Expanded VIERA Connect features and functions include secure purchasing of applications, services and physical products through the VIERA remote control.
Panasonic has announced the upcoming addition of direct billing functionality to its VIERA Connect Market, allowing users of the cloud-based VIERA Connect service to easily and securely purchase applications and physical products directly through their TV.
The new service will be demonstrated at IFA, before being launched across various European territories later in the year.
Panasonic’s VIERA Connect service, launched earlier in 2011, offers an innovative and totally personalised home entertainment experience. Through the VIERA Connect market, users can access a wide range of applications within seven main categories: videos, music, sports, social networking, news and lifestyle, health and fitness, and games. As VIERA Connect applications are stored remotely in the cloud there is no need to download them on the TV, which results in ultra-quick start-up and response times, and a seamless TV experience.
With the addition of direct billing, users will be able to purchase applications, services and physical products that enhance the VIERA Connect Experience directly with their VIERA remote control. These products include Panasonic 3D glasses, SD cards, a Skype™ camera, and a wide range of Logitech® accessories which are fully compatible with VIERA TVs - including gamepads, keyboards and more. The billing functionality of the service will be supported by strict security measures built into the hardware of the TV to ensure the safety of customer data.
Following the successful launch of its VIERA Connect Developers’ portal (http://developer.vieraconnect.com) earlier in the year - through which developers can create their own applications for VIERA Connect - Panasonic is ensuring that consumers will have access to the most innovative services directly in their living room. With the addition of billing functionality, developers will now be able to produce and sell premium applications and services via VIERA Connect Market, while end-users will enjoy an increasingly wide-range of applications and physical products via their TV screen.
The VIERA Connect Market with billing functionality will be available to users in Europe that have purchased Panasonic’s 2011 range of VIERA TVs (1) later this year. Additionally, a software upgrade will be available in the beginning of September to upgrade Panasonic’s 2010 VIERA range (2) with VIERA Connect, enabling users to install and use all free applications.
At IFA 2011 Panasonic will also be launching new VIERA Connect applications, as well as demonstrating applications and services that will be available in the near future. These include:
• New applications: New VIERA Connect applications launched at IFA 2011 include 20 Minutos, a worldwide Spanish online newspaper available throughout Europe; Welt, Germany’s high quality media brand, featuring up to date news articles and videos regarding politics, business and sport information to users across Europe; and OneHeart Channel, offering environmental and humanitarian videos in English and French across Europe.
• Upcoming applications: Other new services that will be launched in the near future include Wuaki TV a Spanish VoD service, offering an Internet-based VOD premium content service including films and television shows; FetchTV™ an award-winning premium TV entertainment platform in the UK providing hybrid digital terrestrial / IPTV and ‘Over The Top’ Video on Demand content; and iConcerts, a European application offering live concerts of various artists on demand.
• Remote apps for smartphones: Panasonic has also made watching and browsing VIERA TVs even easier with the support of new remote apps for smartphones. Following the launch of the VIERA Remote app for Apple™ mobile devices, Panasonic has now also made the VIERA Remote app for Android mobile devices available. The apps instantly turn compatible Apple and Android devices into a remote control touch screen, enabling users to quickly and intuitively navigate all the tools and features on their VIERA TV including the 3D settings, SD card access and VIERA Connect.
• Further social media integration: Panasonic will also be demonstrating future innovative services at IFA 2011, which will further enhance the VIERA Connect experience. These include new ways of integrating social media into traditional content, such as the ability for live chat on Twitter™ via the TV while watching broadcast TV channels.
1 Compatible models are the Plasma VT30, GT30, ST30, UT30, G30, S30 series and LCD DT35. DT30, D35, and E30 series 2 Compatible models are the Plasma VT20, GT20, V20, G20 series and LCD V20, D28 (37” and 32”), D25, G20 series