 flagship 60in plasma TV
Finally, there's the special edition ZT60, which comes in 60in only. Panasonic calls this a 'beyond reference' set with a 'studio master panel'.
We saw it compared to a four-year-old Pioneer Kuro (a reference plasma) and the absence of an air gap between the front glass and inner panel led to noticeably better blacks. Again, in demos, it was clear that the ZT60 was able to reproduce more detail in dark areas than the Kuro.
One final feature for purists is '1080 Pure Direct' which means the full 30-bit information from Blu-ray discs is sent direct to the TV without compression - as long as you have a compatible Blu-ray player. This is also on the VT and GT series.
Expect to pay around £4000 when the ZT60 goes on sale later this year.
Here are the new remote controls for the 2013 range: