America is one couch cushion closer to watching YouTube on the living room TV.
Google and the Japanese parent company of Panasonic have announced plans to develop internet-connected HDTV’s with one-click access to YouTube and Picasa Web Albums, a Google-owned photo sharing service.
Toshihiro Sakamoto, President of Panasonic AVC Networks Company, states:
This is the first time mainstream consumers will be able to easily enjoy YouTube videos from the living room with the enhanced quality of a fully integrated widescreen TV experience.
The keyword in Sakamoto’s quote is “easily.” While there are a growing number of consumer options for accessing YouTube via a television, this is the simplest one I have heard of to-date.
The official name for the YouTube BoobTube is Panasonic VIERA PZ850 and the TV’s are expected to be available for purchase as soon as this spring.
Here’s your first question for the electronics store salesman: If I buy this TV, can I easily access internet content in addition to YouTube and Picasa Web Albums?
Unfortunately the press release doesn’t offer an answer to this question. And the answer may be dependant on your local cable and/or internet provider.
From a marketer’s viewpoint, it will definitely be interesting to see sales figures on the YouTube TVs. If sales soar and other manufacturers follow-up with similar models, I envision a few channels being changed in the minds of business owners looking to advertise/promote themselves online.