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Panasonic promises plasma quality with Life+ LED TVs

David Ludlow
6 Jan 2014
Panasonic Life+
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New smart features added to Panasonic's smart TV line-up

Although the demise of Panasonic's plasma division meant an end to our long-running favourite TV line, there could be good news for 2014. With its new line-up, Panasonic is promising plasma quality on its new LED TVs, as well as a brand-new smart TV interface, Life+.

Key to Life+ is personalisation, with the system learning what you (or your family as a whole) like to watch, then giving you customised recommendations. The system can be further tweaked with the use of the My Button on the remote control tells the TV that you like what you're watching, letting Life+ build a more accurate picture of you're viewing habits. Recommended content comes from broadcast and online, seamlessly mixing the two on the TV's home page.

As the launch was in the US, we don't yet know which online video services will be available in the UK. We may have to wait a couple of months until the final product models and lines are decided for the UK.

Life+ also has voice commands, letting you control the TV and search for content by speaking into the remote. Some content doesn't have to be called up manually by the user at all, with the new Info Bar feature.

Using this the TV automatically wakes when it senses someone has passed close to it, presenting useful information from the cloud, such as the current weather report. Life+ can then use the built-in camera to detect the exact user, presenting more personalised content to them.

On top of this, Panasonic is promising to put everything it learned from its plasma TV development into this year's high-end 4K AX800 TVs. The company promises wide colour gamuts and deep blacks to rival its best plasma screens, although we'll have to wait until we can see the TV in person to pass judgement.

Panasonic also announced 1080p Life+ TVs, with the S680 Series, AS650 Series, AS640 Series and AS530 Series. Final model names and UK availability are yet to be confirmed.

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