The Z1 Series is Panasonic's flagship plasma HDTV introduced in 2009 and combines all the features of the lower end models placed inside the thinnest cabinet sold by Panasonic at 1" thick. To accomplish the ultra-thin design Panasonic uses WirelessHD technology to decouple the display itself with the receiver which houses the video input connections and cable tuners. The Z1s replace the 2008 flagship Viera 850 Series, and like all high-end Panasonics it uses their NeoPDP technology which Panasonic claims offers substantially improved picture improvements through a much higher static contrast ratio, and faster response rate for 1080 lines of motion resolution. Furthermore Panasonic has expanded the VIERACast Internet connectivity to partner with Amazon's Video OnDemand feature. Compared to the lower end V10 Series the features are near identical with the only difference being the thinness with the V10s measuring 2" thick.
- 1080p native resolution
- 1" thick
- Wireless transmission between receiver and display
- NeoPDP technology
- 40,000:1 static contrast ratio
- 2,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio
- 1080 lines of motion resolution
- 600Hz sub drive
- THX Certification, and video mode
- VIERA Image Viewer with AVCHD support
- VIERA Link
1" thick - this depth makes the Z1 the thinnest plasma that Panasonic has created up until 2009.
WirelessHD - to achieve the thin design Panasonic employs 60GHz wireless HDMI technology to transfer the video/audio signals from the separate receiver box to the display itself. Therefore, power is the only cord that is attached to the display itself. Panasonic claims that the technology does not suffer interference from other wireless devices, and won't have the signal broken up when physically blocked.
THX Certification - first introduced with the 2008 PZ800 line of HDTVs, Panasonic partners up with THX in 2009 to certify these television series, and add their specially calibrated picture mode for more accurate film settings.
VIERA Image Viewer - using the TV's built-in SD card slot you can view stored JPEG pictures directly on the TV without any intermediary devices or hardware. For 2009 Panasonic introduces AVCHD video support for displaying any movies found on the SD Card.
NeoPDP - this is Panasonic's marketing name for their new plasma technology introduced in 2009. Specifically, Panasonic claims that they focused on improving black levels, contrast ratio, and motion resolution.
Black levels are notoriously important to videophiles and are something that plasmas do better with compared to LCDs. With the NeoPDP tech, Panasonic is looking to take Pioneer's claim of blackest black. Alongside the darker blacks is the higher contrast ratio with the native contrast ratio of 40,000:1 being one of the best that Panasonic has claimed.
The "full 1080 lines of motion resolution" means that when there is action going on in the video, the TV is able to display all the content accurately. This is a subtle point, because most people think 1080p means 1080 lines of resolution; however, most TVs released before 2009 while claiming 1080p resolution didn't actually display all 1080 lines of resolution when there was activity on the screen. This full motion resolution should result in a crisper picture than found on previous Panasonic displays.
VIERA Cast - using the television's built-in ethernet port you can connect the TV to the Internet and access Panasonic's proprietary content service. Introduced in 2008 VIERA Cast offered news, weather, and stocks. In 2009 Panasonic has expanded the service to include digital media streaming from sites such as YouTube and Picasa, alongside access to Amazon's Video On Demand service.
VIERA Link - this is the marketing name given to Panasonic's implementation of the HDMI-CEC standard, which lets you control your other compatible home theater equipment directly from your TV. Each manufacturer has their own branded name for this technology since only home theater devices from the same manufacturers are compatible with one another for direct control.
There is only one model announced thus far in the Z1 Series line. The 54" Panasonic VIERA TC-P54Z1.
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