Panasonic has slammed Japanese TV networks for allegedly blacklisting Smart TV commercials, accusing them of inappropriately trying to waylay the growth of on-demand and IPTV services. The TV manufacturer claims broadcasters in Japan refused to air its Smart VIERA TV adverts showing the sets' split-screen functionality, AFP reports, with suggestions that the networks argued viewers would find them "confusing".
The thirty-second commercial, which you can see below, shows a voice-activated Smart TV with face recognition and a touchpad-navigated remote. The set is capable of showing live TV, on-demand services like YouTube, and internet pages simultaneously.
It's that potential hit to live broadcasts that the Japanese networks are accused of being afraid of, to the point where they're unwilling to air anything promoting the technology.
Panasonic, however, isn't willing to criticize the broadcasters too vocally. "IPTV, or smart television, is a new area of service, and we are in talks to create new rules for broadcasting" the company said. "We refrain from making further comments."
None of the networks themselves have commented on the decision not to air the commercials, which was made available on YouTube instead. There, Japanese viewers have weighed in with their own conclusions, however, generally arguing that broadcasters are waging an impossible battle against the inescapable rise of IPTV.
Instead, broadcasters would seemingly prefer a hybrid model of Smart TV where their own input is more valued. Sets offering NHK "hybridcast" support went on sale in June, with the service itself launching as a trial later this year. As well as showing more program information on-screen, along with interactive content to go with the currently watched program, it will support second-screen content on smartphones and tablets.