To USB or Not to USB


The World’s First USB 3.0 Digital TV shipping now

Panasonic started shipping the world’s first USB 3.0 digital TVs (DTV).  3 DTV models including the one below.



Check out the Japanese webpage on the Viera if you can read Japanese.

Reading the Google Translation of the Panasonic Viera my best guess is as follows:

1) The TV has 2 USB 3.0 Ports

2) When you plug in a USB 3.0 Hard Drive (or USB 3.0 Flash Drive), the TV

  1. Detects the drive
  2. Formats the drive with some sort of encryption
  3. And lets you record HD programs to the drive

3) The USB 3.0 Hard Drive (or Flash Drive) can’t be used on another PC after that, it needs to be reformated

I think, you also need to make sure that the USB 3.0 Hard Drive or Flash Drive is fast enough.  For example, you can’t buy the cheapest USB 3.0 Flash Drive in the world and make it work because the flash will be too slow for writing all your HD TV channels to the flash.

Read more about Flash Drives and the NAND Flash in this article here, or read the whole series by clicking on the category NAND Flash on the left or here.

Also, assuming you start recording 3D content, you actually have 2 channels of HD content streaming to or from those drives, so the throughput has to be good.

(Yes the content may be compressed, but you still will need to decide how much to compress and you may have multiple channels.  After all, there’s more than one football game going on Sunday (or Cricket or American Football or The Real Housewives of Osaka/Portland/Lyon/Berlin/Minsk/Juneau).


In my opinion, you have 2 eyes, so you should buy a 3D TV and watch 3D content.


Sadly, these TVs are in Japan only for now. Let’s hope they will travel the seven seas and appear on shelves worldwide.


My thanks to Agent T in Japan for forwarding me a link to this important USB 3.0 milestone in consumer electronics.


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USB Funny

It’s not USB.  I don’t understand this at all.


Photo: I'm not sure how to obey this sign.


My thanks to JS for her permission to publish this picture.

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