Panasonic just sent our jaws to the floor with Viera Cast, its new on-demand TV service, being built into all of its new tellies and Blu-Ray players. Viera Cast brings streaming video from the web direct to the screen.
Panasonic already has some big name broadcasters on-board, alongside content from YouTube, Picassa and on-screen information widgets. See why we’re excited after the jump.
Viera Cast is like Apple TV on steroids, and it’s built into Panasonic’s newest Viera TVs at no extra cost too. It sucks in content from YouTube, Bloomberg, Picassa and traditional TV broadcasters such as Eurosport, letting you seamlessly jump from broadcast to on-demand shows and clips, or your own photos, or the latest news or weather from the web.
It’s being shoved inside every new Viera TV, and will also show up in Panasonic’s new Blu-Ray players. But streaming video, photos and web snippets isn’t all it’s good for.
Tellies packing Viera Cast are also DLNA compatible. That means they can grab videos stored on networked devices in the house and stream them onto the big screen with no fuss. Told you it was like Apple TV, didn’t we?
Unfortunately, streaming is limited to video files encoded in H.264 at present, with only one Panasonic TV, the brand new Z1, also capable of playing back DivX files.
We’d love to see BBC iPlayer on-board, but Panasonic wouldn’t let slip which other broadcasters are in talks to get involved. What it has promissed are more updates on the way. Later this year it’ll issue the first software update, letting owners re-order the ‘widgets’ on the home screen. For now though, check out our hands-on pictures below, and shout up with any questions in the comments.
Out 1st half 2009 | £TBC | Panasonic