Panasonic reveals premium price tag for first 65-inch Ultra HD 4K TV

Panasonic Australia has this morning confirmed that its debut Ultra HD TV (TH-L65WT600A) will be RRP $7,699.

For comparison, and not taking into account the various technology differences, this is somewhat more expensive than Sony’s 65-inch Bravia Ultra HD TV (KD65X9004A), which is RRP $6,999 (although Sony launched it at RRP $8,999 and is currently selling it online for $6,499), and LG’s Ultra HD 65LA9700, which is listed as RRP $6,499 (after also launching for RRP $8,999).

Panasonic has further confirmed that this model will go on sale in Australia in late October 2013.

First, second, third: Panasonic Ultra HD TV is the “one with the lot”
(Claire Reilly; 5 September 2013)

In the midst of announcing big appliance news at IFA in Berlin overnight — including a new line-up of home appliances and a confirmation that it had bought a stake in ASKO Appliances parent company Gorenje — Panasonic also had big news to share on the AV front with the launch of a its first Ultra High Definition TV.

Today, the brand proved its commitment to the Australian market with an unveiling of the 65-inch Ultra HD model for local media. While retail buyers and press get the chance to see new products at international shows such as IFA and the International CES, it is very rare (some would say almost impossible) for locals to get a look at the product as it will appear in the Australian market so soon after a global launch.

Panasonic showed off the 65-inch Ultra HD LED LCD TV (TH-L65WT600A), which it billed as the “World’s first second-generation Ultra HD TV,” available in the third week of October. It is set to be sold through “major chains” and pricing is yet to be confirmed.

It is the first Ultra HD offering from Panasonic and, as such, the second-generation moniker may seem contradictory. But Panasonic Australia group marketing manager for TV Matt Pearce used the term to signify the advanced technology that Panasonic has packed into the panel, which is all about “future-proofing” the device.

Pearce listed several examples of this advanced technology. The Ultra HD TV allows for 4K playback from a USB stick or SD card, it features Panasonic’s Fine Remaster Engine for upscaling content such as standard definition TV or web videos, and also offers HDMI 2.0 connectivity meaning it can support high frame-rate sources (such as Ultra HD TV 50p/60p native sources) via a single cable, and it will be compatible with Ultra HD output devices, such as video cameras, when they come to market.

While the technology behind the panel is complex, Panasonic is set to support retail sell-through with strikingly simple messaging. The brand will provide point-of-sale, display stands to “bring the product out of the standard wall” and a USB full of Ultra HD content that retailers can play on the TV to show off the picture quality.

Pearce also said the brand would be committing to a “co-marketing spend” with retailers to help get the Panasonic Ultra HD message into the marketplace.

While Pearce conceded that initial sales were most likely to be from early adopters and influencers, he said he expected the TV to be well received. He also said he expected the product to reach a point of “critical mass” as consumers started to see Ultra HD as something worth spending money on, adding that “the history of Australians taking on new products is unbelievable”.

“This TV is the one with the lot, it’s got everything,” he said. “And we think a great place for people to go and experience this TV is in a retail environment.”

Crystal clear images: Panasonic is boasting a “world first” with its new 65-inch Ultra HD TV (TH-L65WT600A)

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