FireFox OS Now Built Into Panasonic TV’s
Panasonic has revealed their new TV range for Australia and one of the smart new features on their premium range is a Mozilla Firefox OS that takes advantage of the quad core processors now built into the CX and CS TV’s.
At CES 2015 in Las Vegas, I spent time with the guys at Mozilla who have been responsible for the Firefox OS for television development program.
The software I saw today was as good as anything from LG with their new Web OS 2.0 or the new Tizen software found on the new Samsung Smart TV range.
The Panasonic interface is a mix of Mozilla developed software and Japanese developed software built on the open-source HTML5 language.
The newc Firefox OS combines together the core inputs from Panasonic and Mozilla into one home screen, which are delivered to a Panasonic TV in circles that arecalled “Decks”.
Apps already in the App Market include Netflix, SBS and the ABC iView as well as Instant Video, and YouTube. At todays launch Panasonic demonstrated Netflix4K content running on their new 85″ $15,000 TV.
The new software allows developers to easily develop apps for a Panasonic TV.
Firefox, naturally, is the web browser available on board. Using the TV remote’s arrow keys delivers a slow and clunky browsing experience, but with a touchpad remote it’s possible to skirt around pages like a trackpad, for a more fluid experience.
If you don’t like where you’ve pinned an app to the homepage? It’s possible to move the position, or delete it from your shortlist.
New to the range is Info Frames that delivers information at the flick of the remote to the screen, you can set the buttons to get weather notifications, live TV or reccomendations on either edge of the screen.
Using the new OS users can access source HDMI ports, SD card slots, AV inputs, USB and networked drives all from the one place.
However, it’s not possible to rename inputs, so “HDMI 2” can become Foxtel or Fetch TV.
We have not done a hands on review of a new Panasonic TV other than what we saw at the launch today in Sydney however we did observe that the OS was very quick.
simple to operate and had easy to navigate icons.
By default, there are just three items here: one for live TV, one for apps and one for external devices connected via a network, HDMI or USB. Y
Brightly coloured transition animations disguise any loading time between menus, also handy were the quick launch commands, which can be accessed by holding the home button and then pressing up, down, left or right.
Another big advantage is that the Panasonic remote had a big Netflix buttton for easy access to the US streaming service, but unlike Samsung and LG Panasonic has not given away six months of free subscription to the service.