Sure, the remote control Panasonic showed off as part of its Viera update this week looks like any other overly complicated, SD-slot equipped, universal home theater remote. But there's more to it than that. It's actually the first product to make use of Viera Link, Panasonic's name for the HDMI control interface. Basically, the remote takes advantage of HDMI's ability to carry commands through a system, instead of just audio, video and DRM. What that means is you get universal control of your HDMI home theater equipment, without having to worry about trying to figure out which IR to aim for. Just point the remote at the one IR on your TV, and the signal will travel over the HDMI wires to the right piece of equipment. Of course, Viera Link is currently Panny-only, but should work with other HDMI devices that comply with industry specs.

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Panasonic Viera Link - first HDMI universal remote