Panasonic Confirm BBC iPlayer Schedule

Following a prompt from joinfreesat reader James, we have received confirmation from Panasonic that the following schedule is in place for the launch of BBC iPlayer on their Freesat enabled televisions and Blu-ray/DVD receivers:

2010 manufactured Viera televisions: Available already
2009 manufactured Viera televisions: End of July 2010
2008 manufactured Viera televisions: End of September 2010
2010 manufactured Blu-ray/DVD receivers: End of September 2010
2009 manufactured Blu-ray/DVD receivers: October 2010

*the schedule is subject to successful testing and software stability

This will no doubt come as great relief to many Panasonic owners feeling left out by the recent inclusion on so many of the other brands.

169 thoughts on “Panasonic Confirm BBC iPlayer Schedule”

  1. I too have a pz81b. I have not read all the posts but has anyone tried to contact BBC Watchdog? Maybe Annie could put some pressure on Panasonic and get some definative answers 🙂

  2. I e-mailed Watchdog at the end of their last series – but it may be worth trying again, and the more people that contact them, the more likely it is that they will cover the issue. You could also try your local MP – to raise as a question in Parliament, which was going to be my next avenue but, from my own personal position, I have (finally) managed to get a replacement “good will jesture” from the retailer and now have full i-player services – works very well, and I’m amazed at how often I use it; but I’m now wondering when (if ever) Panasonic will enable the ITV Player that is in Beta (from page 999) but doesn’t work yet on my TV.

  3. @Andy

    I too have finally abandoned my PZ81B. Panasonic have clearly down their best to cover their tracks on this one: the broken promises, the removal of the Sean Pertwee publicity video from the official site, and the purging of their previous statements from their customer support Q&A.

    This all led me to conclude that they will never make good on their promise to provide iPlayer access on this model. This, in conjunction with the unacceptable length of time which has passed, were the arguments I presented to ther retailer. They, in turn, argued that I had taken a very long time in reporting this issue to them!

    However, we were able to come to an agreement and I no longer need to worry about this issue.

    I would urge you to do the same.

  4. Just as a record of what Panasonic are now showing on their web-site:

    2008 Freesat television models: Currently, we anticipate the provision of an upgrade for BBC iPlayer in September 2011. However, as always, this is subject to the testing required to ensure that it will not be detrimental to the product specification.

    Panasonic would stress that the above product was supplied to the market to satisfy a demand for HD content availability via Freesat and has successfully provided this. It was also always intended, albeit not promised, that Panasonic would make best endeavours to provide additional features and functions if possible.

    It is important to note that such additional features did not form part of any contractual obligation with third parties such as Freesat, or indeed the defined specification of the product. In addition, it is impossible to design any product to be future proof. Technology is evolving at a rapid rate and new features are being introduced all the time. Many that are in the market now were not conceived at the time that your product was launched. In addition, specification for the content providers systems have changed a number of times since the product was initially released, resulting in difficulties for our development teams. Accordingly our marketing of the LCD / Plasma panels did not include a commitment to provide these new functions.

    Having stated this, we do recognise that our customers are keen to receive the enhanced feature of BBC iPlayer and we remain strongly committed to realisation of this request. The integrity of our product and the ability to ensure continued and consistent functionality remains paramount. We would not release software that might in any way compromise the intended specification of our product. This has presented a number of technical difficulties for our development team and has meant that we have not been able to provide an update as quickly as we would have wished.

    It will not be possible to provide software upgrades to further enhance the platform used in this range of TVs in the future. Therefore any future additional services cannot be guaranteed.

    Accessing iPlayer: To receive this service you will require a Freesat satellite TV connected to a 1MB or faster Broadband internet connection. You can test the connection by accessing the Viera Cast service. To access the iPlayer service you can select iPlayer from the ‘On Demand’ section of the Guide, or go directly to channel 901.

  5. @Brian

    Although it isn’t a direct issue for me anymore, after managing to persuade the retailer I bought from to provide a (free) replacement that works properly, the bit that worries me is the statement that “It will not be possible to provide software upgrades to further enhance the platform used in this range of TVs in the future. Therefore any future additional services cannot be guaranteed”.
    I can receive BBC IPlayer but not the ITV Player (in beta testing – from Channel 999) – so I assume that the software for BBC IPlayer and ITVPlayer will be different (unless any one knows different)? If this is the case, it may be that you could eventually (2 years late) get BBC IPlayer but will be left without ITV Player – and I’m not sure if my new (2010 model) TV will ever provide ITV Player?!?

  6. @Andy

    Yes – IT IS a worry. And makes a mockery of Freesat as a brand and as a standard.

    You’d think that Freesat would have imposed some control, or at least imposed a requirement, to provide a specific level of service – and indeed it was my understanding that this was the case, and applied to the iPlayer, which is why other manufacturers were legally, as well as morally, obliged to make good on their promises to deliver this service.

    However Panasonic’s behaviour suggests that this is not the case – and that manufacturers can choose whether to provide support for services which are otherwise a Freesat standard. Today that really only applies to the iPlayer and the interactive job-search. ITVPlayer is still technically a beta, and 4OD and other services may never be offered. However it would be much more satisfactory if someone buying a Freesat badged product knew that they were buying a product of a given standard, which would support whatever services were enabled yesterday (iPlayer), whatever services will be enabled tomorrow (ITVPlayer) and whatever services are still to come.

  7. Talk about at the 11th hour – any 2008 owners still reading this thread?

    “2010 Freesat television models: The BBC iPlayer feature is available via the red button interactive service on the BBC channels on Freesat if you have your TV connected to an internet connection. Regrettably there are no current plans to add this service to Viera Cast.

    2009 Freesat television models: The 2009 televisions with the Viera Cast feature can access the Viera Cast service to prompt for the download, please note that this is a method of updating the television and Viera Cast will not carry the iPlayer service. After successfully updating, the service should be available via the BBC red button service on Freesat.

    For owners of the G10 (which does not have the Viera Cast feature), the update for iPlayer is currently being transmitted via an over the air download on Freesat.

    You can ensure that your television is set to auto update in standby by doing the following:-

    Go to freesat, and select BBC 1 (Channel 101)
    Press the menu button on the remote control
    Access the Setup Menu
    Access System Menu
    Access System Update
    Select Auto Update Search in Standby and set to ON.
    2008 Freesat television models: An update via Freesat is scheduled for Wednesday the 27th of September. The set will update automaticaly overnight on this date. Please ensure that the ‘Auto Update Search in Standby’ is set to on in the system update menu, which is found in the setup menu.

    Once updated you will be able to use the iPlayer service from freesat.

    It will not be possible to provide software upgrades to further enhance the platform used in this range of TVs in the future. Therefore any future additional services cannot be guaranteed. ”

    Accessing iPlayer: To receive this service you will require a Freesat satellite TV connected to a 1MB or faster Broadband internet connection. You can test the connection by accessing the Viera Cast service. To access the iPlayer service you can select iPlayer from the ‘On Demand’ section of the Guide, or go directly to channel 901.

  8. Great to read that iPlayer is finally enabled – but does the up-date provide access to ITV Player on 903?
    For me, after receiving a replacement TV (Panasonic TX-L32D28BS) from John lewis for my 2008 (TX-32-ZD81) Panasonic TV because it couldn’t receive the promised BBC iPlayer and other interactive services, I asked panasonic when ITV Player will be enabled and have now been told by a Panasonic Customer Care Adviser that: “Unfortunately, it will not be possible to provide software upgrades to further enhance the platform used in this range of TVs in the future. Therefore any future additional services cannot be guaranteed. ”
    So why oh why did I accept another panasonic TV as a replacement???

  9. Well after virtually giving up hope of ever getting I Player on my 2008 TH-42PZ81B
    I switched on yesterday to find that I had received the software upgrade and it works!
    Of course I’m still miffed with Panasonic for this appalling delay and the news that other upgrades are unlikely.
    They don’t deserve the customer base they have with performance like this.
    Unfortunately I cant afford to ditch a working TV that is becoming a white elephant even though I thought I was buy a reasonable amount of future proofing.

  10. A download # 1.619 has been applied to my TH-42PZ81B
    Despite running a cable to the set from my Router, the set claims that
    there is no connection. Ditto with a Pass through 200M Plug set.
    What am I missing I wonder ?
    All clues gratefully considered.

  11. I have Software version #1.619 which it says is up to date and I still cannot receive BBC iPlayer through my Ethernet Home Plug connection on my 2008 Panasonic TV.

  12. Yes, 2008 model, updated last night – iPlayer works, I chose the “High” option (can’t remember the exact wording) it wasn’t 1080p, but still good quality – better than my PVR (which is only SD freeview).

  13. @Tony Rogers, @Keith, did you try turning everything off? Fwiw, I was getting the no connection message although the home plug was on and connected. I turned off the TV, waited a few seconds and turned back on and was able to connect.

  14. John Lewis understood the problem at once.
    Arranged for a replacement with a healthy refund allowance.
    Now using a TX-P46GT30B with all functions…I think !
    The balance of using a local supplier versus a large national seems
    to have been a stumbling block for many forum users.
    Living on “The Lizard , Cornwall”, there are no easy ways other than
    the internet to obtain the firms that have “Clout” with suppliers.
    My thanks to this and other dedicated forums for the dispersal of
    information which I feel sure is going a long way to keeping manufacturers aware of their shortcomings and liabilities.
    Keep the Aspidistra Flying folks

  15. Hi Tony,
    I have a pz81b with software 1.619 and no iPlayer, could you please give me some information on what the problem is and how you got JL to replace the set?

    Thanks in advance,

    Sunny

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