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Sunday, January 09, 2005
Panasonic and HP Make It Easier for Consumers to Enjoy DVD Recording

Companies Collaborate to Promote Convergence of PCs and Digital Consumer Electronics Starting with Mutual Use of DVD Media Formats

Panasonic, the leading brand by which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC) is known, and HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) announced today a collaboration to accelerate the convergence of PCs and digital consumer electronics products. As a first step in this effort, the companies are working to make it easier for consumers to use DVD media in their digital consumer electronics and PCs.

Panasonic and HP have agreed to incorporate in their respective products recordable DVD formats promoted by the other: Panasonic will add DVD+R* read-write capability to its DVD recorders and HP will add DVD-RAM** functionality to the recordable DVD drives in its broad portfolio of consumer desktop PCs.

By supporting these formats, HP and Panasonic are working to provide customers with a seamless experience that leverages the unique advantages of each technology - from wide compatibility to support for multiple media types.

"Panasonic is committed to working with HP to explore ways to give consumers a more satisfying experience as they make use of all the capabilities that digital electronics make possible," said Fumio Ohtsubo, president of Panasonic AVC Networks Company, the audio, video and computer products arm of Matsushita Electric. "By adding the +R format to Panasonic DVD recorders, we are simplifying format choices and delivering more value to our customers. This is clearly a big win for consumers."

"HP is working with Panasonic to offer more flexibility on DVD formats to our customers," said John Romano, senior vice president, Global Consumer PC Business Unit, HP. "This collaboration will further enable average consumers to become movie producers. Customers who use DVD-RAM devices will be able to capture and record personal content on DVD-RAM media and then easily create and edit home videos on HP's PCs and other digital entertainment products."

Recording of self-created content on DVDs is starting to grow rapidly in the United States. This year consumers are expected to purchase close to 15 million DVD burners built into PCs and DVD set-top recorders. With the elimination of format issues and confusion about the right media to use, both companies expect that consumer interest in DVD recording will grow significantly.

The two recordable DVD formats have compelling advantages. DVD-RAM allows different media files (pictures, video and music) to reside on one disc and features robust re-writability with overwrite protection. DVD+R is regarded as the most widely compatible write-once media for PCs and today's set-top DVD players, offering technical leadership in areas such as double-layer discs that enable recording of up to 8.5 GB of data.

Panasonic and HP also plan to cooperate on development of products and solutions that support the Blu-ray Disc high-definition optical disk format. Both companies are board members of the Blu-ray Disc Association, a worldwide industry membership group open to any corporation or organization with an interest in creating, upholding and/or promoting the Blu-ray Disc formats. Blu-ray Disc, which is widely supported by leading CE and PC industry companies, is the next-generation optical disk format that is designed primarily for the storing, recording and editing of High Definition video content and other large video files. Blu-ray Disc can store up to 25 GB (single layer) or up to 50 GB (dual layer) on a single-sided disc - about 5 to 10 times the capacity of a DVD. For more information on Blu-ray Disc, go to: http://www.blu-raydisc.com.

* DVD+R is the name of the write-once format of the +RW Alliance.
** DVD-RAM is the name of the re-writable format of the DVD Forum.

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