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Panasonic Builds Out Viera Connect IPTV


Mindful that the holidays are nearly upon
us, Panasonic recently gave members of the press here
an update on advancements in its Viera Connect IPTV
system, including a count of the number of apps that are
now available to users of the ever-evolving platform.

Viera Connect is available on many of Panasonic’s
step-up plasma and LCD TVs as well as in its Blu-ray
Disc players.

Merwan Mereby, Panasonic interactive content and services
VP, said Panasonic’s Viera Connect Market of interactive
apps now numbers 120 apps and should grow to two to
three times that number by the end of 2012.

The connected-TV trend is on an explosive course,
with estimates for worldwide connected-TV shipments
expected to surpass those of PCs by the end of 2013,
he offered.

To keep up with the challenge, Panasonic has been actively
recruiting app development, and is offering a JavaScript
app to help third-party developers create programs
for the Viera Connect platform.

Among some of the more recent additions to the Viera
Connect platform was a new Social TV social-network app.

Gaming is also playing an important role on Viera Connect
with a new 3D car-racing game developed exclusively
for Panasonic by GameLoft.

Panasonic has also created an online purchasing app
enabling users to purchase Panasonic products, among
other things, directly through their TV screens. Panasonic
is using third-party distributors to help with order fulfillment,
Mereby said.

Other highlights include an AccuWeather weathertracking
app featuring weather reports, weather alerts,
and radar and satellite storm tracking, among a long list
of additional services.

The cable-TV channel Wealth TV also added an app,
which for a 99 cent monthly subscription fee will enable
users to access menu of programs encouraging the welloff
or wealthy wannabes to explore lavish living. Among
the most popular content to date was a special boxing
card presented on Nov. 5 by promoter Don King.