Press Day - Life's good but apparently it also happens in 3D Well today is Press Day here at CES – the show proper doesn't kick off until tomorrow – and all the big manufacturers had their press conferences with LG kicking things off as usual. There were no real surprises as LG had sneak peaked a lot of their new products last week but it was the first chance for journalists to see them in the flesh. For some reason, despite already announcing most of their new products, there was a lot of paranoia around the LG stand, with the 55” OLED being kept under wraps and only being unveiled briefly at the press conference like some magician's rabbit. As a result we didn't get a chance to see the 55” OLED but we will be able to take a good look tomorrow morning and give you our thoughts then. In terms of release and pricing, we can expect to see the 55” OLED out in the second half of this year but at a decidedly enthusiast price of 7 to 8 grand. We did manage to get a look at LG's 85” Ultra Definition (4K) TV which certainly looked nice although unsurprisingly they were only showing 1080p content on it. The lack of any actual 4K content will be an issue when it comes to marketing these displays but there are rumours of some kind of new 4K delivery system being announced tomorrow. Still LG's 4K panel does include their Cinema 3D technology which means they can now genuinely deliver full 1080p passive 3D, which as a fan of passive 3D certainly sounds interesting. The theme of Cinema extends to LG's new line-up of LED LCD TVs which boast incredibly thin bezels to give what they refer to as a cinema screen effect. To be honest the thin bezels, silver styling and redesigned stands bear more than a passing resemblance to Samsung's 2011 line-up but they certainly were attractive and with the inclusion of enhanced Smart TV features and, in the case of two models LG's Nano technology, offer a strong line-up this year. Unfortunately when asked, LG could not confirm the number of local dimming zones on the Nano TVs or whether any of the Cinema 3D TVs would be THX certified in the UK. These new Cinema 3D TVs will begin shipping in the UK in April but there were no details on pricing just yet. LG are clearly pushing their Cinema 3D line-up of LED LCD TVs, so much so that their plasmas have been relegated to a corner like a bunch of ginger haired step-children. There will be a range of new plasmas in 2012 and these will include active shutter 3D, THX certification for 2D and 3D, Smart TV and for the top of line plasmas a new dark filter but based on what was on display at CES, we have to wonder how long LG will continue to support plasma technology. Other new launches from LG include an enhanced version of their Smart TV platform, the inclusion of Google TV and dual-core processors to improve the speed of Smart TV content. There is also more content sharing functionality, an improved magic remote with voice control, dual play for two player gaming (a clever way of using their passive technology for more than just 3D) and a 9.1 all-in-one audio system. Overall it was a fairly impressive line-up from LG and in 2012 life could indeed be good for them. Panasonic also held their press conference, which was notable by the lack of detail on their new products, especially when it came to their TV line-up. Whilst they mentioned there will be VT, GT and ST plasmas, (no surprises there), as well as WT and DT LCD TVs being launched, there was no mention of any technical specifications. Instead they concentrated on energy efficiency and green products which culminated in the appearance of Ed Begley Jr. who is best known to me as Peter ‘James' Bond, the original drummer for Spinal Tap, who died in a mysterious gardening accident. Panasonic admitted that 3D hadn't sold as well as they had hoped in 2011, but assured us that 2012 would be the ‘year of 3D'. They certainly realize that the lack of 3D content is an issue and are thus committed to developing relationships to create more 3D material for consumers. These include a sponsorship deal with DirecTV's 3D channel in the states, more content from both Hollywood and independent producers and broadcasting the London Olympics in 3D. Panasonic said they expect to sell 7 million 3D TVs and 9 million 3D Blu-ray players, with 93% of their plasma TVs being 3D capable and 40% of their LCD TVs. Panasonic mentioned the comment that Martin Scorsese made when asked why he shot Hugo in 3D – because life happens in 3D but you have to hope 3D fares better than that film's box office given the amount of importance Panasonic are placing on the format. With other manufacturers like LG launching 4K displays this year, Panasonic were not to be out done had one of their own, but unfortunately, it was a 20” 4K monitor aimed at the professional market. In fact a lot of the products that Panasonic showed at the press conference were aimed more at the professional market such as their ‘Tough Pad' tablet and cloud based systems. The majority of Panasonic's press conference was dedicated to their Viera Connect internet platform and showed how they planned to develop the service in 2012, with improved integration and a better interface. To be honest most of the new features appear quite similar to Samsung's existing Smart TV platform, with features such as internet browsing, and content searching. As far as improved interface is concerned there will be a Touch pad remote control and a Skype communication device designed to allow people to use Skype on the move, which I thought you already could do with a tablet. Panasonic's final announcement related to their partnership with Myspace TV, presumably in a move to counter LG and Sony's involvement with Google TV. They brought Justin Timberlake on stage to tell how the TV used to be the social centre of our lives, and thanks to Myspace it was going to be again. They then showed us a video of people watching TV all on their own, whilst keeping in touch with their friends, via iPads, iPhones an Apple computers. I guess with Timberlake's involvement in Myspace TV we can look forward to seeing a dick on the box, as well as in it. Overall Panasonic's press conference was something of a disappointment but hopefully we'll be able to get excited again when we take a look at their new line-up in detail tomorrow.