Panasonic TVs get BBC iPlayer through Viera Connect
A nice launch surprise
When Panasonic first launched Viera Connect on its new TVs a few weeks ago, BBC iPlayer was notable omission.
All that we were told was that some of the Panasonic people had seen it working, but that no final decision had been made. It was a nice surprise as we started to review the Viera TX-L32E30B to find that BBC iPlayer is in the interface and working.
The neat interface fills the entire screen, with a Home window showing the highlighted programmes for the week. There's also a Search option to help you find a specific programme. We're pleased to say that the interface also gives you access to the HD stream, although the default option is to launch the SD version. The DVD playback controls at the bottom of the remote control iPlayer, provided that the switch is set to TV rather than DVD/VCR.
From our first impressions we're impressed with the quality of the video stream. In HD the TV has little processing to do, so the image is sharp; with the SD iPlayer stream, the TV manages to sharpen the image and preserve the detail. In fact, the image quality is better than on a lot of Freeview channels.
There are currently no other TV catch-up services available, although they can be added by Panasonic into the Viera Connect Market for download to your TV. Ace Trax provides you with an on-demand movie rental service. Our full review of the TV is coming soon.