Twitter on one of Panasonic's 2011 VIERA TVs.
Panasonic is putting a call out to application developers for its 2011 VIERA plasma and LCD TVs. The new online VIERA Developer Portal lets would-be app creators access the API for Panasonic's platform, read documentation and submit apps for approval.
There is an annual fee for the VIERA Developer Portal: standard membership is $129, and a $599 premium membership includes training, technical support and prioritised app quality assurance processing. Once approved, developers can choose to host an app on the VIERA Connect Market for free or with a price tag of their choice. All VIERA developers must have access to a television that supports Panasonic's VIERA Connect service — devices supported include the GT30A, VT30A and ST30A 3D plasma TVs, as well as other VIERA plasma and LCD models.
Panasonic's appeal to find developers comes at a time when its competitors have a head start of up to a year in creating apps for 'smart TV' IPTV and social TV services. Panasonic's VIERA Connect Market currently has 33 apps available, one of which is for developers. Chief competitor Samsung, which has the strongest offering of smart TV apps and services through its Smart Hub, has 83 apps in Australia and around 500 worldwide. There have been 5 million downloads of apps through Samsung's Web-connected TVs in the last 14 months.