Viera Link is a new innovation in TV remotes from Panasonic: Basically, it’s the first HDMI universal control interface system that enables you to control all the HDMI equipment attached to your Viera link TV. This means you can control your BluRay player, DVD, television and even iPod via a home theatre system through your TV. You can access any AV equipment attached to your Viera television. Simply point the controller at the television and press the Viera Link button; a simple menu will come up showing the various devices connected to the TV by HDMI cables. With this one remote, it becomes possible to record DVDs if you have a player connected, operate your home theatre system and even iPod if it is docked without having to rummage between the couch cushions for various remotes. What this means for the individual is that your AV equipment is, with one stroke, made far more user friendly. It is perhaps important to emphasise that Viera Link is very much unlike the normal conception of a universal remote control, where you have to point the remote towards sensors in the varying devices. All AV devices are connected via HDMI cables to the Viera Link interface, the HDMI cable allows commands to pass directly form the interface to a device without the need to change or update any settings. If for example, you want to watch a BluRay movie, simply press the Viera link button, selecting -BluRay player’ and the Viera Link will interface with the BluRay player, allowing you to simply press play from that remote. If you want to change the sound from the television to the home theatre system while watching the movie you can use the Viera Link system, again instead of having to look for a separate control.
Viera Link is also a more energy conscious way to handle the various AV devices present in many homes today. When a device is not in use the Viera link automatically turns it off and it powers down all items attached when you turn the TV off – unless recording. Having a lot of electronic equipment congregated around the television is often an unsightly sacrifice many have to make in order to enjoy a home entertainment system. With only one sensor necessary to operate all equipment it’s now possible to store the other appliances in a neat compartment underneath or nearby the television – as long as they are still connected by HDMI cable. The cables can also be hidden out of sight behind the television.
In small rooms, for example, buying a 22- TV rather than a larger set would allow you to accommodate many other appliances, minimizing the appearance of clutter. However, with the Viera Link capabilities, device storage is easier making room for that 42- TV. This article was written by Jake Reacher, a home electronics journalist.