What are Panasonic Smart Viera and VieraConnect?
Smart Viera is Panasonic’s name for any of its TVs with advanced features such as apps and video on demand, remote control via phones and tablets, and interacting with your music, video and photos on computers and handheld devices.
VieraConnect is the broadband-connected, cloud-based portal on Smart Viera TVs, with apps for video, music, social networking, games and more. It launched in Spring 2011, replacing the more simple first-generation Viera Cast smart TV service provided by Panasonic since 2009.
News stories for Panasonic Smart VieraVieraConnect is a cloud-based service, so there’s an online app store like Google Play, and some apps will even use processing power from online servers to deliver search results and high quality graphics way beyond the processing power of your TV.
Which Panasonic TVs have Smart Viera?
There are currently 28 models with Smart Viera, including 17 LED TVs from 32in to 55in, and 11 plasma TVs from 42in to 65in.
These are the DT50, ET5, ET50, GT50, ST50, UT50, VT50, WT50, and XT50 models, plus from 2011, the DT35, D35, E30, G30, GT30, S30, ST30, UT30, and VT30 TVs, and the D28, D25, G20, GT20, VT20, and V20 models from 2010.
Which Panasonic home entertainment devices have Smart Viera?
Panasonic has a strange divide between TV and home entertainment products, so the Smart Viera badge isn’t used for Blu-ray or DVD products, and digital TV recorders.
However, in the 2012 product line-up, there are six Blu-ray players with Viera Connect, from £100 up, and 12 Blu-ray home cinema systems. Of Panasonic’s hard disc TV recorders and Blu-ray combos, there are seven with Viera Connect, including the flagship Blu-ray/hard disc TV recorder, the DMR-BWT720.
Which catch-up services are on Panasonic Smart Viera?
Unfortunately, BBC iPlayer is the only catch-up TV service on Viera Connect.
Which video-on-demand services are on Panasonic Smart Viera?
There are 21 video apps on Viera Connect, and the major players include Netflix, Acetrax and YouTube. Other interesting apps include Viera 3D World, a showcase for 3D clips, KyLinTV from China and German public broadcaster ZDF.
Which social networks are on Panasonic Smart Viera?
You can download apps to log in to Twitter, Facebook, Skype and Picasa, as well as a Social Networking TV app that overlays Facebook and Twitter feeds on your TV screen.
What games are on Panasonic Smart Viera?
There are about 25 games in the Viera Connect market, most of which are simple arcade or puzzle games. However, you can buy the driving game Asphalt 5 or the popular mobile title, Let’s Golf 2.
How can I get more apps for my Panasonic Smart Viera TV?
Viera Connect Apps Navigator is a cloud-based app marketplace like iTunes, from which you can download apps for Video & Movie, Music, Sports, Games, Kids, Social Networking, News & Weather, Health & Fitness, and Lifestyle & More.
Can I control my Panasonic Smart Viera TV with my smartphone or tablet?
In keeping with the division between its TV and AV divisions, Panasonic has separate remote apps for TVs and Blu-ray devices.
Most 2012 integrated home theatre models can be controlled with the Panasonic Theatre Remote app for iPhone/iPad, and 2012 Blu-ray players and recorders have the Blu-ray Remote App for 2012 on iOS and Android.
Can I use my music, photos and videos with Panasonic Smart Viera?
Many Panasonic Smart Viera TVs and AV devices come with Swipe & Share, which lets you stream pictures, videos and music from your smartphone or tablet to your TV.
The latest version of Swipe & Share also lets you share files from an SD card plugged into the TV to your handheld device, or to a friend’s device.
Are there any accessories for Panasonic Smart Viera?
You can buy a USB WiFi dongle, HD video camera for Skype, wireless QWERTY keyboard, gamepads, a body monitoring armband for fitness apps, and a wireless body mass scale.
- Panasonic twin-tuner TV video hands-on
- CES 2013 Video hands-on Swipe & Share 2.0 for Viera Connect
- Share from SD with iPad and Android remote control apps
- BBC Sport app on Panasonic TVs for Olympics and Wimbledon
- Panasonic’s smart TV ad will explain what connecting your TV to broadband can deliver
- Panasonic connected TVs tackle six apps on the fly
- Panasonic puts its faith in touchpads, touchscreens and phones
Smart TV screens packed with apps might seem like a good idea, but how many does the average user actually need? That depends on the user, which is why Panasonic has developed the idea of a personalised, voice-activated user interface that can be customised – and that means easily removing unused apps and widgets.
Called MyHome Screen, it's essentially a customisable page that can hold several 'visual bookmarks' (short-cuts to apps), though always around a live TV feed that occupies at least two thirds of the screen real estate.
MyHome Screen is divided into three pages – TV (for apps like YouTube, BBC iPlayer and on-demand films), Lifestyle (ShoutCAST Radio, various widgets, a calendar – and a new shopping list apps that's shareable with a smartphone app) and Info (weather, news and a web browser). All have a dynamic treatment beyond that, too; engage the web browser and a new screen appears that hosts a 4:3 browser window alongside a column of bookmarks. You could even place a visual shortcut to, say, the BBC News website on the front of MyHome Screen.
Rather surprisingly – and possibly pointlessly – MyHome Screen activates automatically via both voice and video camera. As you enter the living room and say “MyHome Screen” a small camera pops out of the TV, engages its face recognition mode, and switches to your personalised settings. Fine, though how often do people watch TV alone? It's also apparent that that pop-up camera doesn't automatically sink after the, err, sync.
In our demo, voice searching was perhaps the most useful part of MyHome Screen. New for this year is a cursor-style TouchPad remote for Panasonic's Smart Viera TVs, which adds a microphone. Saying 'search Paris by internet' or '… by Google Maps' into the Touchpad mic brings up a web search. Best of all, it all happens without ever interrupting live TV.
MyHome Screen features on Panasonic's DT60 and WT60 LED-backlit TVs and its flagship ZT60 plasma, all of which include lightning-quick Hexa-Processing.
February 12, 2013 (additional reporting by Jamie Carter)
Jamie Carter takes a look at International CES 2013
In a bid to keep up with its rivals Panasonic – most famous for its concentration on picture quality over flashy features – has introduced some second screen-savvy functions and personal touches for its 2013 Smart Viera TVs.
Viera Connect, its collection of apps such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Lovefilm, stays just how it is, so we got to grips with its main new prong: Swipe & Share 2.0.
Though we do wonder whether these custom-built 'smart' platforms have a long-term future (they seem to dramatically change every year, which can't but dent confidence in previous buyers), we did like Swipe & Share 2.0.
Made for the second-screen age, it's like a more functional Apple AirPlay, where files can not only be shared between devices, but edited and sent back and forth.
In our demo we had a networked Android tablet and iPhone (usually WiFi, though both hard-wired in this example because of competing WiFi networks) in front of a brand new Panasonic LED TV, and pushed a photo from the tablet to the screen using a push of one finger on the touchscreen.
So far, so dull, but this version also offers video – and much more versatility. It's perfectly possible to push a video from a tablet to the TV, watch it, then bring it onto a smartphone.
Better still, it's even possible to use a Touch Pen accessory to edit – or, more likely, deface - a photo on the TV and transfer back a completely new file.
It's clever stuff, but it reaches its zenith when a connected tablet or smartphone can take video files stored on a USB thumbdrive in the TV's side. It all requires apps to be installed on each device, but it's clever stuff nonetheless – and fast.
Swipe & Share 2.0 is available on all of Panasonic's upcoming Smart Viera LED and plasma TVs, due around March, which will also include a MyHome Page that's customisable by up to five people in a household.
It offers face recognition in sets with built-in cameras, which automatically determine just whose account should be activated, loading up their apps and layout.
There’s also enhanced Voice Interaction, allowing voice commands to control the TV and search for content, with text-to-voice so the TV can verbalise what’s on the screen.
January 9, 2013
The IFA 2012 consumer technology show in Berlin saw Panasonic unveil a Kids category for its app market, a UNESCO World Heritage Special video library, and an updated remote control app.
The free UNESCO app has been produced by National Geographic Channel, and will feature nine documentaries covering the Amazon, Taj Mahal; Kyoto, Statue of Liberty, Kilimanjaro, Cappadocia, Borobudur, Great Barrier Reef and Palace of Versailles.
Panasonic will also allow app developers 180 days of free access to its Developer Portal to encourage a greater choice and higher quality apps.
The new SmartViera Remote App share content from an SD card or hard disc connected to their TV or from their smartphone or tablet, via the TV, to other phones and tablets on the same network.
August 30, 2012