Pananonic launches built-in HDD plasmas and a new 103-inch model

By Chris Nicholls

TOKYO: Panasonic has released a new range of plasma televisions in Japan with 1 TB hard disc drives built into the cabinet, but it appears Australian consumers will miss out.

The PZR900 series, which comes in 50-, 46- and 42-inch sizes, will go on sale from mid-September, and share the company’s current plasma television line design.

All models come with twin tuners built-in, but according to Panasonic, they will only be able to record one program and display another, not record two programs at once.

The one terabyte HDD means customers can record up to 121 hours of HDTV broadcasting (at Japan’s standard terrestrial broadcast rate of 17 Mbps).

The PZR900 range also marks Panasonic’s entry into internet connectivity for its TVs, with a YouTube viewer function and ability to watch video on demand through the Actvila Full or Panasonic TV Square services.

Sadly, it appears the range will stay as a ‘Japan-only’ model, according to a Panasonic Australia spokesperson.

Panasonic also took the opportunity to release another 103-inch plasma television recently, the TH-103PZ800.

Reflecting the usual price drop for such high-end products, the latest giant plasma will come in at approximately A$60,000 in Japan, a drop of nearly $15,000 over the original Japanese price.

Specifications remain relatively unchanged, but the display’s appearance has become more ‘consumer-oriented’, with a smooth black bezel and cleaner lines than before.

Like the PZR900 series, though, it appears the latest 103-inch model will not be making it to Australia, though.

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