Secaucus, N.J. -
said it will add a new Social Network application to 2011 Internet-connected Viera HDTVs that will allow accessing social-media sites, including Facebook and Twitter.
The 2011 Viera Connect 2011 HDTVs and future models will enable engaging with friends through social-networking communities while simultaneously viewing TV programming.
Panasonic also announced the addition of a new gaming application from PlayJam and a movie/video channel dedicated to Bollywood, called BigFlix.
Panasonic said none of the new applications will require an additional fee.
BigFlix will allow users to access Bollywood Video on Demand, while the PlayJam game channel will provide users with multiple online gaming apps.
As part of a new promotion that also was announced, Panasonic said it will allow users to download three games from Gameloft, including Asphalt 5, free of charge.
"Panasonic prides itself on listening to consumer opinions and acting upon those suggestions to provide the best possible entertainment experience," stated Merwan Mereby, Panasonic North America VP. "Panasonic has, with the new Social Network app, expanded and enhanced the functionality of Internet TV and provided users with functions they were looking for. Connected TV will continue to become an increasingly important feature for consumers and Panasonic is working tirelessly to build upon the already robust entertainment and connectivity experiences our Viera Connect customers can enjoy."
The new apps will be added to a suite of Viera-Connect apps that already include Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, HuluPlus, CinemaNow, Ustream, Skype voice and video calling, Twitter, Facebook, Pandora, YouTube, Google's Picasa Web Album and WSJ (Wall Street Journal) Live.
Other apps and services include MLS and Fox Sports, gaming sites such as Asphalt 5 and Free Throw, health and wellness sites such as Body Media and Withings Body Mass Scale, and weather service from Accuweather.
Most apps are free to consumers.