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Friday, May 02, 2003
Panasonic expands its celebrated DVD Recorder line with two fourth-generation models, including new 80gb hard disk recorder

Building on its technological strengths and market leadership position in recordable DVD products, Panasonic introduces two DVD recorders as part of a new worldwide "DIGA" DVD recorder line.

Model DMR-E60, which features an SD Memory Card slot, a PCMCIA slot and a DV input terminal, is an extremely versatile unit designed for easy interaction with digital still cameras and digital camcorders. The DMR-E60 has a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $599.95 and will be available at retail in May. The new DMR-E80 DVD/hard disk recorder features 80GB of built-in memory. It provides up to 104 hours of recording time on its hard drive and up to 6 hours on a removable 4.7 GB DVD-RAM disc (both in Extended Play mode.) The DMR-E80 has an MSRP of $699.95 and will be available at retail in July.

Panasonic is calling its new DVD recorder line "DIGA," a name derived from the words "Digital" and "Giga." "Digital" calls attention to the fact that these new recorders truly offer the best of digital technology, while "Giga" emphasizes the enormous storage capacity (4.7 and 9.4 gigabytes) that DVD discs allow. "Panasonic is launching the new DIGA recorders with a global promotion campaign that builds upon the company's dominant position in this fast emerging product area," said Reid Sullivan, Vice President of Panasonic's Entertainment Group. "We are referring to this worldwide campaign as 'Project M' -- an integrated effort that relies on our Marketing and Manufacturing strengths to serve as the underpinnings of an extensive and ongoing commitment to DVD recorders."

Panasonic's latest DVD recorders join continuing models DMR-E50 and DMR-HS2, to comprise the most extensive line of DVD recorders currently available. All support DVD-RAM and DVD-R(1), and will also play back DVD Video, music CDs, video CDs, and CD-R/CD-RW(2) MP3 formatted discs.

In 2002, the Panasonic brand captured more than fifty percent market share in both Japan and the U.S. For the recently reported first two months of 2003, Panasonic captured over sixty percent market share in DVD recorders sold in the US. Sales of DVD recorders to consumers in 2002 grew more than one-hundredfold over the comparable period in the previous year, according to The NPD Group, and analysts predict sales of DVD recorders in the U.S. will reach one million units in 2003.

According to results from a March 2003 Panasonic-sponsored IDC study, strong consumer demand for stand-alone DVD recorders is positioning the already hot recordable DVD market for long-term growth. Of those polled, the majority indicated that video applications, such as recording television shows and transferring older video footage, were the top reasons for a recordable DVD purchase. In addition, the survey reflects the features consumers want most from a DVD Recorder, to include defect management, simultaneous recording and playback, and compatibility with standard DVD players.

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