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Panasonic announces apps and tablet controller for VIERA TVs

Internet enabled TVs, also known as IPTVs or even “smart TVs” depending on who you ask, snuck on to the market last year in the shadow of 3D TV. Panasonic is one manufacturer ready to show that 2011 will be their year.

At the press conference at CES, they announced three related technologies for their 2011 range of LCD and LED VIERA TVs. VIERA Connect is a new interface for advanced, internet enabled functionality on the TVs, we were treated to demos of content-on-demand companies like Napster, Netflix and Amazon VOD. More unusual though was the weight and health tracking system designed to work with wireless enabled scales and health monitors from a company called Withings.

We also saw a demo from games company Gameloft, who are producing a range of 3D enabled video games which can be downloaded directly to the TV, and controlled by any USB game controller. The high quality graphics of the racing game we saw really showed of how powerful these TVs are. All of these great new features are supported by the new “VIERA Connect Market”, an online app store where users will be able to download new functionality for their TV.

Last, but definitely not least, is the VIERA Tablet. Rather than try to control these high-tech TVs through a remote or keyboard, you can now use a tablet computer specifically designed to control the TV and take care of related tasks like online shopping and social media.