Panasonic has today unveiled its latest Viera televisions, including 16 plasmas and 16 LEDs all up to 65 inches in size. However, Panasonic also thinks you want to personalise your TV with a home screen populated with widgets. It seems it doesn't have a clue about how people actually use their TVs.
It seems that, at this point, TV manufacturers are throwing crap features in their new smart models hoping something will stick. But people who really watch TV are seemingly made of Teflon and don't care about this crap. Because people don't use TVs in this way.
Listen up, Panasonic, Samsung, Google or LG: people who want to actively interact — search up a character, check out their mail, chat with other people, check out their calendars — are already doing it using their tablets and phones. They don't need to put it up on a bloody 58-inch TV.
Panasonic's 2013 smart TVs will allow users to add tiles with channels, calendars, weather, internet sites — like a dedicated YouTube tile that connects your phone to your TV — and whatever apps are available for your smart television's home screen. Sounds familiar? Yeah. It's the same crap others have tried to pull out before. I don't know how Panasonic thinks it can pull something like this off when everyone else — including Google — has failed.
It doesn't help that the home screen looks terrible. It's like a failed genetic experiment between Android 1.0, Windows 95 and the first Mac OS X Beta. I can't see myself using this, but maybe I'm just a snob who turns on my television to watch a movie or show and then turns it off.
After you customise your channel, the new Panasonic TVs will recognise users with a built-in camera, switching the home screen depending on whoever is watching it. Panasonic didn't say what will happen when many people are watching, but even if only one person is, does it need to take my mugshot every time I turn on my TV?
People will also be able to talk into a franken-micro-remote to change channels, which seems like a feature designed in a 1945 sci-fi B movie. Look at it:
Talking to a remote makes kids really happy.
Panasonic also thinks you want to draw on the TV using a gigantic pen. Its future TVs can display images sent from a tablet or phone. Then you annotate it using a giant pen. Once you are happy with whatever moustaches you paint on the people in the screen, you can send the annotated image back to any phone or tablet connected to the TV.