Panasonic HDTVs To Support Amazon Video on Demand

Amazon on Panaonic set

Sometime later this year, owners of new and recent Panasonic plasma HDTVs will be able to stream videos rented from Amazon.com directly to their TVs. The companies announced their video-on-demand cooperation today at Panasonic's Consumer Electronics Shows news conference, where Panasonic executives also spoke about the company's initiatives with 3D HDTV and its efforts to go green.

The video-on-demand capability will be implemented through the company's VieraCast IPTV technology, It will mark the first time that Amazon's video on demand content will be available on TVs (as opposed to PCs or Macs). Panasonic began shipping its first VieraCast sets last year.

Panasonic is also doing its best to bring 3D HDTV (in full 1080p resolution) to both Hollywood studios and the masses at home. Officials say they are working with other vendors and Hollywood studios to establish 3D HDTV standards and are also finalizing 3D authoring tools in hopes of bringing consumer products to market in 2010.

During the news conference, Titantic director James Cameron appeared on video to extol Panasonic's efforts to make 3D HDTV mainstream, including providng equipment for the production of his sci-fic epic, Avatar, "You'll feel like you're in that alien rainforest," Cameron said.

Like several other companies here, Panasonic touted its efforts to go green, including developing new plasma sets that attain higher levels of brightness using less power than their predecessors. The company's latest plasma display prototype can maintain the same brightness as 2007 sets using one-third the power, Panasonic said.

Finally, Panasonic showed off what it touted as the world's thinnest plasma, with a panel 1/3 in thick. Here's a little video of that set that shows just how skinny it is:

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