We touched on this briefly when we announced the launch of the Freesat service, but we thought it would be the ideal time to take a look at the range of Freesat inclusive HD TVs that are being launched by Panasonic. Available, we believe, sometime in June these TVs represent pretty much the entire hardware range that the average tech savvy consumer can actually get excited about.
The PZ81 series offers three different models of plasma television; the 42 inch, 46 inch, and 50 inch versions. The televisions obviously come with a built in Freesat tuner as well as the features that have made Panasonic televisions some of the more popular entries to the market – 3 HDMI outputs, Ethernet port, SD slot, and the V-Real 3 processor.
We believe there will also be two smaller LCD Freesat televisions although these won’t be available until some time in October.
Freesat has launched with a reasonable 80 channels of SD and HD televisual entertainment and this figure is due to increase to more than 200 by the end of the year. The release was a somewhat quiet affair and, in our opinion, there were very few reasonable pieces of hardware available at launch. The set top boxes represented pretty much the entire range, with no televisions and no PVR options available as yet.