Panasonic’s Mass-Appeal 3D Plasma Televisions Hit Retail
Panasonic has launched a next wave of VIERA 3D plasma televisions dubbed the GT25 series – a “cost down,” smaller-screen version of the flagship, four-model VT25 series that it follows into the market. A 50-inch $2,099 model and a $1,699, gaming-oriented 42-inch model – a new screen size for 3D, said Julie Baumann, product manager of Panasonic Display Company – are now reaching Best Buys and specialty stores that don’t carry the VT series. At the same time, a 46-inch GT25 derivative model has been earmarked for Costco, she said.
Panasonic has also re-thought the design of its 3D eyewear, and will offer a retooled glasses lineup beginning this fall with three models at $179 each that come in small, medium and large frame sizes. Rechargeable via a USB connection, each model in the line is said to be about 40 percent lighter than competitive 3D eyewear, and each has been outfitted with a power slide switch that makes it more evident to the wearer of the glasses’ on-off status. The rechargeable battery will hold a two-hour charge for 30 hours of use, said Baumann. One pair of glasses is included free with any purchase of a VT25 3D plasma television and with the Costco GT25 model, but glasses are not included with any of the other GT25 models.
Panasonic is also running through Oct. 31 a special promotion that gets the purchaser of any of the company’s 3D TVs a free DMP-BT100 3D Blu-ray player (SRP: $249) and a “3D Essentials Pack” valued at $349 and including two pairs of 3D eyewear and the 3D software titles “Coraline” and “Ice Age 3.”