Panasonic Builds Out Viera Connect IPTV

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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.


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