Panasonic Europe Ltd. announced today it will begin to offer VIERA Connect, a new and enhanced cloud-based Internet service this spring. Furthermore, the service will be promoted as an open platform to facilitate increased applications in order to expand its IPTV services. To coincide with the launch of VIERA Connect, 19 new flat-panel VIERA TV models (19 to 65 inches1) compatible with this service will be introduced into the European market. VIERA Connect and its compatible models are currently on display at the Panasonic Convention 2011 in London, United Kingdom.
The new VIERA Connect allows users to enjoy sports, health & fitness activities, interactive games, and a variety of other contents in addition to the standard movies and television programmes on a high-quality large-screen TV through the simple operation of a remote control.
The latest VIERA Connect service is a major step up from VIERA CAST, the cloud-based Internet service Panasonic has provided in overseas markets, started in Europe in 2009. In addition to increasing the number of provided applications drastically, the capacity to expand hardware functions through linking health & fitness equipment or game controllers and an online shopping service through the television that allows users to easily purchase these related equipment will be introduced later this year.
Starting in spring, VIERA Connect Market will offer the possibility to engage in free casual gaming and other server-based applications through the VIERA Connect GUI. Later this year, VIERA Connect Market will become increasingly customisable with applications and external equipment that will be available on demand. To maximise the merit for consumers, VIERA Connect will be introduced as an open platform to promote the expansion of IPTV services and applications.
The VIERA Connect system operates on a high-quality, 32-bit 3D graphical user interface2 (GUI) allowing quick and convenient operation. In addition, after the service starts, applications, the GUI usability, and screen design will be upgraded regularly in order to fully maximize the features of cloud-based services.
With the growth of broadband technology, the Internet television (IPTV) market is expanding worldwide. The portion of IPTV demand for flat-panel televisions is expected to reach over 70% by 2012 in the European market. Within this expanding market, Panasonic's IPTVs have a strong reputation as they present wide-ranging contents and services that meet regional needs in addition to providing a stress-free superior responsiveness and usability unique to televisions. With the launch of its new VIERA Connect service, 70% of the 2011 VIERA line-up will be VIERA Connect capable. Panasonic will continue to create new and more exciting television experiences by accelerating the development of related technologies and creating stronger connections to affiliated developers.
Catch Up TV
New catch-up TV services will be added shortly to the platform.
Available through VIERA Connect are a number of games such as Black Jack, Chess, Mahjong Fruits, Poker, Solitaire, Main Sweeper and Number place. They are available for free and can be enjoyed on the TV screen.
Music and Video Services
Ustream and SHOUTcast are among the new music and video services provided by VIERA Connect and join the already existing services, such as YouTube and Dailymotion.
Social Networking, News & Lifestyle
Joining the already successful Picasa, Skype and Twitter applications, VIERA Connect also features several new lifestyle and social networking applications such as, Facebook and CineTrailer.TV.