SECAUCUS, N.J., April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Panasonic, a leader in connected TV entertainment, announced today the activation of professional sports apps for baseball and basketball on its 2011 line of VIERA Connect™-enabled HDTVs(1). The planned addition of interactive sports apps including professional baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer was initially announced in January at the International Consumer Electronics Show.
VIERA Connect, a significant enhancement of Panasonic's connected IPTV offerings, includes a robust collection of applications(2) including expanded video streaming and two-way interactive features from gaming to social networking and fitness programs. In addition to popular video applications such as YouTube™, Netflix and Amazon Video on Demand™, the activation of professional sports apps will enable owners of Panasonic's VIERA Connect-enabled 2011 VIERA HDTVs to watch their favorite teams live or catch-up on archived games(3) optimized for viewing on their large-screen flat-panel HDTVs.
VIERA Connect will be highlighted in Panasonic's 15-market "Experience Amazing" Tour which kicked off today with events in New York's Grand Central Terminal, Chicago's Union Station, Los Angeles' Culver City Shopping Center. For more information on Panasonic's Experience Amazing Tour, including addresses and hours of operation, please visit www.panasonic.com/amazing.
VIERA Connect will also be highlighted in a new national print, TV and online ad campaign launching today which focuses on the critically-acclaimed picture quality and features of Panasonic's 2011 line of VIERA HDTVs.
"VIERA Connect breaks the boundaries of the walled garden structure of initial IPTV programs and delivers an unprecedented, more robust, two-way interactive set of features for consumers to enjoy directly through their Panasonic VIERA® HDTVs," said Panasonic Corporation of North America Vice President Merwan Mereby who oversees the development of Panasonic's rapidly expanding connected TV features and products. "The activation of the sports apps for professional baseball and basketball are great examples of the amazing content and connectivity VIERA Connect is delivering to consumers and there are many more exciting and popular apps on the way."
In the coming weeks, Panasonic plans to further expand upon the sports offerings for consumers with the activation of professional hockey and soccer apps. Details on these activations as well as a host of other sports, fitness, video streaming, social networking, and interactive gaming apps will be announced at a later date.
VIERA Connect will also allow consumers to personalize their connected HDTV experience to their specific interests through the new VIERA Connect Market--an online store featuring an ever-growing catalog of hardware products, as well as free and paid apps from third party developers.
For information on Panasonic's VIERA Connect IPTV feature, visit www.panasonic.com/vieraconnect.
About VIERA Connect
Since its launch in 2008, Panasonic's IPTV features have grown to include Skype™ voice and video calling(4), Netflix, Hulu, Twitter, Pandora, Amazon Video on Demand™, YouTube™, Picasa™ Web Albums, Weather, Bloomberg, and more(5). VIERA Connect™ requires no external box or PC3 and is accessed via a single button on the television remote control. USB connectivity on VIERA Connect-enabled HDTVs also enables the addition of a wireless LAN adaptor (802.11b or faster), a keyboard for more efficient navigation and communication, and USB memory which supports AVCHD video and JPEG photos. There is no fee to use the VIERA Connect functionality.
Highlighting Panasonic's VIERA Connect offerings in 2011 will be a library of gaming titles including advanced games from Gameloft (Asphalt 5) as well as casual gaming titles from Accedo (strategy), Aim At Entertainment (card, board game, and strategy), and Oberon (arcade, card, and game shows). VIERA Connect will also feature health and fitness apps from companies including Withings, BodyMedia, and ICON. The Withings app will offer the ability for users to measure and track their weight and body mass index via a wireless scale – the Withings Wi Scale – which interacts directly with the Panasonic VIERA HDTV. BodyMedia's app will enable users to wear a wireless arm monitor – the BodyMedia FIT Armband BW -- that tracks steps, calories burned, heart rate and other vital signs and wirelessly communicates them to the VIERA HDTV. ICON's iFit app will enable wireless communication with select exercise equipment including a treadmill so users can track their progress and key vital signs during and after workouts.
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.
(1) Access to a broadband internet connection is required to access VIERA Connect features.
(2) Specific go-live dates and availability details for 2011 VIERA Connect™ applications will be announced at a later date. Currently, VIERA Connect features will be available on 2011 VIERA Connect-enabled HDTVs.
(3) There is no fee to use the VIERA Connect functionality however some services such as Netflix Amazon Video On Demand, and league sports sites have a separate fee structure to view movies and sports events.
(4) Skype video calling requires a Skype-enabled camera available from Panasonic, sold separately, to make video calls.
(5) Some 2011 VIERA Connect applications will only be compatible with 2011 VIERA Connect-enabled Panasonic VIERA HDTVs due to specific technology requirements required to activate certain applications.