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Panasonic to bring IPTV into the mainstream

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IFA Panasonic today pledged to bring IPTV to the masses: it's going to build net-delivered video right into its HD TVs.

Dubbed VieraCast, the system's an on-screen menu page that presents Panasonic partners' content that can be selected and set to play straight from the TV's remote control. Think of an AppleTV built into a TV.

Panasonic VieraCast

Panasonic's VieraCast: IPTV in your TV

Partners listed today include EuroSport, Bloomberg, Google's Picassa and, of course, YouTube. More will come, the Japanese giant said.

Panasonic promised the content will be free and not require registration - only the purchase on a VieraCast-equipped HD TV. Programming will be localised for each nation and language.

TVs with VieraCast are set to go on sale in the spring of 2009, and the company pledged to extend the service with exclusive content the following year.

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