Panasonic CES News Round-Up

New VIERA Connect Apps at CES 2012

--Unveils Multiple New Apps and Features for its Viera Connect Connected-TV Platform
--Partners with Myspace on New Social-TV Service
--Enables Skype-Powered Social TV via New Split Screen Feature
--12 of Company's 2012 Line-Up of LED/LCD TV Sets Offer Viera Connect
--Company's New Blu-ray Disc Players and Home Theater Systems Offer Viera Connect
--Viera Connect Supports Video Distribution by Ooyala Publishers
--Flixster Brings Movie App to Viera Connect
--Time Warner Cable Unveils App that Brings its Pay-TV Service to Viera Connect

Panasonic generated a fair amount of news at CES. Here is a round-up of announcements and news from and about the company:

  • The company announced various new applications and features that are slated to appear on its Viera Connect connected-TV platform this year. "Panasonic's 2012 additions will feature exciting new apps for children, music enthusiasts, online shoppers, and movie/TV lovers, adding to an already robust line-up of interactive apps," the company states in its press materials. "1) Myspace TV [see article below]--Exclusive to Panasonic Viera Connect-enabled Smart Viera HDTV's, Myspace TV is a new service that makes the television experience social, putting viewers in control by allowing them to discover, share and comment on their favorite television programs virtually. Initial channels on Myspace TV will be music-focused, leveraging Myspace’s unparalleled music rights and leading library of 100,000 music videos and 42 million songs. Myspace TV will expand beyond music to encompass movies, sports and reality channels, with a growing line-up of today's most popular broadcast and on-demand content. The service fully integrates social and television in new ways that adds a dimension to content discovery and evolves the traditional television experience. 2) Disney Publishing Worldwide--Disney Publishing and Panasonic are in negotiations to launch an app on Panasonic Viera Connect smart TV's, which would give families access to a library of interactive stories and comics featuring Cinderella, Mickey Mouse, and more. 3) YouTube on 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 will feature a completely new UI and redesign with full access to the YouTube user experience previously enjoyed only via the Web. Viera Connect-enabled TV's will now give users access to YouTube's full library of user postings, music videos, movies, and 100 channels of original programming. 4) Flixster [see article below]--Movies and TV shows stored in the cloud can now be easily streamed directly to Viera Connect-enabled HDTV's and Blu-ray products through a new Flixster application coming this year. Through the app, consumers will also be able to access one of the world's largest databases of information on movies and TV shows. 5) Miramax--The Miramax App will be one of the new apps to join Viera Connect in 2012, enabling users to access Miramax's library of critically acclaimed films. The Miramax App will include special social features such as clip sharing, games, and bonus content to enhance the viewing experience of Miramax's one-of-a-kind library. Viera Connect's growing library already includes Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and Hulu Plus. 6) 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 highly advanced shopping app allows viewers to get detailed product information, read customer reviews, watch video demonstrations and then make a purchase, all with just a few clicks of their remote from their Viera Connect-enabled HDTV or Blu-ray Disc player. 7) SnagFilms--The new SnagFilms app on Viera Connect-enabled devices provides hundreds of movies, on-demand, for free, from SnagFilms' acclaimed library of independent films. Film fans can choose from a broad selection of movies--from documentaries to dramas, comedies to thrillers, award-winners to rare finds, all free to view. In addition to expansive new apps, Viera Connect will also offer a range of exciting new features which will offer users greater flexibility, expansion of current features and ease-of-use in locating specific content. Highlighting Viera Connect's new features in 2012 will be: 1) Web Browser--In 2012 Viera Connect will offer users an optimized-for-TV Web browser that will add a new dimension to the IPTV experience. 2) Viera Remote App Version 2.0--The Viera Remote App lets you use a smartphone or tablet device as a remote control. In addition to the intuitive tapping and flick-based operations of the previous version, Version 2.0 links with new browsers and content while text input is easy via familiar keyboard operation. 3) Expanded Social Network TV--In 2011, Viera Connect was the first to launch a Social Network TV feature which enabled viewers to watch TV while also using their Twitter and Facebook feeds simultaneously on the same screen. In 2012, Viera Connect will expand this unique feature further by introducing a similar function for Skype [see article below] which will allow users to watch live TV while also using the Viera Connect Skype video calling feature in a split screen format. 4) TV.com--New for 2012 is CBS Interactive's TV.com, a search and recommendations feature which will give users a way to quickly find the best way to access the video content they desire and begin viewing it via Viera Connect. TV.com also enables users to learn more about specific video content and the actors involved and recommends additional titles based upon a user's search criteria. 5) Ooyala [see article below]--In 2012, Viera Connect will include Ooyala, a leading provider of digital video technology, analytics and services, which will enable video publishers to easily reach viewing audiences through the Panasonic Viera Connect smart-TV platform. Building on its universal syndication solution that quickly and cost-effectively delivers content to smartphones, tablets and other devices, Ooyala now gives premium video publishers seamless access to connected living rooms. Ooyala's new syndication platform also enables connected-TV providers to easily scale distribution of new custom content offerings. 6) Brightcove--In 2012, the Viera Connect smart-TV platform will integrate with Brightcove Video Cloud online video platform, enabling more than 3,600 Video Cloud customers around the world to extend the reach of their online video initiatives to Panasonic devices and provide consumers with direct access to a range of high-quality video content in their living room."
  • The company announced that it is partnering with struggling social media platform, Myspace, to launch a new social-TV service--dubbed Myspace TV--on the next generation of its Viera Connect-enabled HDTV's. "Myspace TV puts viewers in control by allowing them to discover, share and comment on the programs they're viewing," the company states in its press materials. "Initial channels on Myspace TV will be music-focused, leveraging Myspace's unparalleled music rights and leading library of 100,000 music videos and 42 million songs. Myspace TV will expand beyond music, however, to encompass movies, news, sports and reality channels, with a growing line-up of today's most popular broadcast and on-demand content. Audiences will not only be able to view their favorite television programs, but Myspace TV will also allow them to chat about what they're viewing while they're viewing it and invite friends to watch with them virtually. The platform fully integrates social and television in new ways that add a dimension to content discovery and evolve the traditional television experience. A companion app will be available on tablets and smartphones, providing instant sync capabilities for a seamless experience...Myspace TV intends to return the diminishing social element of television by connecting viewers around content, simplifying discovery by creating fan communities empowered to comment, rate, chat and invite friends to view programming together in real time. Launching in the first half of 2012, Myspace TV's over-the-top television service will be offered across the Panasonic Viera Connect platform...Myspace is currently inviting a select audience to participate in the beta launch of its TV service through a fully integrated experience on laptop devices." Said Myspace co-owner Justin Timberlake: "We're ready to take television and entertainment to the next step by upgrading it to the social networking experience. Why text or email your friends to talk about your favorite programs after they've aired when you could be sharing the experience with real-time interactivity from anywhere across the globe? As the plot of your favorite drama unfolds, the joke of your favorite SNL character plays, or even the last-second shot of your favorite team swishes the net, we're giving you the opportunity to connect your friends to your moments as they're actually occurring. This is the evolution of one of our greatest inventions, the television. And, we no longer have to crowd around the same one to experience it together."
  • The company launched a social-TV feature, called Split Screen, which is designed to enable users of its Viera Connect platform to launch Skype and interact via video with their friends while watching a TV show. "Skype has proven to be very popular for Panasonic's Viera Connect and our research showed that users wanted a feature that would permit them to watch their HDTV, while at the same time video chatting with friends and family," Panasonic Corporation of North America VP of interactive content and services development, Merwan Mereby, said in a prepared statement. "Viera Connect is a cloud-based and robust IPTV platform that lets consumers connect like never before. We firmly believe that connected TV will continue to become an increasingly important feature for consumers, and Panasonic is focused on providing the consumer with the best possible Internet experience, and to that end we are working diligently to build upon the already strong entertainment and connectivity experiences our Viera Connect customers can enjoy."
  • The company unveiled its 2012 line-up of LED/LCD HDTV sets, 12 of which incorporate its Viera Connect platform, "provid[ing] easy access to such sites as Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Pandora, Facebook, CinemaNow, Vudu, Hulu Plus, Skype, Ustream, sports sites MLB, NHL, NBA, MLS2, Fox Sports, gaming and health and wellness sites."
  • The company unveiled an expanded line-up of Blu-ray Disc players, including four new full-HD 3D models and two 2D models. "All four of the 3D models include Panasonic's proprietary IPTV platform, Viera Connect, while the 2D models feature IP VOD, a service that offers a limited, though targeted, selection of such sites as Netflix, Vudu, CinemaNow and YouTube," the company states in its press materials. The company also unveiled three new full-HD 3D Blu-ray Disc home theater systems that incorporate Viera Connect.
  • Ooyala announced that it will enable video publishers who use its premium service to distribute their content to Panasonic's Viera Connect connected-TV platform (see the article published on itvt.com, January 10th).
  • Flixster announced that it is bringing its movie app to Panasonic's Viera Connect connected TV's and Blu-ray players (see the article published on itvt.com, January 12th).
  • Time Warner Cable unveiled an app that brings its pay-TV service to Panasonic's Viera connected-TV devices (see the article published on itvt.com, January 12th).
Region: 
North America