Panasonic Plasmas

Panasonic's press conference started with a 2-way video feed from Fumio Ohtsubo, president of Panasonic Corporation, live from Osaka, Japan, via the company's new Internet-based HD Visual Communication System. The huge projected image was exceptionally clear, detailed, colorful, and smooth, though there was a short but inevitable delay as Ohtsubo chatted with members of the Panasonic staff in the room.

Unlike most TV companies, Panasonic is involved in all aspects of 3D, including a new dual-lens video camcorder. The company announced its partnership with DirecTV, which should start 3D broadcasts, including the MLB All-Star game, by June. I was happy to learn that these broadcasts will require no new receiver hardware, only a firmware update. I look forward to checking out the world's first 3D HD broadcasts from DirecTV in Panasonic's booth.

On the TV front, Panasonic unveiled a new V series of 3D-capable plasmas that use active shutter glasses to deliver full 1080p to each eye. The panels themselves have been re-engineered with a new scanning technology and phosphor formulation that produces deeper blacks and also enhances 2D performance. This series provides Skype capabilities and access to online content and will be available in screen sizes of 50, 54, 58, and 65 inches.