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Thursday, March 09, 2006
Panasonic: Blu-Ray In Europe For 2006 Fall

Panasonic is poised to take a leadership role in the introduction of the Blu-ray Disc format to European market. At CeBIT, the company revealed plans for the roll-out of high-definition Blu-ray hardware in Europe next Fall.

At a press conference held at 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 said it 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.

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