The Firefox My Home Screen 2.0 smart TV system is the latest interface for Panasonic’s higher end smart TVs. It has been developed in conjunction with Mozilla, maker of the Firefox web browser, which should mean extra performance from opening up TV app building to the Firefox community.
The icons magnify cutely as you scroll over them too, livening up the already very attractive level of presentation and, more importantly, letting you see instantly where you are in any given menu. After the slowness and bugginess of Android TV, the slickness and stability of Firefox TV is a breath of fresh air.
Navigating around and through the various menus and menu layers is actually fun thanks to the consistently speedy and accurate response to your remote control choices. This is a hugely important point, as experience suggests that typical TV users will only tolerate one or two crashes before they start to give up on using smart TV characteristics.
Crucially, it excellently amends on previous iterations by ditching the old circular and overly small touch-pad area in favor of a much larger one that uses a rectangular shape much more in tune with the shape of the TV screen you are navigating. It has a nicely curved design now too, which feels very comfy to hold.
Nevertheless, it does not offer the point-and-click performance that is now being used to such great effect by Samsung and LG. One other thing to mention here is that Panasonic’s new smart TVs seem much more tolerant of weak WiFi signals than previous generations have been.
Characteristics & Style
This brilliantly simple home menu immediately shows a far deeper understanding of what typical TV users actually want from a television’s smart characteristics than the over-bearing, cluttered, illogical approach of the recently tested Sony Android TV approach. The Firefox TV home screen does also include a couple of small icons in each top corner of the screen, one offering access to a search tool and the other linking you to an attractively presented tour of what the Firefox OS (operating system) can do for you.
The circles just reduce in size to fit the additions, and can be quickly scrolled along if you have added so many that they no longer fit on the screen in one go. When you first hit the Home button on the remote control, a shadowy veil falls over the picture you were watching without hiding it completely, over which are superimposed a trio of large, colorful circles.
The one on the left is labelled Live TV, the center one Apps, and the right-hand one Devices. And that is it.
Panasonic’s collaboration with Mozilla would go the same way as Sony’s collaboration with Google prove completely unfounded, as Firefox TV proves to be a slick, clutter-free delight, full of customization options and gorgeous, friendly graphics.