You’ve got to be prepared to take some hits in the TV category, making it important to have a wide breadth of products to bolster your bottom line says Richard Tassone, director of Panasonic’s Consumer Electronics Group.
Tassone explained that although Panasonic is primarily recognised by consumers as a TV manufacturer its operations are well supported by products in imaging, home appliances and air conditioning as well as its B2B business.
“It’s the same strategy we’ve had for the last few years and it’s working quite well because within each market, of course there’s a lot of differences, we are able to concentrate on each section as we go,” he said yesterday at the launch of Panasonic’s 2015 home AV range.
The good news for Panasonic’s Australian operations is that the Japanese company’s operating profit grew 25 per cent across the corporation in the 2014 fiscal year.
“Sitting here in Australia what it means is it provides us with some very good stability but also allows us to continue to put time and effort into research and development,” Tassone said.
“Home AV continues to be a very important part of our business and this has been the foundation for Panasonic Australia for a very long time. Consumers recognise these products as our core and they are drawn to them by the strong heritage and of course the commitment to the quality of the product.”
Panasonic’s 2015 home AV range consists of 40 new products including 23 new TV models across eight new series.
Ultra HD 4k is the dominating feature across the TV range; over 60 per cent of the Panasonic TV range this year is UHD, including the flagship CX800 Series and the HD CX740, CX700 and CX640 Series. Panasonic also has a line-up of Full HD TVs, the CS650A, CS610A and C400A Series for the market uninterested in all those extra pixels.
“At the heart of our 4K TVs, Panasonic’s Quad-Core processor supports both a refined 4K picture and powerful smart TV processing for a fast, smooth user experience. Users can enjoy high-quality, detailed images whether they are from web streams, broadcasts, Blu-ray or 4K feeds,” said Maetham Roomi senior product manager, home entertainment Panasonic.
The new Viera models have features to address our changing TV consumption habits, including the rise of video streaming services and the ability to be able to watch content on demand. Panasonic has partnered with Mozilla Firefox to build a new ‘Beyond Smart’ OS interface and, all 2015 Panasonic Viera models, except the C400 series, will have a Netflix button on the remote.
“Panasonic has introduced the Firefox operating system across our 4K range to provide a graphically rich, intuitive interface that makes it quick and easy for you to track your favourite content when you want it,” Roomi said.
Another clever feature is TV Anytime which lets you stream live TV shows or movies on your tablet or smartphone wherever you are in the world, or view recorded content from a connected USB hard drive via your TV’s tuner. That means you can watch Australian sporting matches on your tablet if you are anywhere in the world or if you have been relegated from watching the game on the main household TV.
Panasonic also unveiled its 2015 Home Audio range consisting of new Soundbars, Wireless speakers, Micro systems and Mini systems.
The new Soundbars SC-ALL70T (available September RRP TBC), SC-HTB690 (RRP $599) and SC-HTB485 (RRP $499) are accompanied by a wireless, down-firing subwoofer. They also double as Bluetooth speakers that can be paired with your phone or tablet. The flagship SC-ALL70T soundbar can connect to other speakers from the Panasonic All-connected audio system (aka Panasonic’s multiroom speaker network).
AllPlay SC-ALL2 and SC-ALL5CD are new additions to the AllPlay system. The SC-ALL5CD is the first multi-room speaker with CD, radio and Bluetooth streaming functionality, catering for consumers with a CD collection.
The SC-PMX100 Micro System (RRP $799) is the first of Panasonic’s Micro Systems to benefit from multiroom compatibility, allowing users to connect to other Panasonic All Series speakers.
An enormous new Mini System SC-MAX8000 (RRP $1,399) is also new and has Airquake Bass, a 38-cm Ultra Super Woofer, Triple Amplifiers and an impressive 4000 Watt output power.
Panasonic’s new Blu-ray Recorder and Player Range incorporates features such as TV Anytime, Remote Recording, Multi-room TV Streaming, Triple and Twin HD Tuners, Miracast, Series Recording and Keyword Recording. Other capabilities include Netflix and HbbTV out of the box.