CES: Panasonic renames Viera Cast to Viera Connect; intros Viera Tablet

LAS VEGAS -- Given the prevalent push towards Internet-connected TVs at CES 2011 this year, it's no surprise that Panasonic is along for the ride. But Panasonic is shuffling its brand a bit with a name change for Viera Cast.

CES 2011

LAS VEGAS -- Given the prevalent push towards Internet-connected TVs at CES 2011 this year, it's no surprise that Panasonic is along for the ride. But Panasonic is shuffling its brand a bit with a name change for Viera Cast.

Now dubbed Viera Connect, the service is intended to be personalized, and it will host the Viera Connect Market with a "wide range" of third-party applications. The IPTV platform will be open to app developers and middleware technology will be available to connected device manufacturers.

Some of the already planned apps that will be optimized for display on Viera HDTVs include programs from MLB, NHL, NBA, MLS, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Ustream, BodyMedia, Withings and Hulu Plus.

To match the new Viera Connect platform, Panasonic also introduced the Viera Tablet. (You knew one was coming.) However, this one isn't like most of the slate PCs we'll see debuted at CES 2011. The Android-based tablet works in conjunction with Viera Connect

as a smart terminal by providing access to variety of cloud services via Viera HDTVs. Expected to launch to the global market "later this year," the Viera Tablet will sport an LCD display in variety of sizes ranging from four to 10 inches.

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