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Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Panasonic Unveils Six New DIGA Blu-ray and DVD Recorders at CEATEC JAPAN 2007

Panasonic kicked off the Ceatec show in Japan on Tuesday and unveiled three new Blu-ray Disc (BD) recorders and three high-definition (HD) DVD recorders.

New Blu-Ray recorders

Panasonic announced the DMR-BW700, DMR-BW800 and the DMR-BW900 Blu-Ray recorders, equipped with HDDs. The new recorders can store up to 18 hours of full HD video onto a 50 gigabyte (GB) double-layer Blu-ray Disc recorded at 4x, or up to 381 hours of full HD videos onto a 1 terabyte (TB) built-in hard disk drive (DMR-BW900). In terms of BS digital HD broadcasts, the new recorders can record four times more than previous MPEG-2 TS recorders (DR mode).

The BD recorders are loaded with other PHL technologies including a high-precision color signal processing called the "PHL Reference Chroma Processor" that enables the recorders to offer the high-quality video standards demanded by Hollywood studios. In addition, the DMR-BW900 and the DMR-BW800 have a 1080p HD playback capability with a frame rate of 24 frames per second, the same rate as motion films.

The three BD recorders allow users to take advantage of the new interactive features of BD movies such as picture-in-picture video commentaries. They also support dynamic 7.1-channel surround sound, such as Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD.

The new recorders also support playback and recording of video content recorded on AVCHD format with Panasonic's HD camcorders. To copy the AVCHD video, users can simply take out the SD Memory Card or DVD disc from the HD camcorder and slip it into the new recorder. Then, the operation menu will appear automatically, so that the users can copy the full HD content onto BD, DVD or HDD just by following instructions.

When connected with a Panasonic video intercom, the recorders can be set to record up to 400 video images of visitors while the user is away from home. When the recorder is turned on after returning home, it automatically plays back the video that appeared on the intercom. By connection the new recorders to broadband Internet, users can program recordings of favorite TV shows remotely over a mobile phone or through a PC.

The top-of-the-range BW900 is expected to cost JY300,000 (US$2,600), the BW800 will cost around JY230,000 and the BW700 will carry a JY180,000 price tag.

New DVD Players

The Japanese company also unveiled the DMR-X300, DMR-X100 and the DMR-XW200V DVD recorders equipped with hard disk drives and digital tuners.

The new players are powered the new generation UniPhier system LSI based on the 45-nm process technology. A single chip supports real-time encoding of full HD videos. Additionally, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 High Profile HD video compression technology contributed to the significant increase in HD video recording hours. Panasonic also drew from the advanced technology cultivated by its Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (PHL) that offers BD-ROM authoring service to major Hollywood movie studios.

Director Shiro Nishiguchi, Corporate Marketing Division for Panasonic Brand in Japan, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., said, "We are happy to bring you new high definition recorders that maximize the full quality potential of BD video and high-definition broadcasts. Together with our full HD VIERA TVs and camcorders, the new DIGAs will play an integral part of a high-definition lifestyle we call 'Living in High Definition'."

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