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(TM), YouTube(TM), Picasa(TM) 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.
About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company
Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC), a market and technology leader in High Definition television, is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic is pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth's natural resources and protect our environment through the company's Eco Ideas programs. Information about Panasonic products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.
For more than 20 years, Panasonic has been proud to support the Olympic Movement as an Official Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Audio and Visual Equipment category and, beginning in 2009, in the Digital Imaging category as well. Panasonic has also renewed its partnership with the International Olympic Committee for an additional eight years through the 2016 Summer Games. For more information, visit http://panasonic.net/olympic/.