I have just gotten back from the Panasonic 2011 launch event which allowed selected members of the Panasonic Insider Crew in for the first time with the media and major retailers. We were seated and presented to separately from the commercial folks at the Hoyts cinema complex at Fox Studios in Moore Park, NSW. I had the chance to meet some fellow Insiders including Tia with whom I had several interesting conversations about technology, films and other topics throughout the course of the evening. Like myself, she has her own blog that covers technology as well as other stuff like crafts and vintage fashions. Also, check out Jared’s Thoughts on Stuff which also covers this event – it’s been good to read other perspectives on the event.
Upon arrival, the Insiders were shown up to the mezzanine level (whilst the commercial folks stayed downstairs) and we were treated to drinks and nibbles whilst we waited for the presentation.
After our chance to catch up, we were shown downstairs to one of the cinemas to view the presentation. I’ll share more of what was covered in tomorrow’s blog but there are some neat things on the way including stuff to do with Skype and sharing digital content in the home.
Afterwards, we were given the opportunity to check out the new product lineup up close and also bounce questions off the technical folk on the floor. As you can see, flat panels are very much a key product in the lineup with plasma remaining the flagship platform when it comes to large panel displays and the push into 3D whilst bringing 3D to the lineup of LCD LED IPS units.
Digital content sharing and connectivity was also heavily pushed with DLNA becoming mainstream in devices and allowing devices to be both DLNA servers and clients on the network. For homes where access to content is limited by how far a cable can be connected this could be an interesting proposition for homes where there are numerous television but perhaps only one hard disk recorder. There has also been an expansion in playable formats across the product range to include MKV and DivX HD.
Panasonic is also expanding its platform from to allow streaming content from services such as ABC iView, UStream and WOW TV over and beyond the existing YouTube and Yahoo!7 services. Social media connectivity also remains an integral part of Panasonic’s offering in its display panels.
There were other gadgets on show including:
- 3D capable still cameras (including a point-and-shoot camera that creates 3D photos by panning the camera slightly),
- 3D camcorders (a slightly revised model based upon the 2010 model – pictured above),
- 3D Blu-ray recorders with up to 1TB of capacity,
- Micro Hi-Fi units.
The technical gurus on hand were well informed (as you would hope and expect) and were very keen to talk about all of the products on display as well as previous generations of products. I asked a question about whether or not the latest functionality would be back-ported to the last immediate generation of products. I was fully expecting a response along the lines of “that is uncertain” or “I’ll get back to you” but I did get a tangible response to my question (even if the answer wasn’t what I was hoping for which was selected components that would run properly and without impact to user experience would be ported backwards).
All in all, it was a good night to get my geek on and mingle with some like-minded people. As I mentioned before, I’ll share some more of the details provided during the presentation and perhaps some more photos of the evening (as well as that nice looking Tesla in the lobby).
If you’re keen to look at my prior Panasonic coverage including unboxings, previews and reviews click here.