3D Olympics channel available to 80 percent of households

After the 2010 World Cup, major sporting events broadcast in 3D have been few and far between. NBC and Panasonic aim to change that by offering a new dedicated channel delivering a massive 242 hours of coverage in the third dimension.

More important, chances are you'll actually have access to it. NBC says the channel will be available to nearly 80 percent of U.S. households, which includes nearly every major cable provider as well as Verizon's Fios TV and satellite provider DirecTV. Notable absentee from the list so far is Dish Network. … Read more

Go beyond the popcorn button

The microwave has become one of the most easily identified appliances in the kitchen. Which is pretty impressive considering that its most recognizable feature is that it is a rectangular box with buttons on it. Updates across the years have given the ubiquitous appliance a series of not-always-so-distinctive design enhancements, but as we all know, appeal goes beyond skin deep.

Microwave technology has come a long way since those one-trick ponies of the past. While the popcorn button is in little danger of becoming outdated anytime soon, additional convenient features make the microwaves of today more efficient at creating meals … Read more

Imperfect 10s: Best TVs for design, features, picture quality, and value

Maybe you don't care how many features a TV has. Maybe you just want to see the coolest design going. Maybe all you want is the best bang for your buck, or the best picture regardless of cost.

Lucky for you, CNET's reviews have subratings. All of our TV reviews are rated according to four criteria -- Design, Features, Picture quality, and Value -- that are weighted, sifted, and centrifuged into the overall star rating.

Unfortunately you can't sort CNET's TV reviews by subrating on the Web site yet, so in the meantime I present the four TVs that would be perched at the top of those sorted lists. Each scored the only "10" we've awarded so far this year in the subratings mentioned above; they're not perfect, but a "10" is as good as it gets. I also list runners-up and potential challengers in each subcategory.

Disagree? Sound off in comments! TL;DR? Click here!Read more

Panasonic Este gently steams your tech-fatigued eyes

After a long day staring at your computer monitor, squinting at your smartphone, and ogling video games, your eyes start to feel like they've been lightly sandpapered and left out in a desert wind. You could use eye drops or catch a few winks to recover, or your could invest in a Panasonic Este ES-SW50.

The Este is one of the weirder eye masks ever created. It's a bit chunky, but it does a lot more than just sit there. My Google Translate version of the product page indicates the Este generates a warm steam to soothe the eyes. Essentially, this is the high-tech version of laying a lukewarm washcloth across your peepers.… Read more

Want affordable OLED TVs? Don't hold your breath, Panasonic says

The beauty of slender OLED televisions might be enticing, but their price tags aren't. And according to Panasonic, that will continue to be the case for the time being.

Company President Kazuhiro Tsuga told reporters in Tokyo today, according to Reuters, which was in attendance, that he does not believe OLED pricing will match LCD televisions "for a considerable time." According to Reuters, he didn't provide a road map on when the televisions might come down to a far more affordable level.

OLED televisions have become the most sought-after sets in the marketplace. The devices are … Read more

Panasonic to deliver opening keynote at CES

The Consumer Electronics Association, the organization that runs the Consumer Electronics Show, announced today that Kazuhiro Tsuga, the newly appointed president of Panasonic, will deliver the CES 2013 opening keynote speech.

"Panasonic is one of the largest and most dynamic consumer-electronics companies in the world, and I congratulate Mr. Tsuga on his official appointment to president of Panasonic Corporation this morning," CEA Chief Executive Gary Shapiro said in a statement. "We are thrilled to have Mr. Tsuga take the stage for his opening keynote at the 2013 International CES, and we look forward to hearing his vision … Read more

Cheaper OLED TVs the goal for Sony-Panasonic effort

Sony and Panasonic have announced a partnership designed to mass-produce OLED panels for large displays and televisions.

According to the companies, they will jointly develop OLED panels with help from their respective technologies. That will result in reducing the total costs of production, potentially making OLED panels more affordable to vendors looking to bring the technology to future sets, the companies say. Mass production should begin at some point next year.

Sony and Panasonic have been rumored to be in talks about OLED production for a while now. Both companies have lost the LCD market, and Panasonic's focus on … Read more

How to ban the banner ads from Panasonic Smart TVs

When I reviewed the Panasonic TC-PVT50 series, I was annoyed to see that the latest software update caused a banner ad to appear for a few seconds whenever I turned on the TV. It disappeared quickly and only popped up upon power-on, but it was still obnoxious. The first thing I wondered was whether I could turn it off.

Happily, Panasonic built in a way to disable the advertising. It's a simple, albeit buried, menu command. Here it is in a nutshell.

Hit the main Menu button on the remote (not the "Internet" or "VieraCast" … Read more

Unlikely Panasonic duo rules this week's top gadgets

What a week for Panasonic. Of all the products CNET reviewed this week, the company scored the best ratings for both the most expensive gadget and the cheapest. There must be some sort of award for that. (Actually, there isn't, but there should be.)

The Panasonic TC-P65VT50 (affectionately known around these parts as the "VT50") is a 65-inch plasma TV that nabbed the hardest-won praise of all: A glowing review from our own David Katzmaier. Katzmaier gets right to the point in his review, explaining that the whole line of TVs in the VT50's series have &… Read more