Panasonic's Viera TVs
have included social apps for a while, but its latest upgrade brings an integrated Social TV app designed to let viewers access Twitter and Facebook streams without totally covering up the action. Also new? A gaming app from PlayJam and a Bollywood movie channel, BigFlix. If you still need a reason to log in, a tie-in with Gameloft will let users download three games including Asphalt5
for free. Check after the break for a couple more screens and the press release -- we'll be over here live tweeting the Kardashian divorce with E! on if you need us.
PANASONIC EXPANDS AND ENHANCES VIERA CONNECT'S IPTV PLATFORM WITH NEW APPS INCLUDING NEWLY DEVELOPED SOCIAL TV APPLICATION
Consumers Will Be Able To Access Social Media Apps While Watching Other Content On Their VIERA HDTV
SECAUCUS, NJ (November 1, 2011) – Panasonic, a leader in Full HD 3D technology and built-in TV web entertainment, today announced the launch of a new Internet Social Network application, Social TV, that will be available on VIERA Connect1-equipped 2011 VIERA HDTVs and subsequent models. The app allows one to access social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook while also enjoying programming simultaneously on their VIERA HDTV. Panasonic also announced the addition of a new gaming application from PlayJam and a movie/video channel dedicated to Bollywood, called BigFlix.
These three applications come with no additional fee. BigFlix will allow users to access Bollywood Video on Demand2, while PlayJam is a game channel with multiple game apps. Additionally, and in time for the holiday season, Panasonic will be introducing a promotion that will allow users to download three games from Gameloft, including Asphalt5, free of charge.
"Panasonic prides itself on listening to consumer opinions and acting upon those suggestions to provide the best possible entertainment experience," said Panasonic Corporation of North America Vice President, Merwan Mereby. "Our thorough research pointed to a desire to be able to watch content on the TV, while at the same time being able to tweet on Twitter or update your status on Facebook. With that in mind, Panasonic has, with the new Social TV 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 Social TV app is the latest application to be added to Panasonic's continuing expansion of its Internet services. The latest apps join entertainment and information favorites such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video™, huluPLUS, CinemaNow, Ustream, Skype™ voice and video calling3, Twitter, Facebook, Pandora®, You Tube™, Google's Picasa™ Web Album, and WSJ (Wall Street Journal) Live; as well as sports sites including, 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. The great majority of VIERA Connect apps are free to the consumer.4
Panasonic introduced its IPTV platform four years ago and in that time the internet functionality has grown to include movies, music, social media, gaming, weather, major sports sites and health and wellness sites. Panasonic's IPTV functionality was designed to provide consumers with access to these exceptional sites without the need for an additional set-top box or computer. All the functionality is built into the products.
"When combined with Panasonic's award winning Full HD 3D VIERA HDTVs, the enhanced VIERA Connect Internet platform provides the consumer with exceptional entertainment value and variety," added Mereby.
About Panasonic Corporation of North America
Based in Secaucus, NJ, Panasonic Corporation of North America provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products and services for consumer, business and industrial use. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC), and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic was the only Consumer Electronics company to be listed in the top ten brands on the Interbrand Best Global Green Brands 2011 ranking. As part of its continuing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, Panasonic Corporation of North America will relocate its operations to a new eco-efficient office tower adjacent to a mass transit hub in Newark, NJ in 2013. Information about Panasonic Eco Ideas initiatives is available at http://panasonic.net/eco/ecoideas/. Information about Panasonic and its products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is also available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.
1 Access to a broadband internet connection is required to access VIERA Connect features.
2 Will support subscription service in the future.
3 Skype video calling requires a Skype-enabled camera available from Panasonic, sold separately, to make video calls.
4 Some services such as Netflix Amazon Instant Video and league sports sites have a separate fee structure to view movies and sports events.