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Panasonic puts its faith in touchpads, touchscreens and phones

Panasonic Touchpad remote controlPanasonic owners are being encouraged to swap their remote controls for tablets and smartphones to control TVs, recorders and home cinema systems.

Panasonic’s also shipping high-end TVs with a touch-pad remote control for better interaction with games and web-browsing on the Viera Connect smart TV portal.

Viera Connect features on all but the most basic of Panasonic’s LED and plasma TVs, as well as most of its 2011 range.

The Viera Remote App 2.0 will arrive on the Android and Apple app markets in the next few weeks, and boasts a wealth of functions on top of replacing your remote control and letting you browse the programme guide on your handheld screen.

It lets you transfer pictures, videos, music or websites between your phone or tablet and Smart Viers TV with a swipe.

Games from Viera Connect can be played using the game controller mode, and it provides a QWERTY keyboard and touch-pad for web browsing or apps.

On the upper range of Panasonic’s new TVs and Blu-ray recorders – the WT50, VT50 and GT50 – the remote app lets you stream music, TV and recordings to continue watching over your home network.

The flagship WT50 LED and VT50 plasma TVs also come with a touch-pad remote that makes browsing and playing games easier.

When used with Panasonic’s top-of-the-range Freeview+HD recorder, the DMR-BWT720, the app can also be used to set up recordings and watch them.

iPad home cinema

Panasonic’s 3D Blu-ray players, recorders and home theatre system also have an iPad-based remote control app, with iPhone and Android versions in the pipeline.

The Blu-ray Remote 2012 and Theatre Remote 2012 have the same functions as the Viera Remote app, but add controls for Blu-ray playback and recording, volume, setup, media, EQ and surround sound.

There’s a choice of on-screen skins from a 1970s-style aluminium look with virtual knobs and switches to a contemporary Apple-style interface.

It can connect via a direct WiFi connection instead of using your home network – and there’s also a touch-pad remote control for use with Viera Connect.