After setting its LED pricing for the year to come, Panasonic has finally set its plasma HDTV info in stone. Again matching the information leaked from retailers, the MSRPs (before any retailer discounts) range from the 65-inch TC-P65VT30 sticking at $4,299 down to the $599 720p TC-P42X3. Also of note is the inclusion of not only the previously announced S30 series without 3D technology or the new Infinite Black 2 panel (unlike the step-up ST30 models) but there will also apparently be a V30 line without the 3D fittings, although there's no specs, prices or ship dates mentioned. Last year the only top of the line model available was the VT25, although there was a 2D only V20-series plasma available in Australia and other regions. 3D or no, things appear to be looking up for plasma TVs, with shipments jumping nine percent last year. Check the press release after the break for all the details, but we'll have to wait until the TVs to arrive to find out if Panasonic is going to be able to hold onto its crown again.

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PANASONIC ANNOUNCES PRICING AND AVAILABILITY FOR ITS AWARD WINNING 2011 PLASMA MODEL LINE



Plasma Sales Show Growth, Pointing To Bright Future



SECAUCUS, NJ (March 1, 2011) – Driving the resurgence of Plasma HDTVs, Panasonic Corporation of North America, the industry and technology leader in High Definition and Full HD 3D televisions, recently announced pricing and availability for its award winning 2011 Viera Plasma line-up. This announcement coincides with Display Search's recent analysis and conclusion that 2010 was a great year for Plasma TV panels, with shipments growing on a Year/Year basis every quarter since Q4 '09. NPD also produced data showing a growth in Plasma sales.



In a February 3, 2011 report – Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report, Display Search reported:

* Q4 '10 Plasma TV panel shipments grew 1% Q/Q (Quarter-Quarter) and 9% Y/Y
* After falling from 15.1 million in 2008 to 14.8 million in 2009, Plasma TV panel shipments jumped to 19.1 million in 2010
* Panasonic was a top panel supplier in 2010, with a 22% Y/Y (Year-Year) growth on a unit basis

The report further stated that "Plasma TVs were well-suited for consumer's purchasing habits in 2010, providing the most affordable large flat panel TVs for many consumers. In addition the strong industry push for 3D TV helped, as some reviewers and consumers concluded that Plasma TV had superior 3D performance compared to LCD TV, at least in terms of flicker."



Ken Park, Display Search Senior Analyst for Korea TV Market Research added "With 3D functionality, Plasma can re-position itself as a lasting technology in the TV industry."



The NPD Group also reported that Plasma sales were on the rise. The Port Washington, N.Y. based market research firm reports that the Green Bay Packers weren't the only big winners of the Super Bowl: Sales of plasma TVs jumped 45% in units, and 11% in dollars during Super Bowl week, compared to the same period last year. About half of those sales were of 50-inch plasma sets, with an average price of $670, down $170 from last year. The average price of 42-inch plasmas fell $100 to $451, according to NPD.



Panasonic's 2011 Plasma line-up features TVs in the following screen sizes- 42-inch class (41.6" measured diagonally); 46-inch class (46" measured diagonally); 50-inch class (49.9" measured diagonally); 55-inch class (55.1" measured diagonally); 60-inch class (60.1" measured diagonally) and 65-inch class (64.7" measured diagonally). Following on the critical success of last years Full HD 3D Plasmas (named best in show at the 2010 CES Convention), Panasonic introduced three full HD 3D model lines for 2011- the VT30, GT30 and ST30. In addition, Panasonic offers the S30 and V30 series in traditional 2D 1080p technology, for a total of 19 Plasma screens available in 2011.



Pricing & Availability

Full HD (1080p) 3D Plasma:

* TC-P65VT30 (65-inch class-64.7" measured diagonally)-$4299.95-Available May, 2011
* TC-P55VT30 (55-inch class-55.1" measured diagonally)-$2799.95-Available April, 2011
* TC-P65GT30 (65-inch class-64.7" measured diagonally)-$3699.95-Available May, 2011
* TC-P60GT30 (60-inch class-60.1" measured diagonally)-$2799.95-Available May, 2011
* TC-P55GT30 (55-inch class-55.1" measured diagonally)-$2199.95-Available March, 2011
* TC-P50GT30 (50-inch class-49.9" measured diagonally)-$1899.95-Available March, 2011
* TC-P65ST30 (65-inch class-64.7" measured diagonally)-$3299.95-Available May, 2011
* TC-P60ST30 (60-inch class-60.1" measured diagonally)-$2399.95-Available May, 2011
* TC-P55ST30 (55-inch class-55.1" measured diagonally)-$1799.95-Available February, 2011
* TC-P50ST30 (50-inch class-49.9" measured diagonally)-$1499.95-Available February, 2011
* TC-P46ST30 (46-inch class 46" measured diagonally)-$1299.95-Available February, 2011
* TC-P42ST30 (42-inch class 41.6" measured diagonally)-$1099.95-Available February, 2011



1080p FHD Plasma:

· TC-P60S30 (1080p-60-inch class-60.1" measured diagonally)-$1899.95-Available May, 2011

· TC-P50S30 (1080p-50-inch class-49.9" measured diagonally)-$1099.95-Available February, 2011

· TC-P46S30 (1080p-46-inch class-46" measured diagonally)-$949.95-Available February, 2011

· TC-P42S30 (1080p-42-inch class-41.6" measured diagonally)-$799.95-Available February, 2011

720P HD Plasma:

· TC-P50X3 (720p-50-inch class-49.9" measured diagonally)-$799.95- Available February, 2011

· TC-P46X3 (720p-46-inch class-46" measured diagonally)-$699.95-Available March, 2011

· TC-P42X3 (720p-42-inch class-41.6" measured diagonally)-$599.95-Available February, 2011.



About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company:

Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC), a market and technology leader in High Definition television, is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic is pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth's natural resources and protect our environment through the company's Eco Ideas programs. Information about Panasonic products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.

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Panasonic celebrates higher plasma TV sales for 2010, sets prices for 2011