March 9th, 2006, 17:07 Posted By: wraggster
Panasonic, a dominant force in the development and marketing of DVD products, is now poised to take a leadership role in the introduction of the Blu-ray Disc format to European market. At CeBIT, the company not only revealed plans for the roll-out of high-definition Blu-ray hardware, but underscored its role in the manufacture and authoring of Blu-ray discs, and the factors driving the acceptance of this next generation HD format.
Blu-ray Disc – Revolutionizing Home Entertainment
The rapid and continued growth of High Definition Television (HDTV) has sparked consumer demand for both pre-recorded HD movies and the ability to record HD content at home. With its high 50 GB capacity, Blu-ray discs can accommodate the high recording bit rates needed to deliver pristine picture quality and lossless audio, for a true home theater experience. The BD format has gained the support of leading Hollywood studios, to include Twentieth Century Fox, Buena Vista, MGM, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony Pictures and Lions Gate.
A significant advantage of Blu-ray is its backward compatibility with other video formats. With Blu-ray products consumers may continue to enjoy all the existing DVD formats.
The format also allows for the presentation of multiple entertainment content, such as games, movies and music, on one disc. Blu-ray’s enormous capacity lets users record and store video, digital photos, music and data for playback on multiple devices and computers, and enables the seamless movement of HD content across platforms.
At a press conference held here during CeBIT 2006, Panasonic announced plans for a Fall 2006 launch of a next-generation Blu-ray disc player to European market, that will play back all existing DVD formats as well as new high-definition Blu-ray discs including BD-ROM package software titles which is expected to be delivered by the studios supporting BD format around the time of the launch.
The Panasonic Blu-ray player will have full-HD 1080 progressive output capability, targeting for best-in-class picture and sound quality to be core piece of the company’s full-HD home theater concept. The preliminary version of the player and the full-HD theater system is on demonstration at Panasonic booth.
The Blu-ray player will be also equipped with “HDAVI Control” to simplify the connection with other audio/video devices, which is Panasonic’s proprietary technology based on HDMI format and interface. HDAVI Control function enables the user to enjoy the home theater with the touch of a single button on the remote. Panasonic is starting to add HDAVI Control capability to a part of 2006 Spring line-up for VIErA PDP displays, DIGA DVD recorders, and home theater products.
To meet consumer high-definition recording needs, Panasonic also announced plans to introduce a series of blank 50GB and 25GB rewriteable and write-once Blu-ray discs this spring. The new discs utilize a dual layer structure first introduced by Panasonic in the Japanese market in 2004 that helps realize the large 50 GB capacity – more than ten times the capacity of conventional 4.7 GBDVD discs.
To meet the anticipated needs for blank media, Panasonic has already begun production of both 25GB and 50GB dual-layer BD Discs in Japan. In addition, to support the studios’ activities to introduce their movie titles to BD-ROM format, Panasonic has started BD-ROM pilot production line in Torrance, CA, USA. Panasonic has been working closely with the movie studios and its replication partners to help fine tune our disc capacity requirements, and will be ready to meet the needs of both content providers and consumers as Blu-ray hardware comes to market.
The Blu-ray format is supported by consumer electronics manufacturers representing 85% of the industry; the majority of major motion picture studios, to include Twentieth Century Fox, Buena Vista, MGM, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony Pictures and Lions Gate; the world’s two largest music companies; and top computer brands Apple, Dell and HP.
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