Panasonic has unveiled its first LED-based LCD televisions and based on first impressions they are cracking. It won't be too long, we believe, until "LED" is simply called "LCD" again, but for now it's a small point of difference.
The range includes the 42-inch TH-L42D25A (AU$2499), 37-inch TH-L37D25A (AU$1999) and 32-inch TH-L32D25A (AU$1699). All feature 1080p resolution, 24p support, a dynamic contrast of 2,000,000:1 and three HDMI inputs.
The range is quite "connected" and now includes access to Panasonic's Viera Cast system with YouTube and Plus7 viewing, as well as DLNA support fro streaming content from other machines in your house. The TV also includes two USB ports for connecting peripherals such as Skype camera (available separately), wireless LAN dongle or a keyboard.
As these are "LED" models, Panasonic uses two sets of white LEDs in the top and bottom of the frame to illuminate the LCD screen using a plastic "light guide" to distribute the light evenly across it. The panel itself is an IPS model, which features a very wide viewing angle — one of the traditional weaknesses of LCD is that it has a shallow "sweet spot".
All three models are expected to hit stores in May 2010.