Panasonic Plasma TV 2009

Until not long time ago, Pioneer was the best Plasma TV manufacturer. The plasma TVs they manufactured ware the best of the best. However, since Pioneer left the TV business, Panasonic now occupies the 1st position on the podium. The 2008 Panasonic plasma TV models ware some of the best on the market. Though best plasma TVs of Panasonic, the models in PZ800U series were not as good as Pioneer Kuro Elite series, Panasonic had a broader offer than Pioneer, covering the whole range from cheap entry-level plasma TVs all the way to the expensive feature-packed high-end models. In 2009, Panasonic continues to offer a broad selection of plasma TV models, covering all price ranges and a multitude of screen sizes.

Panasonic 2009 plasma TV line-up follows last year’s trend, basically offering newer and better plasma TVs but maintaining the same idea behind the series – some offer basic features and lower quality and are targeted at budget-minded consumers, while others are feature-packed and have exceptional picture quality, but cost more. There is however an interesting thing we can observe. In 2009, Panasonic expanded both in the expensive/exclusivist direction as well as towards the cheap direction. They are now offering a Plasma TV series (the Z1) that both from the perspective of price as well as through its features, aims at the consumers looking for something truly special. At the other end, two entry-level series (U1 and C1) should be cheap enough to attract even the most budget-minded consumers.

General Overview of Panasonic’s 2009 Models

First of all, I would mention that some of the TVs use the new NeoPDP panel. These types of panels have better contrast, black levels, higher brightness, and are also more energy efficient that the previous generation. Keep in mind however, that not all 2009 Panasonic plasma TVs use NeoPDP panels.

According to Panasonic, the new models from this year’s offer have a life span of 100,000 hours. I’m sure that’s enough even for the most exigent consumers out there. If you’re watching TV 8 hours each day, the life span translates to about 34 years.

600Hz sub field drive is another feature common to all models. You can look at it as another buzzword without much importance. Since LCD manufacturers advertise their TVs as having 120Hz refresh rate, trying to address consumer’s worries about fast-moving images (e.g. sports) being blurry, probably Panasonic just wanted to stay on top with a bigger number (600 vs. 120). The thing is, plasma TVs never had problems with blurry edges around fast moving images and have generally been slightly better in this area when compared to LCD TVs.

Viera Cast service has been expanded a bit, now including Amazon on Demand video service. This adds up to the existing services amongst which we mention YouTube and Picasa.

Panasonic 2009 Plasma TV Series

Click on a link below to directly scroll down to that series. The plasma TV series are ordered from high-end and expensive to entry-level and cheap.

  • Panasonic Z1 – high-end, wireless, very thin design (1 inch).
  • Panasonic V10 – high-end, thin design, equivalent of PZ850 from 2008, large display size (up to 65 inch).
  • Panasonic G15 – high-end, similar to G10 but having a thin design.
  • Panasonic G10 – high-end, equivalent of PZ800 from 2008.
  • Panasonic S1 – mid-end, equivalent of PZ85 from 2008.
  • Panasonic S14 – mid-end, equivalent of PZ80 from 2008, similar to S1 but of lower quality and price.
  • Panasonic X1 – entry-level, 720p.
  • Panasonic X14 – entry-level, 720p, similar to X1 but of lower quality and price.
  • Panasonic C1 – entry-level, 1080p.
  • Panasonic U1 – entry-level, 720p.

Panasonic Z1 Series

The Z1 series has just one model measuring 54 inch in diagonal. The main characteristic of Z1 is its wireless capability. This plasma TV has only one cable – the power cord – every other connection being wireless to a second component – the set top box which has all the A/V connectors and the tuner. Another distinctive characteristic is the depth of the set – just 1 inch. The narrow depth combined with the very beautiful design make the Z1 an exceptionally attractive plasma TV. It is not the only thin HDTV out there, but compared to the others it is not as expensive. Since we’re talking about price, you should know that the Z1, being the flagship plasma TV from Panasonic, is also the most expensive one – the MSRP is $6000. Of course, as we can expect from such an expensive TV, the Z1 also features THX certification, the new Neo PDP panel, 1080p/24, Viera Cast and all the features present in the other high-end Panasonic plasma TVs. Keep in mind that this TV is basically a thinner, wireless version of the V10 and G10 series, but not better than those in terms of picture quality. It doesn’t try to fill the gap left by Pioneer Kuro Elite, Panasonic having a different TV for that – VX100U plasma monitor. The Z1 should be available from September.

Z1 Specs at a glance

  • Panel type: NeoPDP
  • Resolution: 1080p (standard) / 1920×1080 (exact)
  • Contrast ratio: 40,000:1 (native) / 2,000,000:1 (dynamic)
  • THX certified: YES
  • Anti-glare filter:
  • 24p cinema mode: YES
  • Other: Wireless, thin.

Panasonic V10 Series

Replaces PZ850 series from 2008. Large screen sizes. Slim design (2 inch deep).

In a way, V10 comes as a complement of G10 and G15 series, offering large size plasma TV models. This series covers the range of sizes from 50 inch to 65 inch, so if you’re looking for a very large plasma TV, the V10 will probably be a good choice. In terms of picture quality and features it is very similar to G15 and G10 series. You get the new NeoPDP panel, 40,000:1 contrast ratio, 6144 shades of gradation, THX certification and all the bells and whistles. Just as G15, the V10 models are just 2 inch thick.

V10 Specs at a glance

  • Panel type: NeoPDP
  • Resolution: 1080p (standard) / 1920×1080 (exact)
  • Contrast ratio: 40,000:1 (native) / 2,000,000:1 (dynamic)
  • Shades of gradation: 6144
  • THX certified: YES
  • Anti-glare filter: New AR Filter
  • 24p cinema mode: YES
  • Other: Slim design

V10 Models

Panasonic G15 Series

Similar to G10 series, but with a narrower bezel and a depth of just 2 inch.

The G15 series are a step-up of G10. In terms of picture quality and features, the G15 are the same as the cheaper G10. The higher price is a result of the thin bezel and narrow depth of the TV. Just as the V10 series, the depth of G15 is only 2 inch. So, if you want a slim wall mounted TV, the G15 might just be the one.

G15 Specs at a glance

  • Panel type: NeoPDP
  • Resolution: 1080p (standard) / 1920×1080 (exact)
  • Contrast ratio: 40,000:1 (native) / 2,000,000:1 (dynamic)
  • Shades of gradation: 6144
  • THX certified: YES
  • Anti-glare filter: New AR Filter
  • 24p cinema mode: YES
  • Other: Slim design

G15 Models

Panasonic G10 Series

Replaces PZ800 series from 2008

The G10 series are the PZ800 replacement for 2009. They are high-end plasma TVs offering superior picture quality and coming with a large feature set. Though they may seem similar to the models in S1 series (they have the same panel type, contrast and shades of gradation), they are much better and have higher prices. The main improvement that G10 brings over S1 is the THX certification which will give you perfect colors out of the box. Aside from that, the price of G10 models is also increased by a bunch of other features like 24p cinema mode and Viera Cast. Speaking of Viera Cast, in 2009 a new service has been added – Amazon Video on Demand.

G10 Specs at a glance

  • Panel type: NeoPDP
  • Resolution: 1080p (standard) / 1920×1080 (exact)
  • Contrast ratio: 40,000:1 (native) / 2,000,000:1 (dynamic)
  • Shades of gradation: 6144
  • THX certified: YES
  • Anti-glare filter: New AR Filter
  • 24p cinema mode: YES

G10 Models

Panasonic S1 Series

Replaces PZ85 series from 2008.

Panasonic S1 series are the equivalent of PZ80 and PZ85 series from 2008. They are mid-level 1080p plasma TVs using the new NeoPDP panels. They offer picture quality improvements compared to the cheaper C1, X1, X14 and U1. The contrast ratio is 40,000 and they can produce 6144 shades of gradation, making S1 plasma TV models ideal for those who are looking for better quality than the previously mentioned series, while staying in a price zone below the high-end G10, G15 and V10. The S1 are high quality plasma TVs, being closer to the high-end models rather than low-end cheap ones. The main differences between S1 and G10 are the lack of THX certification and some exotic features which have been omitted from S1 to keep the price down.

S1 Specs at a glance

  • Panel type: NeoPDP
  • Resolution: 1080p (standard) / 1920×1080 (exact)
  • Contrast ratio: 40,000:1 (native) / 2,000,000:1 (dynamic)
  • Shades of gradation: 6144
  • THX certified: NO
  • Anti-glare filter: New AR Filter
  • 24p cinema mode: NO

S1 Models

Panasonic S14 Series

Replaces PZ80 series from 2008. Similar to S1 but with lower quality.

The S14 series can be viewed as a step-down version of S1 series and the equivalent of PZ80 from 2008. Just as S1, the S14 models use the new Neo Plasma Dysplay Panel (NeoPDP) from 2009. However, the contrast is lowered to 30,000:1 and the shades of gradation to 5120. It also lacks Game Mode, which the S1 has. As opposed to S1 series which comes in 42, 46, 50 and 54 inch variants, the S14 is available only in 50 and 54 inch sizes.

S14 Specs at a glance

  • Panel type: NeoPDP
  • Resolution: 1080p (standard) / 1920×1080 (exact)
  • Contrast ratio: 30,000:1 (native) / 2,000,000:1 (dynamic)
  • Shades of gradation: 5120
  • THX certified: NO
  • Anti-glare filter: New AR Filter
  • 24p cinema mode: NO

S14 Models

Panasonic X1 Series

Replaces PX80 series from 2008

The Panasonic X1 plasma TVs are entry-level models. The main characteristic of them is the 720p resolution. They come in two sizes – 42” and 50”. The important thing to know about X1 models is that they have the same panels as PX80 series from 2008 and that means the improvement over the older PX80 models is not big.

X1 Specs at a glance

  • Panel type: G12 Progressive HD PDP
  • Resolution: 720p (standard) / 1024×768 or 1366×768 (exact)
  • Contrast ratio: 30,000:1 (native) / 1,000,000:1 (dynamic)
  • Shades of gradation: 4096
  • THX certified: NO
  • Anti-glare filter: New AR Filter
  • 24p cinema mode: NO

X1 Models

Panasonic X14 Series

Similar to X1 series but with lower quality.

The X14 plasma TV series is very similar to X1. It could be considered a subseries of X1. The X14 models, though similar to X1 have lower quality. These models are also 720p, but the contrast ratio is smaller – just 15,000:1 and as opposed to 30,000:1 on X1 series it has no game mode and Viera Tools is not present. The panel is also different. The number of HDMI connectors is reduced from 3 on X1 to just 2 on X14. On the good side it has composite video out, a second S-Video and analog audio out connectors. Also, it seems that it supports 24p cinematic mode (according to Panasonic website). This series doesn’t use the new NeoPDP panel either.

X14 Specs at a glance

  • Panel type: Standard Plus PDP
  • Resolution: 720p (standard) / 1024×768 or 1366×768 (exact)
  • Contrast ratio: 15,000:1 (native) / 1,000,000:1 (dynamic)
  • Shades of gradation: 4096
  • THX certified: NO
  • Anti-glare filter: New AR Filter
  • 24p cinema mode: YES

X14 Models

Panasonic C1 Series

The C1 series has budget models. They have 720p resolution and 15,000:1 native contrast ratio (as X14 series). This series doesn’t use the new NeoPDP panel either. It seems that the C1 models are to be sold in mass-market stores and attract through their price rather than through quality. One important thing you must know about the 42 inch model is that it doesn’t accept 1080p input. The highest supported resolution is 1080i. That means if you use a Blu Ray player or any source that would output 1080p, you must make sure that source can also output 1080i in order to use it with this TV.

C1 Specs at a glance

  • Panel type: G12 Progressive HD PDP
  • Resolution: 720p (standard) / 1024×768 or 1366×768 (exact)
  • Contrast ratio: 15,000:1 (native) / 2,000,000:1 (dynamic)
  • Shades of gradation: 4096
  • THX certified: NO
  • Anti-glare filter: not specified by manufacturer
  • 24p cinema mode: NO

C1 Models

Panasonic U1 Series

The U1 series is the 1080p equivalent of C1 series. It is also targeted at consumers that are looking for a cheap TV without caring much about quality. It does however offer better quality not just because of the 1080p native resolution but also because it has a higher contrast ratio – 30,000:1. On the downside, it has no anti-glare filter so if you have a well lit room you are likely to get a lot of glare and reflections.

U1 Specs at a glance:

  • Panel type: G12 Progressive HD PDP
  • Resolution: 1080p (standard) / 1920×1080 (exact)
  • Contrast ratio: 30,000:1 (native) / 2,000,000:1 (dynamic)
  • Shades of gradation: 5120
  • THX certified: NO
  • Anti-glare filter: NO
  • 24p cinema mode: NO

U1 Models

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