Panasonic Announces Viera Cast Updates at CES - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 01-06-2010, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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A lot of buzz out there about Skype being added to the new Viera Cast tvs, but there are more apps being added too.

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LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Panasonic, the industry leader in high-quality Plasma and LCD HDTVs and a major developer of the Blu-ray format, announced today that Fox Sports, Netflix, Pandora, and Twitter services, and the Skype on Your TV application, will be added to its 2010 application lineup of VIERA CAST-enabled HDTVs and Blu-ray players. The new services bring additional high-quality Internet content to Panasonic's broadband-connected devices, enhancing the user experience and creating the perfect home entertainment centerpiece. With these new features and applications, Panasonic owners will now be able to access the latest sports news and information, thousands of additional popular movie and television titles, their favorite musical artists and songs, and even make calls directly from their Panasonic HDTV.

The new entertainment sites join and complement VIERA CAST's current offerings, including Amazon Video on Demand?, YouTube?, Picasa? Web Albums, Bloomberg News, and a weather application.

To make the online experience seamless, Panasonic is also adding USB connectivity to its VIERA CAST HDTVs. With the new input, consumers can create a wireless Internet connection and use a wireless keyboard, making it even easier for those without adjacent Ethernet access to enjoy VIERA CAST services. And, by connecting USB drive, viewers have even more ways to enjoy their music and photos on a large-screen, picture-perfect display.

In addition, an upgrade to the VIERA CAST user interface makes application access even faster and give the user the flexibility to customize the Viera Cast Menu screen.

VIERA CAST's host of Internet-based services is accessed through a simple one-button on Panasonic remote controls. By offering VIERA CAST functionality to select Blu-ray players, even those not currently in the market for a new HDTV can enjoy the added attraction of enhanced Internet programming.

"With the addition of these five great offerings, Panasonic continues its leadership role in providing its customers with the ultimate in High Definition content," said Merwan Mereby, Vice President, New Business Development, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "By giving consumers the best HDTV displays coupled with an extraordinary range of program services and options, Panasonic is once again setting the standard for home entertainment. Panasonic makes a point of listening to its customers and we saw that the Netflix service was an entertainment option that many users valued. So, for 2010 we have added Netflix to an already robust line-up. And the addition of Skype provides our customers with the ability to make voice and video calls from the comfort of their living room."

About the new VIERA Cast features

Fox Sports offers Panasonic owners continually-updated scores, stats, and sports news, available without leaving the program in progress.

Netflix unlimited members can now instantly watch thousands of TV episodes and movies streamed from Netflix on new VIERA CAST-enabled HDTVs.

Pandora gives music lovers the opportunity to create their own unique "stations" playing just the type of music they love, and to listen to it directly through their Panasonic VIERA CAST HDTV and home theater systems.

Skype on Your TV integrates the powerful and popular Skype software application directly into Panasonic HDTVs. Skype software allows users to make free voice and video calls to other Skype users. Owners can now make and receive Skype voice and video calls directly from select new HDTV models. To conduct a Skype video call on a VIERA CAST HDTV, a specially-designed high-performance Panasonic camera, which is sold as a separate accessory, is simply plugged into the television. The camera includes a special microphone system that can easily pick up sound from couch-distance. Plus, it will deliver up to 720p high definition video quality depending on the consumer's internet bandwidth.

With Twitter access, owners of VIERA CAST-enabled Panasonic HDTVs can Tweet and discover what's happening now without needing to leave the comfort of their TV viewing room.

I don't know if this update will trickle down to the current Panasonics (like my 54" G10). I can only hope.
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post #2 of 47 Old 01-06-2010, 04:16 PM
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I haven't even got my TV (42" G15 due Friday) yet.

If they add ESPN and Netflix and I can't get it ..................oh I'll..............well ..........complain, I guess.
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post #3 of 47 Old 01-06-2010, 05:10 PM
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why get hyper over that? we with pc hooked up with the hdtv got that like ages.
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post #4 of 47 Old 01-06-2010, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 5354 View Post

why get hyper over that? we with pc hooked up with the hdtv got that like ages.

I think you're saying that you have a pc hooked up.

For me, even with an HTPC, it would still be simpler for my wife/kids to use netflix on vieracast. And I guarantee you can't overlay info from fox sports on your screen with your htpc while watching tv.

I'm just glad that they are continuing development for Viera Cast.
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post #5 of 47 Old 01-06-2010, 05:28 PM
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I can't seem to find if they will be updating last years models with netflix? I currently have a G10 and would love netflix. Any info would be appreciated.
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post #6 of 47 Old 01-06-2010, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor_2k View Post

I think you're saying that you have a pc hooked up.

For me, even with an HTPC, it would still be simpler for my wife/kids to use netflix on vieracast. And I guarantee you can't overlay info from fox sports on your screen with your htpc while watching tv.

I'm just glad that they are continuing development for Viera Cast.

Yeah i guess most of ur point is right. But i can watch hd sport with win media, stream movie with other media player, and talk on Skype with friend all at once like pip. better than pip since i can set what size i like. :P
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post #7 of 47 Old 01-07-2010, 09:37 AM
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Will older Panny models be able to update Viera Cast with the new content(Pandora, Fox, etc)? I don't see why not.
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post #8 of 47 Old 01-07-2010, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by scooter92377 View Post

Will older Panny models be able to update Viera Cast with the new content(Pandora, Fox, etc)? I don't see why not.

no one seems to be able to answer that scooter. i don't see why not either but i wouldn't mind if it was confirmed.
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post #9 of 47 Old 01-07-2010, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gorgula View Post

no one seems to be able to answer that scooter. i don't see why not either but i wouldn't mind if it was confirmed.

I will swing by the Panny booth at CES and see if I can get an answer within a day or so...
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post #10 of 47 Old 01-07-2010, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter92377 View Post

Will older Panny models be able to update Viera Cast with the new content(Pandora, Fox, etc)? I don't see why not.

It only makes sense that they will update the older models with firmware updates (I can't imagine that this is a hardware issue at all). Just looking at VieraCast it seems clear to me they always anticipated further development with the "coming soon" sections
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post #11 of 47 Old 01-07-2010, 03:23 PM
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It says Vieracast. Right on the Vieracast panel is room for upcoming stuff. I cannot see how they would not offer it to any platform that can received Vieracast. The embedded base would go nuts/

Dan M
"If you don;t know where you're going, any road will take you there." G. Harrison.
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post #12 of 47 Old 01-07-2010, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor_2k View Post

I will swing by the Panny booth at CES and see if I can get an answer within a day or so...

Thanks, Trevor. I'm really curious to find out if my V10 will see some sort of upgrade/update. If they don't at least bring what's on there now out of "beta" I'll got nuts...
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post #13 of 47 Old 01-08-2010, 08:12 AM
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According to a CNET blog, older VieraCast tvs will not be getting the updated services. Quoting from the blog:

"(Update: It appears that owners of existing VieraCast-enabled products will not be getting these additional services. A Panasonic rep indicated that the upgraded offerings will only be available in these new 2010 models. We're awaiting official confirmation from Panasonic, but we don't expect to hear more for at least a month or two.)."

ces.cnet.com/8301-31045_1-10427428-269.html
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post #14 of 47 Old 01-08-2010, 08:29 AM
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Makes sense the older Veracast models probably do not have enough firmware memory available to store the links to the additional content.
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post #15 of 47 Old 01-08-2010, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walford View Post

Makes sense the older Veracast models probably do not have enough firmware memory available to store the links to the additional content.

Is that sarcasm? I kind of laughed that first time i read that. They have coming soon sections on the current models anyway.

Thanks for finding the Cnet article, things look bleak on last years models...
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post #16 of 47 Old 01-08-2010, 10:45 AM
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I'd be happy if they'd just make the version of VieraCast they sold me work.
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post #17 of 47 Old 01-08-2010, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately the people working the booth at Panasonic couldn't answer my question one way or the other. One of the PR guys took my card and will let me know when he finds out. No promise on when.
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post #18 of 47 Old 01-08-2010, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor_2k View Post

Unfortunately the people working the booth at Panasonic couldn't answer my question one way or the other. One of the PR guys took my card and will let me know when he finds out. No promise on when.

Thanks for heading over there Trevor, i'm sure we'll all find out soon enough.
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post #19 of 47 Old 01-08-2010, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll give my final thought to this (until I hear from Panny)...

Skype will definitely not make it to my VieraCast. My TV has no USB port, hence no mic/camera availability.

However, I see no reason why the rest can't be on there. Netflix is technically equivalent to Amazon VOD, Pandora is just streaming (like YouTube), and Twitter shouldn't be a problem either, since it is 140 characters, I don't need a keyboard for that.

The Fox Sports is another concern tho in that interactively overlaying stuff over an image may require different hardware.

So, that's my $.02.
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post #20 of 47 Old 01-09-2010, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor_2k View Post

Unfortunately the people working the booth at Panasonic couldn't answer my question one way or the other. One of the PR guys took my card and will let me know when he finds out. No promise on when.

well, that gives me some hope anyway. Panasonic, you'd better come through for your customer base...you'll have many many pissed off people if you don't extend this to existing G10s/V10s.
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post #21 of 47 Old 01-11-2010, 01:09 PM
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According to an old interview of Bob Perry Panasonic's marketing VP all apps and services for viera cast reside on their server. This makes the Viera Cast portal "infinitely upgradeable". I understand this as saying that it doesn't matter if you have the 2009 model G10 you should be able to enjoy any content added to the viera cast portal. The heavy lifting is done on their server not our tv's. "cepro.com/article/qa_bob_perry_panasonic/K352"
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post #22 of 47 Old 01-11-2010, 02:27 PM
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What about the blu ray players? They do have usb ports so they should be able to do the upgrades. I will be very upset with Panasonic if they do not support the installed base. Especially with the "coming soon" promis on the screen, and with Samsung and LG already having the content it can't be too hard.
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post #23 of 47 Old 01-11-2010, 05:56 PM
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It doesn't look good for previous owners of their products. Myself being a new owner of a 09 Plasma TV and Blu-ray player. Really ticks me off.


I assume that would mean the TVs also?
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post #24 of 47 Old 01-12-2010, 10:42 AM
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I feel like I may have gotten lucky this time. I bought the 50" S1 first week in December not really needing or know that much about the Viera Cast functions. After looking some I decided that could be added with the Blu Ray player. DMP-BD60 or 80 would do that.

Never pulled the trigger. Now I think I'll wait until later in the year and see about the new DMP-BD65 or 85. Wireless (85 includes the USB Wi-Fi dongle) and all the new features including Netflix. But I still have my doubts that IPTV over my Comcast internet connect will support good SDTV feeds much less HDTV. We shall see how that really goes. Perhaps that is why Comcast is adding 2 higher speed tiers to they Internet menu topping out at 50 Mbps Download speed for $100/month (plus tax). :-)
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post #25 of 47 Old 01-13-2010, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlbrown9 View Post

I feel like I may have gotten lucky this time. I bought the 50" S1 first week in December not really needing or know that much about the Viera Cast functions. After looking some I decided that could be added with the Blu Ray player. DMP-BD60 or 80 would do that.

Never pulled the trigger. Now I think I'll wait until later in the year and see about the new DMP-BD65 or 85. Wireless (85 includes the USB Wi-Fi dongle) and all the new features including Netflix. But I still have my doubts that IPTV over my Comcast internet connect will support good SDTV feeds much less HDTV. We shall see how that really goes. Perhaps that is why Comcast is adding 2 higher speed tiers to they Internet menu topping out at 50 Mbps Download speed for $100/month (plus tax). :-)

Wil - I am in Cordova (throw a rock real hard and you will probably hit me) and have Comcast as my ISP at their cheapest, and presume, slowest connection speed.

Have only tried Amazon on demand a few times because I don't care for their charges. HD picture quality was very good and zero problems with connection or dropouts. Not as good as Blu-Ray, but exceeded my expectations.

Until last fall, we were still using AT&T DSL. Also watched HD programming directly from FOX and ABC without problems even at DSL speeds through my PC connected wirelessly.

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post #26 of 47 Old 01-13-2010, 12:12 PM
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By the way, the AT&T was their cheapest ($9.95) per month. I know it took minutes instead of seconds to download music this way, but streaming video never seemed to present any challenge. My wife would catch up with her soap operas and Lost via ABC HD-On-Demand and 24 via Fox HD-On-Demand.

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post #27 of 47 Old 01-13-2010, 12:16 PM
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I used VieraCast a couple of times when I first got my TV. Haven't used it since. My PS3 can browse the web too and I hardly use it either. Much better to use a real computer for these sort of things.
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post #28 of 47 Old 01-17-2010, 03:53 AM
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I'm not sure how many of the features I'd use (score overlay lead to IR?), but I have Netflix now but have not used the streaming material offered because our PC is in a room awkward for more than one person to watch.

I'd much rather they just add it to VC on the TV I just bought, than have to add yet another box (Roku) to the stand in the living room.

Though as I haven't bought a BluRay player yet, sounds like the new Panasonics will have that taken care of.

Just not sure release date, and if I'll have the coin immediately to pick one up.

Come on Panny, just add the freakin updates to my G15!!
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post #29 of 47 Old 01-21-2010, 08:33 AM
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Anyone know anyone who might know anything? I'd love to see Netflix come to my V10. Is there a place where I can track any news about it? Or just keep checking for updates every once in a while?

Abstract yourself!
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post #30 of 47 Old 01-25-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjorg View Post

Anyone know anyone who might know anything? I'd love to see Netflix come to my V10. Is there a place where I can track any news about it? Or just keep checking for updates every once in a while?


I think we all would like to see NetFlix instant streaming on existing displays. My guess is it will not happen for two possible reasons: Product differentiation; and/or chipset/firmware required for NetFlix instant streaming processing on the display (hopefully that is not the case).

I do have to say Amazon On Demand HD quality is excellent, much better than what NetFlix offers, but it obviously costs more. I expect we'll see more delays with instant streaming new releases anyhow as studios are trying to capture DVD/BD sales...
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