Originally Posted by Highside
Has anyone confirmed what online features this player has besides Netflix? I.E. Pandora, and such.
Figured this was relevant to this thread as well, originally referenced in the Panasonic BD-60/80 Owners thread by wildrock. It is a quote from a blog entry made by the Panasonic VP on the questions about Viera Cast features.
One of the unique designs of VIERA CAST is that it's a thin-client architecture. This means that the product (a television, BD player or HTiB) receives content streamed directly from our partners' servers, and as we increase the number of content partners, where possible we make every effort to make the new applications available to existing products. As we have said in many forums, we continue to work to add applications. The where possible language is the only hitch.
The vast majority of applications we have added since day one of VIERA CAST have been available to all VIERA CAST television owners. In several cases, due to software development schedules, there has been a timing gap between the availability of content on our televisions, compared to our BD players and HTiBs (Home Theater in a Box products). So content that was launched on VIERA CAST may have appeared first in televisions, and several months later on BD players and HTiBs.
The where possible hitch mentioned above is due to factors we cannot control, generally related to system requirements and hardware changes. As we negotiate with some content providers, they have rules they must follow in protecting the streamed content, and those rules are set by the individual partners.
Neither they nor we have the ability to change this, and this leaves us in a difficult position - do we add system functionality to a new model year's product, to allow this additional content to be available, or not? We're always working very hard to get content available across the entire VIERA CAST platform, but in a few cases, we have had to make software and hardware changes in new models to accommodate the requirements of the content providers.
This means that this specific content cannot flow to older models. I am pleased to announce that Pandora, Fox Sports and Twitter will be added to existing models via a free automatic software download. But due to the system requirement issues, Netflix cannot be added to pre-2010 models.
Another area that affects the ability of previous VIERA CAST products to get new features is when the hardware requirements change. For example, the 2010 Skype feature requires the use of a special USB connection and a special external camera/microphone. This USB connection does not exist on prior models, so making this feature available is not physically possible. If we could do some kind of software upgrade we would - but it's like adding four-wheel-drive to a two-wheel-drive car - it's just not possible.
This may not be what some of you were hoping to hear, but we hope you understand that these are realities under which we, and indeed all consumer electronics manufacturers, are forced to operate. Suffice to say that, whenever we can, we will offer you additional VIERA CAST services.
Sounds like no Netflix on pre-2010 Viera Cast models. Good news is that Pandora, Fox Sports, Twitter and a couple others will be added to all models of Viera Cast to go along with YouTube and Amazon on Demand. Hope this helps.