Panasonic unveils IPTV on new plasma sets

IFA 2008: IPTV on your telly, courtesy of Panasonic
IFA 2008: IPTV on your telly, courtesy of Panasonic

Panasonic today announced two new Viera plasma TVs, and a new IPTV service that it hopes will make some people bin the PC.

The two new models come in 58-inch and 65-inch panels, and use the company's new Neo PDP technology, designed to help improve picture quality and reduce energy consumption.

The 58-inch model, displayed at the IFA press conference by Panasonic, will weigh in at 29-kilos instead of 59, and is thinner than a two Euro coin.

It has also reduced the power consumption of plasma sets at this size by 50 per cent, as well as adding the Eco-mode, which uses an ambient light sensor to keep the picture at optimum brightness.

The TVs also come with wireless HD connectivity over a 60gbps bandwidth, so pictures and video can be streamed without unsightly wires that a cat might chew through.


Panasonic has also announced the launch of its new Viera Cast service, which allows users to view internet content via their plasma screens.

"IPTV needs to be user friendly; there are PC-based solutions, but do they fulfill the need of the end users? Are they stable, simple, convenient to use?" said a Panasonic spokesperson, before unveiling the service.

Users are taken to a screen allowing them to view a variety of internet content, though hardly enough to get rid of the PC.

Viera Cast allows users to see YouTube videos, see their photos via Google's Picasa and check stocks via live updates from Bloomberg.

Essentially, it seems like users get a diluted version of Google services on their flat panel TVs.

The Eurosport service is also included as part of Viera Cast, allowing users access to 500 archived HD videos, updated daily.

The service will be free of charge on selected Viera TVs.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.