Monday, January 21, 2013

Panasonic Upgrades Viera Connect Platform

Panasonic, a provider of Full HD and Smart TV technologies, announced at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show a new wave of applications and enhanced connectivity features that will debut on its line of 2013 Viera Connect enabled Smart Viera HDTVs including options for streaming and sharing photo and video content via tablet and Smartphone devices, and the launch of an on-line shopping experience which will take shopping via HDTV to a whole new level of interaction.

According to a release, Viera Connect is Panasonic's connected TV platform which enables owners of Viera Connect-enabled HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc Players and Home Theater Systems access to a wide range of internet-based video-on-demand content and applications covering everything from news and fitness, social networking, music and online shopping and gaming. Viera Connect requires no external box or PC2 and is accessed via a single button on the television remote control.

New Apps for 2013

Panasonic's 2013 additions will feature exciting new apps for children, music enthusiasts, on-line shoppers, and movie/TV lovers adding to its line-up of interactive apps.

-HSN The HSN Shop by Remote app for Panasonic Viera Connect-enabled devices offers consumers the opportunity to browse and shop from thousands of brand name products. Utilizing HSN's patented Shop by Remote technology, this shopping app allows viewers to get detailed product information, read customer reviews, watch video demonstrations and then make a purchase, all with a few clicks of their remote from their Viera Connect-enabled HDTV or Blu-ray Disc player.

-YouTube Send to TV YouTube was among the first apps available when Panasonic's IPTV feature debuted in 2008 featuring access to select areas of YouTube. In 2012, Viera Connect featured a completely new UI and redesign with full access to the YouTube user experience previously enjoyed only via the web giving users access to YouTube's full library of user postings, music videos, movies, and 100 channels of original programming. For 2013, YouTube Send to TV adds a new dimension of connectivity to the mix. Users can download the new YouTube app to their Smartphone and tablet devices that enables them to send a YouTube video from their device to their Smart Viera HDTV. The icon will automatically appear in the YouTube app on your phone or tablet when it is connected on the same WiFi network as your TV. No wires or pairing codes are necessary. Users simply call up the video and then hit the "Send To TV" button and the video will transfer. Users will be able scroll, fast forward, rewind, and pause the video and even send it back to their smart device. Since the devices are connected in the cloud, users can find the next video to watch on their device or browse around the web while the video plays on TV. The app also enables the user to connect multiple devices to the TV so their friends can add to the play list.

-Showtime Preview Go behind the scenes, watch webisodes and sample free full episodes for some of the network's original series.

The company noted that other new for 2013 are apps from:

-Children Disney Publishing Worldwide, Nextbook Story Books

-Lifestyle -- CNET (consumer electronics)

-Video Content -- Flixster, 3Doo, ScreenMedia, Redux, Moving Art

-Music -- Rhapsody, Tune-In

-Foreign Language -- Kylin TV (China), Zee TV (India), Total Movie (South America), Crunchyroll (Asian drama and anime)

-Fitness -- GAIAM (wellness products and streaming videos)

Panasonic reported that Viera Connect-enabled HDTVs feature built-in Wireless LAN and provide USB connectivity which enables the addition of a wireless keyboard and gaming controllers for more efficient navigation and communication. There is no fee to use the Viera Connect functionality4.

"Through our Viera Connect platform, we have been able to re-define and significantly expand the power of the TV in your home," said Merwan Mereby, Panasonic's VP of Interactive Content & Services. "When we debuted Viera Connect in 2008, it offered simple access to a sampling of popular content sites. In 2013, Viera Connect transforms our Smart Viera HDTVs and Blu-ray Disc players into the centerpiece of the consumer's connected world with access to a seemingly endless menu of content, much of which can also be shared seamlessly between the consumer's other smart devices and those of their family and friends. We are proud to partner with YouTube and HSN, leaders in their respective fields, to launch category-breaking apps and technologies on our Viera Connect platform which will change the way consumers interact with their TVs."

Support of HTML5 To promote third-party developer participation, Panasonic introduced in 2011 the Viera Connect Developer's portal where Viera Connect SDK and API were provided to third-party developers who wished to submit apps for inclusion on the Viera Connect Smart Viera platform.

Smart TV Alliance In an effort to bring unity to the fragmented development environment created by multiple proprietary Smart TV platforms, in Panasonic has joined the board of Smart TV Alliance to facilitate a creation of a large and productive ecosystem for Smart TV application development, that enables software developers to create applications once for many different platforms and provides consumers with a rich source of content and services. Along with other Smart TV Alliance members Panasonic will be working on the new combined SDK that will include the latest trends and features available for developers.

Source Citation (MLA 7th Edition)
"Panasonic Upgrades Viera Connect Platform." Entertainment Close-up 18 Jan. 2013. Fine Arts and Music Collection. Web. 21 Jan. 2013.
Document URL

Gale Document Number: GALE|A315267628

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