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Panasonic pushes 3D and launches the Viera Tablet

Android device to control and manage your home entertainment

Just like last year, 3D was high up on Panasonic’s agenda for its CES press conference. Whether or not you believe in the concept of 3D in the living room, Panasonic will be making it far easier to buy into new format.

Viera TC L42D30 LCD 3DTV

As well as expanding the number of plasma TVs with 3D, Panasonic will also be bringing 3D to its LCD range, in both 32 and 37in sizes. The range of 3D enabled Blu-ray players has also increased, with 75 per cent of players now supporting 3D.

But Panasonic was also pushing the message that it has an end to end 3D solution, which includes creating your own 3D content. Only a few months ago Panasonic launched its first consumer 3D camcorder, and in 2011 there will be a total of five 3D capable consumer camcorders in the Panasonic range. As we reported earlier, all of the camcorders will have Apple iFrame support.

But it wasn’t all about 3D, there was some big news in the IPTV sector too. Pansonic’s Viera Cast service has been around for a while now, offering Internet services direct to your TV screen, but Viera Cast has now been put out to pasture. Replacing Viera Cast is the new Viera Connect service, and from what we saw, it looks quite promising.

Viera Connect

Viera Connect covers all the connected services that are available to the new Viera TVs, including DLNA features and SD card playback, but the really interesting stuff comes via an internet connection.

Viera Market

Viera Connect market is a kind of app store for your Viera TV, allowing you to download games, or utilities direct to the TV. Games can be played via the TV remote control or using any USB game controller. The Bodymedia app allows you to monitor your heart rate, calorie burning and so on. Of course you need a remote sensor that straps around your arm to make Bodymedia work, but it goes some way to address the couch potato image associated with television.

You also get various social networking apps like Twitter and Facebook, while Skype HD will let you have family gatherings in your living room without anyone having to leave their own homes.

Viera Tablet

However, the most interesting announcement was the launch of the Panasonic Viera Tablet. Yep, that’s right, Panasonic is launching a tablet. Although the Viera Tablet is an Android device, like many others, it’s set to be very different to the competition. While most tablets are stand alone personal devices, the Viera Tablet is designed to work in tandem with your Viera TV and the Viera Connect service.

For a start, the Viera tablet can be use to control all of your TV’s features, using the intuitive touch-screen Android interface. You can also watch alternate angles on the Viera Tablet, while the TV shows the main feed. But best of all, you’ll be able to watch live TV on the Viera Tablet, enabling you to carry your TV programmes from room to room with you.

The Viera Tablet is due to launch in Japan soon, but there’s no official word of when it will be available in the UK. There’s also no word on pricing or even size, although it was suggested that there may be multiple sizes available. We’ve already started badgering Panasonic for a review sample of the Viera Tablet, so check back soon for the full low down.

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