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Panasonic Plasma to be DivX and Web-Enabled

by March 02, 2009

The plasma technology funeral arrangements can be delayed awhile. At least for now, Panasonic shows no sign of abandoning the display technology. It’s even adding a clever new feature to its Viera line of Plasma HDTVs – the ability to decode the DivX codec and stream video content directly from the Internet. Is there a spot in your Home Theater system for a web-and-codec enabled display device?

The new Panasonic Viera plasmas will support DivX directly within the HDTV. You’ll be able to feed it your DivX media via an SD/SDHC memory card slot on the TV. It means getting more from that memory slot than just an impromptu slideshow. 

It’s a rather new idea for home theater aficionados to use the display device as a source. It’s sure to make for some interesting wiring configurations as the features are adopted. It’s fine for video to be decoded directly at the display but for multi-channel audio you’ll have to pipe it back into your receiver. At first glance it seems these features will be more of for convenience of a mainstream consumer than anything that will attract the attention of hardcore A/V enthusiasts. 

Panasonic’s latest installments to its plasma lines boast other new features as well: The Z1, V10 and G15 series will include a NeoPDP technology that it claims will improve picture quality while enhancing energy efficiency in a slimmer, trimmer package. European Viera customers will be treated to online content features through Viera Cast: Now you can hook your HDTV directly up to your router. 

The bad news if you’re holding your breath for DivX enabled Panny plasmas is they’ll only be released in Europe first. A North American release hasn’t even been announced yet. Although Panasonic’s announcement is a little confusing we have to assume a North American launch is coming. The company divulged this morsel in a press release in San Diego, California. If they’re not planning on a North American release then Panasonic is being just plain mean, like that kid who teases the neighbors dog through the fence.

About the author:

Wayde is a tech-writer and content marketing consultant in Canada s tech hub Waterloo, Ontario and Editorialist for Audioholics.com. He's a big hockey fan as you'd expect from a Canadian. Wayde is also US Army veteran, but his favorite title is just "Dad".

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