Panasonic dropped a big announcement at its 2014 CES press conference by proclaiming that the upcoming AX800 series of Viera televisions will achieve plasma-level picture quality using the more common LED tech. We're excited, if somewhat skeptical.
The the 4K UHD AX800 TVs will come in 58- and 65-inch variants and feature a new interactive experience called Life+. Panasonic touted the new experience as "beyond smart TV," but showcased only a promo video that made talking to your television look way cooler than it really is.
There weren't any demo models on display at the press conference, but from what we can tell it seems that the voice activation hardware is in the remote. That makes sense, since the person in the driver's seat should be the one delivering commands.
The Life+ TVs will also incorporate facial recognition for an individualized interface in the form of a user-customized menu. Motion detection hardware in the TVs seems to have one neat use: It brings up useful information from the web whenever you walk past your set.
Alongside the 4K televisions, Panasonic will release four different series of 1080p TVs that will also feature the Life+ interface.
On the enterprise side, Panasonic announced a 15,000-square-foot 4K display to debut at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. Other high-end business-oriented products include a new 4K projector, a 20-inch 4K monitor geared toward broadcast media, and a 20-plus-foot 4K "video wave" featuring convex and concave screens.