Panasonic, Toshiba push IPTV at CES

Japanese giants Panasonic and Toshiba flew the flag for IPTV on the opening day of the Consumer Electronics Show yesterday, despite the event being billed as a tablet PC-fest.
Panasonic unveiled a partnership with Japan-headquartered software provider Access to develop a common IPTV platform based on its Ajax-CE middleware and VIERA Cast and Connect Internet TV services.
Access plans to market the platform to TV and set-top box manufacturers, and content providers, as it seeks to tap a growing market that president Tomihisa Kamada estimates could see 118 million connected TVs shipped in 2014.
“The key to penetrating this rapidly growing Internet TV services market in the future is through the expansion of services and reduction in time-to-market,” Kamada states.
Kamada’s growth predictions were borne out by Toshiba’s strong focus on connected TVs.
Four of the eight new TV lines unveiled by the firm at the event are compatible with Web TV services with three of the four equipped with Wi-Fi, and all four offering access to Yahoo widgets.
The firm’s Digital Products Division – a unit within its US business – will launch the first three lines during 1Q, with the last unit scheduled to hit stores in April.