Next up is a weather service, this time provided by MeteoConsult. This takes an international approach to providing weather information, but you can type in your home or nearest city for a local view.
ScreenDreams comes next, providing you with access to HD photographs or artwork for turning your TV into a 'work of art' or photo frame when you’re not watching anything on it.
The photos and artwork available are divided into five categories: Fine art, Beaches, Deserts, Forests and Mountains. These photos and paintings are all very pleasant and reproduced with superb quality, and the slideshows play with accompanying music. There’s a reasonably extensive set of images too. But the lack of control over the slideshows is disappointing.
Funspot is up next, offering a selection of casual games, such as Sudoku (if this can ever be called casual!), solitaire, black jack and card patience. We personally didn’t find ourselves tempted away from our Xbox 360 by any of these efforts, but then we guess they’re not really aimed at us!
Philips also offers access to your Picasa web albums, like Panasonic. But the login interface for this is far less simple than it is with Viera Cast.
Next up is what’s essentially just an advert channel for Volkswagen, and finally there’s MyAlbum.com, which pretty much offers the same sort of service as Picasa, and so really seems unnecessarily repetitive.
We hear through the Philips grapevine that its online services will be undergoing a revamp over the next couple of months - probably connected to the currently pointless 'Show Widgets' option in the latest TVs’ source menu. Look out for more in future Philips TV reviews.
Overall, oddly, the ring-fenced part of Philips’ current online offering seems reduced from last year. But the open Internet access still has great appeal to a certain mindset.