Internet TV Panasonic Viera TX-P50VT20
This article, Internet TV, was last updated on 07 May 2011 and is now out of date and held in our online archive for reference. Explore our latest Technology articles.
Viera Cast internet TV on the VT20 plasma. Watch the Which? test lab video:
Panasonic Viera TX-50VT20
Net TV interface: Viera cast
Pros: Plug-in keyboard, wireless net connection (though only on the VT20 model)
Cons: Crazy app menu system and technical instruction manual over-complicate things, light on video apps
Pick of the apps: YouTube, Skype, AceTrax, Dailymotion, Twitter
Viera cast comes up short
Panasonic Viera Cast is missing most of the killer video apps of Sony and Samsung, but YouTube and video-streaming site Ace Trax (you can buy or rent movies) are noteworthy highlights. Skype worked brilliantly in our tests, but you’ll need to buy a separate Panasonic web cam.
A fair few foreign language apps muddied the selection, though there appeared to be slots in the menu system to download other apps. However, Panasonic has no app store and offers no indication of what the new apps might be or when they’re likely to turn up.
Sounds confusing? It is
Apps are gathered in groups of seven in a unique (though not in an entirely good way) multi-layered scrolling menu system. If that sounds confusing, that’s because it is. Picking out apps is more far involved than it should be and the fancy-looking design seems more about form rather than function.
The daunting jargon-riddled manual will strike fear into the novice user’s heart and though there’s a Viera Cast button on the remote, it’s not given much prominence. Nevertheless, it makes launching the app screen straightforward, though it’s less obvious how you get out of Viera Cast and back to normal TV. (It’s not the Viera Cast button and there are no clues on-screen).
Best thing about the Panasonic? You can plug in a keyboard via the USB port and use it to enter text on screen.
The VT20 we tried is wireless, though this isn’t the case for most of the Viera Cast range. Panasonic hasn’t included iPlayer in its suite of apps, but you can get it via the Freesat (built into many Panasonic TVs, including this one).
Internet TV is just one part of the package. Find out how we rated the VT20 in our 3DTV test and in our full bells and whistles plasma TV test