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CES 2009: Panasonic unveils new 09 line-up

Panasonic shows off skinny plasma HDTV at CES

Panasonic Z1

The super-skinny Panasonic Z1

Panasonic unveiled a host of products at this year’s CES 2009, including a super-thin plasma TV, a new range of Blu-ray players and the world’s first portable Blu-ray player.

Panasonic has been showcasing its ultra-thin Z1 plasma TV at this year’s CES. The 54-inch 1080p TV is just 1-inch thick, and uses WirelessHD technology – great for reducing the clutter in your living room – and we’re currently testing WirelessHD and will be reporting on it soon.

The Z1 sports Panasonic’s Viera Cast feature. Viera Cast allows direct access from the television to selected internet services, so you can watch Youtube videos on your screen, or scroll through online photo albums on Google Picasa.

Panasonic hasn’t announced when the Z1 will be available in the UK, or how much it will cost. Check our LCD and plasma reviews to see how Panasonic has fared in the past.

Blu-ray VCR at CES 2009

Adding to its rosta of Blu-ray players already available in the UK Panasonic unveiled three new models at CES. 

The DMP-BD70V combines a VHS VCR alongside a Blu-ray player – ideal if you can’t quite part with your library of old videos but still want to embrace the latest Blu-ray technology. It has also launched two new Blu-ray players, the DMP-BD60 – a new entry-level player – and the DMP-BD80.

Mike Briggs, Which? technology researcher said: ‘Panasonic has a good record in our Blu-ray tests, so we’re hopeful these new machines live up to its high standards. And we can’t wait to see how much these models retail for in the UK – the price of Blu-ray players has plummeted, so hopefully Panasonic will follow that trend.’

Portable Blu-ray player at CES 2009

Panasonic also unveiled the world’s first portable Blu-ray disc player. The DMP-B15 has a high-quality 8.9-inch LCD screen, and Panasonic claims that the rechargeable battery will last for three hours.

Mike Briggs, Which? technology researcher said: ‘Such a small screen is not the best way to appreciate the extra detail of high-definition content, but fortunately the DMP-15 can also be used as a standalone Blu-ray disc player and connected to an HDTV via the HDMI socket.’

Like all Panasonic Blu-ray players, the B15 has an SD memory card slot that allows you to view and share digital photos and sports Viera Cast functionality. The DMP-B15 will be available in the US from May. No news on a UK launch date as yet.

Panasonic camcorders at CES 2009

The company also unveiled new   with touch-screen technology and standard-definition camcorders with an incredibly powerful 70x optical ultra-zoom lens.

Which? camcorder expert Chris Christoforou said: ’70x is huge, much bigger than anything we’ve seen before. But to make full use of it you’ll almost definitely need a tripod – don’t rely on the optical image stabilisation.’

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