November 01, 2011
| by Grant Clauser
Are smart TVs ever going to replace PC tablets and cell phones as the main device for interacting with social networks? Probably not, but as the platforms grow and improve, they’re going to play an increasingly important part in that realm.
Panasonic announced today that it’s smart TV platform, referred to as VIERA Connect, is getting a new social network application for all it’s 2011 models. The app works with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter (really, the only two the matter, though Google+ is catching up). The Social Network app also allows users to watch TV programming while navigating their status updates or poking their friends.
In addition to the new social function, Panasonic has added a few other features to VIERA Connect. BigFlix is a Bollywood video-on-demand service. PlayJam is a video game channel with multiple games available. A new promotion will also allow users to download three free games from Gameloft directly to their Panasonic VIERA TVs.
Panasonic VIERA Connect TVs already include popular video and music apps Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, huluPLUS, Pandora and CinemaNow plus a variety of sports and fitness apps, most of which are free.
No word on whether the same apps would appear on Panasonic’s VIERA Cast Blu-ray players.
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.