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Friday, October 15, 2004
Panasonic First To Manufacture DVD-RAM Didscs In U.S.

Panasonic Disc Manufacturing Corporation of America has begun domestic production of blank DVD-RAM discs at the company?s Torrance, California facility.

Initial production of the 4.7 GB non-cartridge discs ― the first rewriteable DVD blank media manufactured in the United States ― started in September, and the discs are being distributed through Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC) and other Panasonic Sales Companies in North, Central and South America.

?The rewritable DVD-RAM disc is the next step in the accelerating movement from the various tape formats," said Mark Horiki, President of Panasonic Disc Manufacturing Corporation. ?The ready availability of our domestically produced DVD-RAM media is sure to spark consumer interest in DVD-RAM video recorders and computer drives in this country. For example, the demand for DVD video recorders has now exceeded the demand for VCR units in Japan. A similar trend is occurring in the United States and the rest of the world. Panasonic wants to be in a position to quickly respond to this situation."

Industry surveys have shown that home video editing, archiving of TV shows and the increasing sales of large screen/high definition TV units are some of the reasons the demand for recordable DVD discs is expected to rapidly accelerate on a global basis.

Mr. Horiki also said, "With the continuing increase in demand for DVD recorders, personal computers with rewritable DVD drives and large screen/high definition TVs, consumers are becoming very interested in recordable DVD discs that are very versatile and highly reliable for home video editing, archiving of TV shows and data storage. We believe that because of its unique technology, the DVD-RAM format is the best format to serve both the home and commercial digital data storage markets for these applications."

The company also has plans to increase the number of production lines at its California facility as market demand grows. To further promote Panasonic's global manufacturing capabilities and to help establish the DVD-RAM format, future expansion plans call for the establishment of a DVD-RAM Verification Laboratory at the Torrance location, in addition to the existing DVD Video and DVD-Audio Verification Laboratory function there which certifies that DVD discs meet industry standards. According to Mr. Horiki, "Panasonic's global manufacturing strength will propel DVD-RAM as the clear choice for rewritable DVDs."

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