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Summary:

Consumer electronics companies like Apple, TiVo and HP either are or will be putting YouTube content on your TV through set-top boxes. But Panasonic’s new PZ-850 plasma Viera TV ditches the box and puts YouTube directly into your TV, and I got to see a demo […]

Consumer electronics companies like Apple, TiVo and HP either are or will be putting YouTube content on your TV through set-top boxes. But Panasonic’s new PZ-850 plasma Viera TV ditches the box and puts YouTube directly into your TV, and I got to see a demo of it today.

The PZ-850 sports an Internet connection and a dedicated on-screen YouTube section that gives you access to the site’s entire video library. Though the interface is different (built for remote control browsing), it offers pretty much all of the same functionality as the YouTube web site — search for video using keywords, check out the most viewed, rate videos and access your account.

The video quality isn’t bad. All the YouTube content is encoded in H.264, but the experience hinges on how good the original file was. As more people adopt HD camcorders, the average video quality will improve. There is a full-screen version, and it was watchable, but the smaller size was a far better experience.

Though they wouldn’t spill the beans on any other video partnerships, a Panasonic rep said they were on the way, so it’s not too hard to imagine Netflix or Amazon streaming content directly to the TV.

This week we also covered an independent player in the space — though it does require an additional box — the Verismo PoD.

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  1. This was announced and displayed @ CES back in January. The image quality was exceptionally good even though these are not enhanced or transcoded from the original YouTube files.

  2. Panasonic Unveils YouTube TV Friday, June 6, 2008

    [...] but Panasonic is skipping the box entirely with their new PZ-850 Viera TV. Chris Albrecht posts a sneak peek. Tags: Panasonic, Television, Viera, YouTubeShare This Related StoriesYouTube Unveils Custom [...]

  3. Interesting. No mention of cost. Reminds me of the old TV/VCR combos. I’m all for keeping internet on the PC and connecting it to the TV. I believe Sony also has a PC/TV combo unit out.

  4. The Set-Top Box Scorecard « NewTeeVee Tuesday, June 17, 2008

    [...] companies like Boxee are creating open source solutions, consumer electronics firms like Sony and Panasonic are putting set-top functionality directly into their products, and even Time Warners Cable is [...]

  5. Netflix on LG TVs: No Box Required « NewTeeVee Sunday, January 4, 2009

    [...] it isn’t the first manufacturer to offer broadband-connected TVs. Panasonic’s Viera TVs have YouTube video capabilities and Amazon’s Video on Demand streaming service is available on Sony Bravia Internet Link [...]

  6. Panasonic Pipes YouTube Directly to TVs | Wood TV Stand Sunday, May 31, 2009

    [...] Panasonic Pipes YouTube Directly to TVs Posted by root 50 minutes ago (http://newteevee.com) Panasonic unveils youtube tv on june 6th 2008 at 5 10 am permalink if your comment doesn 39 t show up immediately it may have gotten caught in our trusty but marketing consulting by acs idg technetwork middot powered by wordpress com Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Panasonic Pipes YouTube Directly to TVs [...]

  7. Panasonic EVP Bob Perry: Consumers Desire Choice Friday, March 5, 2010

    [...] of choice: Panasonic has started to incorporate various over-the-top services into its devices through its Viera Cast platform, which Perry [...]

  8. I would still prefer You Tubing through computer instead of tv, many of the good videos aren’t in HD format so it could be a waste. Any idea on the cost?

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