Bath time for Bonzo with waterproof Viera TV

Panasonic Viera
Finally...TV in the bath

Previously, Panasonic has extended its strong Viera brand name from flat-screen television sets to mobile phones in Japan, so it’s to be expected that it should continue to leverage the brand awareness.

The latest device to carry the marquee is a portable 5-inch digital TV that is being marketed very specifically at women in their 20s who want to watch television in the bath. And we aren’t making this up, by the way.

Mobile digibox

Dubbed ‘Viera 1-seg’, the 250g set picks up digital broadcasts that are tailored for small-screen mobile devices, such as phones and car sat-navs - something we’ve previously looked at in detail here.

As you might have guessed, the new set is waterproof – its IPX7 rating means it can survive 30 minutes in 1m of water, so that’s good for all but the deepest baths.

Recording too

In addition to the standard model (SV-ME70), a recording version (SV-ME75) will be available at the end of this month for storing broadcasts on SD cards. Panasonic has included a 1GB card, which is good for half an hour or so.

The pricing is slightly high, at ¥38,000 (£185) for the standard model and ¥45,000 (£220) for the recording version, but Panny’s research suggests there may be takers regardless of the price.

You do what in the tub?

According to the Japanese press release, the company surveyed 200 women in their 20s last month and found that 51 per cent want to watch TV in the bath, while 64 per cent fancy a spot of music too.

Rather oddly, 26 per cent want to sleep (heard of drowning?), 8 per cent want to use a computer, half a per cent are interested in working and a surely sick 1 per cent actually want to eat in the bath. Ugh.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.