You can now buy a Panasonic smart TV running Firefox OS.
Months after debuting Firefox OS for television sets, Mozilla has ;announced that six Panasonic TV models loaded with its new OS are now available in Europe and will begin to ship elsewhere in the coming months. Sizing and prices for the models are wide-ranging, with the 40-inch CX680 costing £790, for instance, while the 50-inch CX700 is selling for £999.
Mozilla Firefox is a well-known web browser. It's an alternative to Internet Explorer, Chrome, etc. But Firefox OS for TVs is a different dedicated operating system. It's built on the open-source HTML5 language - a key feature because any developer can make an app for the platform, rather than for a specific manufacturer, which could otherwise result in delays of the latest and greatest content.
Panasonic's Firefox OS-powered TVs boot to a home screen that features a high-resolution, customisable backdrop. Superimposed on top of that backdrop is a row of - initially - three coloured icons. Called "decks", they provide access to Live TV (for live channels), Apps (all downloaded apps), and Devices (connected devices and players). You need to use Panasonic's remote to select any of the three decks.
You can also pin other apps and connected devices to the home screen, such as Netflix and a Blu-ray player, respectively. We got a look at the platform at CES 2015 in January, where we learned Mozilla and Panasonic began working on TVs together over a year prior.
Panasonic's 2015 TV lineup includes these models powered by Firefox OS ( though models vary by country): CR850, CR730, CX800, CX750, CX700, and CX680. You can learn more about Fire OS here.
We've also pitted them against Android TV-powered TVs, Tizen-powered TVs, and LG webOS 2.0-powered TVs, which you can read all about here.