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Panasonic Enters PVR Market, IceTV Not Phased

By Tony Ibrahim | Monday | 02/07/2012

Over the last 12 months, Panasonic has led the market in DVD/Blu-ray recorders, offering a range that makes the ordinary TV social with other products. With this sure-foot in the industry, the company has now ventured into the dedicated PVR market.

Although their debuting product features an impressive spec list, they'll be competing against companies the likes of IceTV, who streamline content recording with their Electronic Program Guide (EPG).

In an interview with SmartHouse, IceTV's Managing Director Colin O'Brian affirmed consumers would value functionality over the gimmick of applications.

"IceTV gives the PVRs that contain our software the ability to do smart TV recording, which means automatic search recording, keyword recording [and] set up favourites," said O'Brian.

Unlike most PVRs, IceTV allows users to remotely nominate shows to record "from a second screen app, which means a smartphone, a tablet or from a laptop."

"You don't have to turn on the television on to [the EPG]," O'Brian added.

Currently IceTV offers a variety of Humax, Beyonwiz and Topfield PVRs running its software, but O'Brian did express interest in throwing its software on the PVRs offered by SmartTV manufacturers.

"Our aim would be in the longer term to work with some of the Smart TV manufacturers too. It's just a matter of getting our software integrated into their product."

O'Brian declined to specify which manufacturers.

The release of a dedicated PVR from Panasonic completes the company's portfolio of home recording devices. It boasts social networking with YouTube, Facebook and Twitter; video-on-demand services from Plus7 and ABC's iView; and when coupled with Panasonic's webcam, Skype calling.

According to Panasonic's Product Marketing Manage or Audio, Blu-ray & DVD, Anthony Smyth, "this PVR model sets the benchmark for easier and convenient recording of content in the home and offers a host of connectivity features including VIERA Connect, built in Wi-Fi and an easy to use interface." 

The PVR also features an SD card slot and 3D playback, with the option of converting 2D content to 3D.

Panasonic's HW220 is available now for $499.


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