LAS VEGAS (Kyodo) Panasonic Corp. on Wednesday said it will globally release a multifunction tablet device in the second half of the year that allows e-book, video-streaming and other services to be used with its Viera Internet-capable televisions.

Shiro Kitajima, president of Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co., the company’s major U.S. arm, made the announcement at a Las Vegas hotel ahead of the four-day Consumer Electronics Show starting Thursday.

The touch-screen tablet, which operates on Google Inc.’s Android system, allows a range of TV programs, movies and other video to be downloaded from the Viera Connect online video-on-demand service Panasonic plans to launch this spring, the company said. Other services will include online video games, e-commerce and social networking.

The tablet has a liquid crystal display and will be available in three sizes ranging from 4 to 10 inches. Users will also be able to use the device as a “visual remote control” to change channels and manipulate other functions on Viera TVs.

Meanwhile, Sharp Corp. said in a separate event timed with the electronics show that it will release a 70-inch LCD television in the U.S. market in May.

Sharp also plans to release its Galapagos multifunction tablet device for U.S. consumers later this year, company officials said.

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