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Panasonic adds App store to Viera TVs

Viera Connect will let you add new and paid-for features

Panasonic has revamped its online TV portal with an app store that lets users add both free and paid-for content, although the latter will only be available when the payment system is implemented.

Called Viera Connect and available on a wide range of the 2011 models, the new portal is designed to be modular, allowing people to download new applications to an SD card connected to the television.

This will range from social media clients to full-on games that can be controlled via a USB control pad plugged into the TV. You can see a demonstration of the type of game in action in the video below. While quality may not match that of the best games console, the games have a decent amount of detail in them and could appeal to the casual gamer.

Viera Connect will also provide IP TV, featuring online movies and catch-up TV services. Sadly, the services listed were mostly for the German market and the UK misses out almost entirely, with no LoveFilm or iPlayer present. It’s a shame, as Panasonic’s competitors, Sony and Samsung, support these services.

Viera Connect

That’s not to say that iPlayer won’t be coming soon. Talking to a Pansonic representative at the launch of the new televisions we were told that they “had seen iPlayer working”. A final version and approval from the BBC is all that stands in the way of this. Hopefully, it shouldn’t be too hard to get working, as the Freesat Viera TVs already support iPlayer, provided a satellite is connected.

Music services are also available, although ShoutCast internet radio is the main one of interest for UK consumers.

Viera Connect music

Viera Connect will also let the TV connect to other devices. In a demonstration we saw how a running machine could be connected to the TV, controlling Google Street View to give the impression of virtually running through an area.

Viera Connect running machine

While this is all very clever, we think that Viera Connect needs a wider range of IP TV services if it’s to compete with Sony and Samsung’s services.

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