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Panasonic’s 1080p TVs suck up video on demand right out of the box

Although today’s Panasonic Japan launch of seven new 1080p high-definition televisions introduced the world to plenty of quality new hardware, one of the more intriguing announcements was buried well below the headline.

Of the new Viera sets, the four most-expensive plasma models will - when they arrive on 1 September - be the world’s first TV sets equipped to receive programming from a new Japanese video-on-demand (VoD) service.

The four high-end (42, 50, 58 and 65in) PZ750 series plasmas are the first that can access the new acTVila (pronounced ‘Acto-vila’) VoD portal, from where they can download movies and television shows in high definition.

The acTVila service - run by Panasonic, Sharp, Sony, So-net, Toshiba and Hitachi under the ‘TV Portal Service Corporation’ umbrella - offers MPEG4-AVC/H.264 pay-per-view video over an internet connection in full HD.

Aside from the usual claims of best this, that and the other, an eye-catching feature of the four heavy hitters is the ability to hook up with a Panasonic video intercom to show whoever is at the door right over the top of your favourite TV show.

Incidentally, they also are the first sets to incorporate the Nano Bass Exciter technology for richer bass that we looked at recently.

The other three, non-VoD sets, are two entry-level plasmas (42 and 50in) and a 37in LCD. Pricing ranges from ¥300,000 ($2,480) for the LCD to ¥990,000 ($8,200) for the 65-inch plasma model.

(Crossposted to Tech.co.uk)

08:00 AM JMLH • Permalink
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