Panasonic Japan has outed a new HDTV, and if you’ve ever wished for an easy way to archive live TV without messing with a DVR then this could be the VIERA you’ve been waiting for. The Panasonic VIERA TH-L42G3 is a 42-inch set with an IPS LED-backlit Full HD display, but the clever stuff is in the SD card reader in the side. Rather than just allowing you to play back media, as with memory card slots on other HDTVs, this one lets you record it.
That slot will take SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards – up to 64GB in size – which is good enough for up to five hours of Full HD, 24Mbps video. Alternatively, there’s a USB port to which you can directly hook up an external drive, for even longer storage.
The only problem is that the media files the VIERA creates won’t apparently play on other TVs, computers or mobile devices, which seriously undermines the TH-L42G3′s usefulness as a way to get video onto your smartphone. Other features include an ethernet port for smart TV functionality, two HDMI ports, VIERA Link, video-on-demand connectivity and DLNA. It’ll drop in Japan come January 18 2011, priced at the equivalent of $1,800.