Panasonic announced the introduction of Smart VIERA, a new and expanded application of VIERA Connect, that is more than just a connection to the Internet. The advent of Smart VIERA centers on five main points: Networking, Easy Operation, Picture Quality, Eco and Design elements. The seamless integration of the aforementioned elements makes for a truly smart IPTV, one that allows the user to not only access the web but provides the technology for connecting people with people via social media. Furthermore, Panasonic announced the creation of a targeted Facebook page (www.facebook.com/panasonictv) delivered by a VIERA Facebook team directly from Panasonic’s AVC Network Company and Global Consumer Marketing Section’s office in Osaka, Japan.
Panasonic led the industry by introducing an IPTV function called VIERA CAST in 2008. This function evolved into VIERA Connect last year and in 2012 the platform is further enhanced with the implementation of a cloud based service, providing not only online movies and sports, but adding a host of new apps in categories such as games, kids and health & fitness. The new Smart VIERA HDTVs provide access to the VIERA Connect Market, which allows the consumer to pick and choose the apps they want to access. To promote further growth in VIERA Connect apps, Panasonic established the VIERA Connect Developers site, a means for supplying developers with the applications, programs, interfaces and technical information that they need to develop new apps.
Networking allows access to content both inside and outside the house with a newly developed highly refined graphic user’s interface (GUI) . Panasonic paid special attention to allowing the user to do everything, from obtaining new apps to selecting what they view, without the need for a PC. The GUI and all the apps in VIERA Connect are supported by a cloud based service, ensuring that the user always has the most up-to-date versions, without having to worry about upgrades. Smart VIERA now gives the user access to daily necessities like weather reports and news, while also providing a number of Video On Demand services. Furthermore, the appearance of Social Networking TV apps such as Facebook and Twitter make large screen communication more comfortable for the consumer. A sidebar on the screen displays the wall and timeline for these Social Media sites, so viewers can directly write in comments and tweets while simultaneously watching TV. The beauty of Smart VIERA’s networking function is that it makes it possible to freely access content from virtually anywhere in the home with Smart VIERA and other DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) compliant devices.
Smart VIERA is mindful of Panasonic’s philosophy to make products that are user friendly and easy to operate. For example, Media Player lets one insert an SD Memory Card from a digital camera directly into the TV’s SD card slot for playback. The Smart VIERA HDTVs feature built-in that makes it easy to connect to the internet. In addition, Panasonic developed a new VIERA Touch Pad Controller (included with the VT50 and WT50 series) for easy web browsing and a newly developed application called VIERA remote App allows an iPhone, iPad or Android Smartphone to be used as a remote control. Also, select 2012 VIERA HDTVs (VT50, GT50, WT50) support multitasking, which makes it possible to open several web pages simultaneously and freely switch between them. To further aid the user and make the Smart VIERA extremely easy to operate and get all the benefits that IPTV has to offer, the consumer can display eHELP on the TV by pressing the HELP button on the remote. This function provides access and help in connecting or operating peripheral devices. There is also a support function, Product Support Center (requires apps downloaded from the VIERA Connect Market for free) that provides instant online access to movies that give easy to understand guidance.
“Panasonic has been an innovator in the growing area of IPTV and the enhancement found with Smart VIERA provides the consumer with the easiest to use and the ultimate in home connectivity,” said Henry Hauser, Vice President Merchandising, Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America. “Smart VIERA is poised to redefine the core of a new IPTV lifestyle. In it, all of the home’s AV devices will be connected and people will be able to freely access the content they want from any room in the house. With Smart VIERA, people will have an unlimited source of content options, and equally as important, a very easy way to access that content.”