The first TVs running Firefox OS are now on sale. Mozilla announced this morning that six models of Panasonic TVs running its new OS are starting to ship in Europe, with global availability arriving in “the coming months.” It’s hard to actually find the TVs online, but the two models that did turn up — the 50-inch CX700 and the 40-inch CX680 — were selling for £999 (around US $1,570) and £791 (around US $1,240).
Even Panasonic admits this is a better interface
Mozilla and Panasonic started working together on these TVs over a year ago. Panasonic finally started showing them in January, and on first sight, they look pretty good — certainly much better than the interface that Panasonic was previously using. Even Panasonic seems to admit this. Through the partnership, Panasonic TV unit director Masahiro Shinada says in a statement, “We have been able to create a more user friendly and customizable TV UI.”
It’s also an important step for Mozilla into the smart TV space, which more and more companies are trying to take over. Apple has the Apple TV, Google has Android TV, Samsung has Tizen, and Roku is now coming built into TVs, too. While it’s only a small entrance, Mozilla is at least giving consumers a choice. And, importantly, that choice is for an open platform based on HTML5, unlike the locked-down ecosystems that everyone else is selling.