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Panasonic Viera Remote Control App - More Features and Conclusions

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Panasonic Viera App

Summary

Our Score:

8

The quality of the video produced by the Panasonic Viera remote control app is surprisingly good, sound is fine too (within the limitations of the speakers on your smart device) and the feed seems impressively stable on both Apple and Android platforms. Also handy is the way you can turn off the TV’s screen just by pressing an icon at the top right of your portable device’s screen.

The potential for this feature is clear, allowing you to take pictures from the TV all around your house and even outside so long as you can still connect to your network. (For in case you hadn’t realised, all the stuff we’ve been talking about is delivered by a carefully handled DLNA implementation.)

Viera Viewer Limitations

Your network range isn’t the only limitation of the Viera Viewer, though. For instance, even though the GT50, WT50 and VT50 TVs have both Freeview and Freesat tuners, you can’t watch one channel on your portable device while watching another on the TV. You can only reproduce what the screen is showing.

Panasonic Viera App

You also can’t reproduce on your portable device anything you’re watching on the TV’s AV inputs, and anything with copyright protection will also fail to play. This limitation is entirely understandable, though.

Up next on the feature icon list is something just called "Pad". This allows you to operate basic features of the TV via specific gestures. For instance, one finger tap means enter; swiping up, down, left and right moves around the menus in the appropriate direction; up-down two finger swiping changes the channel up or down; two finger left/right rotating adjusts the volume; while pinching your fingers together activates mute.

It’s an interesting idea and one that may gain more currency with us as time goes by. But for now we’re not sure people will bother investing the time needed to learn what all your gestures can do.

The Keyboard icon up next is self-explanatory, though it’s worth adding that here, again, the Android version provides a Mic button for spoken word input.

Gamer's delight?

The last intriguing feature of the Viera App allows your portable device to be used as a Gamepad control. As you would expect, it turns the screen into a virtual joystick, with left and right trigger buttons at the top, a rather elegant movement ‘circle’ to bottom left, a Start button to bottom centre, and 1, 2, 3, and 4 buttons arranged in a diamond to bottom right.

Panasonic Viera App

Trying the system with a couple of games available through the Viera Connect market, Asphalt and Let’s Golf 2, the system worked better than expected in some ways - though it feels much more comfortable on the slightly smaller screen of our Sony tablet than it does on an iPad, and actually works best on the much smaller screens of a Smartphone. If you’ve got a first-gen iPad you’ll probably find the Game Controller part of the Viera App almost unusable given how much tablet weight you’ve got to wrestle with while simultaneously trying to spread your fingers right across the huge screen.

All in all, we’ve been impressed with the comprehensiveness of the Viera Remote App’s offering. But we have to wrap up by mentioning one trick it’s definitely currently missing: some way of remotely browsing the Freeview and Freesat listings. After all, as we’ve seen from Sky’s Sky app, browsing and selecting from dozens of channels and days of programme listings is a million times easier on a swipe-able touchscreen device than it is on a standard TV screen.

Verdict

While shouting across the room, ferreting around with touchpad remote controls or even - maybe - waving your arms at your TV might all be fine as control alternatives for people who haven’t got a tablet or smartphone, having spent time with Panasonic’s latest Viera App we’re left in no doubt that it’s here that the true future of TV controls lies.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Features 8

Terry 10

April 22, 2012, 4:41 pm

It's a good start and hopefully as more new Pans appear the app will improve and give more functionality. It won't help with my current TV though - a 4-year old Pan TX37LZD85 - but hopefully next year (when my Pan is 5-years old) I'll but getting a new bigger plasma Panasonic. With the way technolgoy is developing, who knows what it will achieve!

soldierboy001

April 22, 2012, 7:19 pm

To be quite honest I'll just stick to my ordinary remote control.All these apps just drain the smartphones batteries ( not so much a problem with me as I got 2 batteries with my phone ) but the remote batteries with my TV go on for a couple of years. These apps are just for show off's not the average man in the street. Just imagine as your battery goes flat some one tries to phone you to tell you your mother has just been taken into hospital!!!!!!!!!!!

newboy

February 7, 2013, 9:44 pm

So why not produce a Viera Remote "app" to run on a PC laptop so I can play video files from the PCs hard disk or display TV on the Laptop's screen? It seems completely daft to have to reply on a cabled USB connection to do anything like this....

Manfred T. Mobil-Oil

April 2, 2013, 1:29 am

im confused. bought a txl32c4b a year ago
just got round to checking features (as i was rmainly interested in tv)
can connect to router ok , all connection tests pass
but cant do anything - no 'internet' button on remote
what can i do, if nothing then why does it have network connectionll

ash

April 11, 2013, 12:55 pm

when does the panasonic viera voice control come out? and what month? please

erf

April 28, 2013, 5:25 am

it's already out long time ago. not in every country yet. New model TV

Morgo444

August 7, 2013, 8:42 pm

very sad... daughter tried to surprise me by downloading the app onto Sammy Tab2 only to then find out some functions work and some don't. A quick scan of the list provided above confirmed it, my ST30 aint a dual processor so functionality useless. I do despair. A nice to have gimmic if nothing else

himanshu

November 11, 2013, 4:35 am

Any idea when the viera-2 will come o windows platform. W8 store has an 'unofficial' Panasonic viera remote, but it does not have the swipe and share feature. It is quite frustrating actually. I don't want to change my phone for this little thing.

sh

April 25, 2014, 5:10 pm

Not connecting to tv wifi is on done everything im suppised to do help ??

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