CEATEC 2013: Panasonic Focuses on 4K With OLED Prototype, Toughpad Tablet

After mainly emphasizing energy-efficient, non-television products at its CEATEC booth last year, Panasonic brought video products back in a big way in Tokyo this year. Carrying out its “Panasonic 4K World” theme, nearly every product — cameras, tablets, professional monitors, consumer TV sets, and more — at the company’s CEATEC booth can be slotted somewhere in the 4K ecosystem.

Panasonic’s content theater shows off a trio of ultra-thin 4K OLED displays.

Panasonic’s content theater shows off a trio of ultra-thin 4K OLED displays.

“We are looking to be strong in the 4K market, whether that means live production, editing, or the consumer [market],” says Atsushi Hinoki, GM, Exhibition Planning Office, Groupwide Brand Communications Division, Panasonic. “We are interested in 4K for both B2B [business to business] and B2C [business to consumer], and we believe we can succeed in both areas.”

OLED, VIERA Top 4K Offerings
Headlining the booth are a trio of ultra-thin 55-in. 4K displays inside its 4K content theater. The question is whether these prototypes will end up being released as consumer sets or pro-grade monitors.

“The issue is that we haven’t decided yet whether to introduce this as a [consumer] television or a professional monitor,” says Hinoki. “There is no decision yet. If we introduce it to market as a TV, the price would be sky high. But it may be less of a problem [for the pro market], and they are [ideal] because of the high-quality image.”

Prototype 4K Super35 VariCam is shown integrated with a new pro-grad 4K reference monitor.

Prototype 4K Super35 VariCam is shown integrated with a new pro-grad 4K reference monitor.

In other Panasonic 4K news, the Japanese outfit has rolled out several 65-in. 4K-compatible VIERA TV sets with HDMI 2.0 compatibility. These sets are being demonstrated in a variety of applications, including full 4K/60p playout, 4K upconversion with the DIGA 4K-compatitble Blu-ray recorder, a 4K Web browser, and several videogame-related demos. The 4K-compatible VIERA sets are set to become available in the U.S., Japan, and Europe later this month.

Spanning the 4K Ecosystem
Although the bulk of Panasonic’s booth is consumer-oriented 4K products, the company has brought out its 4K VariCam — announced at IBC in September and currently in development — and pro-grade 4K reference monitor (being demonstrated with Adobe Premiere Pro NLE software), demonstrating its commitment to the entire 4K ecosystem beyond just displays.

4K Tablet Gets Tough
Panasonic is also highlighting the Toughpad 4K, a new tablet equipped with a 20-in. 4K IPS Alpha LCD panel and supporting input from the high-resolution electronic touch pen. According to Panasonic, the Toughpad, which will launch in December, is the lightest and thinnest 4K tablet ever to hit the market. At the booth, Panasonic is demoing it in applications ranging from medical (Ultra HD X-rays) to art (Ultra HD art frames) to blueprints and magazine catalogues.