Panasonic’s 2015 Viera 4K UHD LED TV line is going to use a Firefox OS

by on February 27, 2015

Stephan Jukic – February 27, 2015

As we’d already briefly mentioned once before, the new line of 2015 Panasonic 4K ultra HD TVs will be using a new Firefox operating system as their user interface for Smart TV and web browsing functions.

This news comes as part of the ongoing smart TV wars that are also a part of the wider competition between makers of the latest 4K Smart TVs that are hitting the market left, right and center. Among the players involved, there’s Samsung with its new Tizen OS for their 2015 Smart TVs and LG with their proprietary WebOS system.

Now, as first displayed at CES 2015 in January, Panasonic has confirmed that it’s laying its bets with the new Firefox OS and has high expectations for a smooth performance from the third party open source operating system from the Firefox Foundation.

Furthermore, the Firefox OS has plenty to work with in Panasonic’s TVs. The 4K and HD TV maker has a major lineup of new TVs coming out this year. So far there will be seven new series and all of them bear 4K resolutions in different screen sizes. Additionally, at least two of the UHD TVs coming out so far will also feature the curved screen format that has become common among LG and Samsung TVs; these Panasonic models are the CR850 and the CR730.

One of Panasonic's CR850 4K TVs from the VIERA line, which will include the Firefox OS

One of Panasonic’s CR850 4K TVs from the VIERA line, which will include the Firefox OS

All of the new TVs will come with the unique feature of the Firefox OS as their gateway to the world of online content and smart TV applications.

The interesting thing about all of this is that the Firefox platform isn’t what you’d normally expect to see in a 4K smart TV. Primarily designed for the smartphone market, the interface had to undergo some heavy modification in order to be properly fitted into the software of the new Panasonic TVs.

For example, the new TV version of the operating system will make use of a new Home Screen 2.0 feature that revolves around a series of decks which group similar functions and applications together. Thus, the Live TV Deck on the Home Screen will store all of a user’s TV broadcasts while another deck, labeled “Apps” contains all the applications installed by the user from Firefox. Then there will also be a Devices deck for managing all the third party machines that get connected to the TV in some way, either wireless or via cables.

More importantly still in Panasonic’s eyes is the fact that fast, efficient search is a crucial aspect of their Smart TV platform and the Firefox OS is expected to deliver on this aspect of user experience in a superior way.

Firefox itself is aiming for the new TV operating system to be flexible and fast for both users and developers. In fact, the same web-based technologies that are used to create apps for the smartphone version are also going to be applied to this new TV OS. Thus users will gain the flexibility of not being locked into a specific device or platform and will have the freedom to send content or receive it from any other device running on any other OS platform.

The majority of the new Panasonic TVs will use the new Firefox system. These include the entire Viera line and with it, the curved C4850, CR730 and the CX800, CX750 and CX700 TVs. Samsung’s CX400 however will not come with Firefox.

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