LAS VEGAS: Panasonic has promised a major update to its Viera display line in 2011, complementing new set designs and features with a premium content service.
Viera Connect will match the current IPTV video features in Viera sets with third-party offerings including online games and social networking applications.
Users will be able to view, purchase and download the applications through an expanded Viera Connect Market service.
To help spur development in the platform, Panasonic plans to offer developers the IPTV development platform and open up a middleware package for device manufacturers.
The company hopes that the moves will generate further interest in running IP content directly through a TV set.
"At one time the television experience only meant something passive," said Panasonic consumer electronics president Shiro Kitajima. "Now television is evolving rapidly and is becoming a much more engaged and interactive experience. "
Panasonic also plans upgrades to its Viera plasma line, which will sport more accurate colours as well as improved brightness and new designs, and introduce its first 3D LCD model, the 32in or 37in DT30 line.
3D peripherals will be a major area of focus for Panasonic in 2011. The company plans to offer three Blu-ray players equipped with 3D capabilities, while the range of 3D camcorders is set to expand to five, including the company's first to retail at less than $1,000 (£645).
"Panasonic expects that 3D will gather momentum and grow rapidly over the next three years," said Kitajima. "Panasonic wants to make 3D content generation available and affordable to the average customer."
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