By Patrick Avenell

Panasonic is following in the footsteps of Apple, BlackBerry and Google, calling on developers to create apps for its proprietary Viera Connect IPTV platform.

As with all new operating systems, success and failure is not based on traditional values such as user interface, intuitiveness or security, but on the number of apps available to use. Panasonic is looking to win the IPTV war by collecting the best array of programs to run on its TVs.

Panasonic Viera group marketing manager Matt Pearce said the popularity of ABC iView on Panasonic’s Viera Connect TVs shows there is a hunger for local content.

"We've already found Australian internet enabled services such as ABC iView to be in demand on Viera Connect and believe there is a big opportunity for developers here to offer local content,” he said. “There is a groundswell of interest in IPTV offerings and a thirst for content that can be enjoyed by Australians and VIERA TV users across the globe."

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At the time of launch, Panasonic offered catch-up TV services, a number of social networking sites and an exercise program on its high-end IPTVs.

“With this new open platform service, Panasonic can further expand its offering and provide new content and viewing experiences to suit different viewers’ lifestyles,” said Pearce.

“The Viera Connect interface is designed so it can be easily enjoyed while relaxing in the loungeroom: users simply download the app they like from the simple GUI operation, and can customise their menu by grouping commonly used apps and displaying them on the screen.”