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Press Release

Panasonic To Launch First Consumer DVD Video Recorder 
DVD-RAM Technology Produces Next Step in Video Recording


New York (August 3, 2000) - Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC) today announced plans to introduce the first consumer DVD Video Recorder to the U.S. market. Designed to meet growing consumer demands for a high quality digital recording device, the company's new DVD-RAM recorder, model DMR-E10, is currently being demonstrated at retail outlets across the country. The new recorder has a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $3999.95 and will be shipped in quantities to retailers later this month. Being made available at the same time is the Panasonic 4.7GB DVD-RAM blank optical disc, model DY- HB47D, with a MSRP of $34.99. 


click image to enlarge

The Panasonic DMR-E10 allows digital recording onto a removable DVD-RAM disc. Key benefits include high resolution video quality, superb audio quality, fast random access memory, enormous storage capability, rewritability, and playback of DVD video discs, DVD-RAM discs and video and audio CDs. 

The technology used in the new unit is based on the DVD-RAM and video recording formats approved by the DVD Forum. Because it is compatible with audio/video and PC applications, DVD-RAM is seen as the medium that will bring about the convergence of home computing and home entertainment. With its vast storage capacity, incredible speed, and exceptional picture and sound quality, DVD-RAM is highly adaptive to the expanding digital media environment. 

"The DVD format and its applications are expanding to include not only audio and video but also personal computing and even car navigation," said Rusty Osterstock, general manager of Panasonic's DVD Division. "The Panasonic DVD video recorder offers consumers a practical and flexible way to manage these new, multiple DVD applications, and provides a whole new way to enjoy the world of digital entertainment." 

With the new DVD Video Recorder, consumers will be able to record favorite video recordings onto removable DVD-RAM discs, and instantly access favorite scenes without searching, fast- forwarding or rewinding. As an optical media format, DVD-RAM enjoys huge advantages over tape media, including random access, extraordinary picture quality, and multiple disc (DVD/CD) playback compatibility. And unlike tape, the format boasts superior rewritability, allowing users to rewrite to each disc thousands of times. When connected to home theater components, the Panasonic DMR-E10 is the ultimate high-end audio/video home entertainment product, enabling consumers to enjoy multiple digital entertainment formats with a single component. 

The DVD-RAM disc format offers consumers a variety of inviting applications. For instance, images from recorded home videos may be edited and put on a disc, which can then be played on a laptop with a DVD-RAM drive or DVD-ROM drive* and shared with friends and family. 

Panasonic incorporates innovative Hybrid VBR (variable bit rate) technology to manipulate the MPEG-2 compression ratio in real time - according to motion, scene by scene. This original method of combining the two encoding technologies of real-time VBR and visibility modulation technology enables long recording times with images of extraordinary quality.

EXCEPTIONAL PICTURE AND SOUND QUALITY 

To produce exceptional picture quality, as well as superb sound reproduction, Panasonic has incorporated a variety of advanced technologies into its new DVD Video Recorder. These technologies produce such features and benefits as:

Selectable recording modes for optimum results according to program content and length:

The image compression efficiency of Hybrid VBR also permits a choice of recording modes, depending on average bit rate. XP mode provides one hour (average 10Mbps), SP mode two hours (average 5 Mbps), and LP mode four hours (average 2.5 Mbps) of motion video recording. In addition, the FR (flexible recording) mode determines the most appropriate bit rate to fit a user- specified time slot (60 to 240 minutes) for timer recording. 

With the DMR-E10, consumers can enjoy easy, convenient storage of, and access to, their personal movie libraries or home videos on space-saving DVD-RAM discs. In addition to its high storage capacity, the DVD Video Recorder offers another important advantage. When transferring video to DVD-RAM, the digital recording and playback is capable of having better picture quality than the analog original. Several functions are provided to improve the picture quality of input source picture signals. Input TBC (time base corrector) removes jitter from the input signal, while 3D Y/C separation circuitry minimizes dot crawl and color smearing caused by interference between the video signal's Y and C color subcomponents. These functions are particularly effective when recording from analog video sources such as a conventional VCR and camcorder. Combined with the 3D DNR applied during playback, the result can be a surprising restoration of image quality from old videocassettes.

New Dolby Digital 2-channel recording method:

A 20-bit AD Converter and an original Panasonic LSI chip enable Dolby Digital 2-channel recording for a new level of audio quality. 

For faithful reproduction of film-source images, the DMR-E10 features 480-line progressive scanning with component video output. By scanning all 480 lines in one pass, progressive scanning provides high vertical resolution and flicker-free, high- density image output that does not suffer from the loss of quality during subject movement - which is characteristic of the conventional interlaced scanning method. 

Furthermore, when playing DVD movies taken from film-source originals, the player is able to reproduce the individual film frames as they were originally created, without video processing artifacts, by using 24fps/60fps conversion. Consumers will readily notice the startlingly sharp picture - full of detail and expressive nuances - virtually free of digital artifacts. In short, they'll enjoy the closest thing to a cinema presentation right in their own homes.

Dolby Digital 5.1 channel surround system:

The DMR-E10 includes built-in Dolby Digital 5.1 channel decoder circuitry. A dts digital output also is provided. Panasonic's Virtual Surround Sound feature creates a simulated surround sound effect, downmixed from a two- or more channel Dolby Digital soundtrack, using headphones or the stereo speakers of any home audio system.

Virtual Battery Operation:

To keep noise out of the power supply and digital signal circuitry, a capacitor charge is used as the sole reference voltage. This technology allows deep bass and clear mid-high range reproduction.

CONVENIENCE FEATURES DELIVER EASE OF USE 

Topping the list of functional features and benefits delivered by the new DMR-E10 is the unit's quick and easy random access. For instance, recording can be activated instantaneously, and users can automatically find blank space on disk for recording, by simply pushing the Record button. Playback is equally easy. With a touch of the Play button, users can immediately play their latest recording, without rewinding or fast-forwarding. 

Finding and viewing recorded material is fast and easy with the unit's Direct Navigator function, which makes it easy to find a desired program from among several recorded on a disc. A list of recording dates, times, channels and (user-entered) titles is shown on-screen. When the user moves the cursor to any particular recording, that segment is played as motion video in the background. Playback can begin immediately upon selection. Up to 99 programs can be handled by this system. 

The Playlist function lets the user perform non-linear video editing and create custom play lists of favorite scenes on a disc. The user can mark the cut-in and cut-out points for up to 999 desired scenes. These are displayed as thumbnail images on- screen, allowing the user to create a playlist. Multiple playlists (up to 99) can be stored in memory, so the same disc can be used to create up to 99 different scenarios. This function is also convenient for jumping directly to particular scenes. Because the order of scenes can be changed at will, and unwanted scenes can be cut, the user can perform simple editing of home video recordings or create original personal "programs" such as sports event highlights. 

The DVD Video Recorder offers many other convenience features, such as audio level meters, automatic tuner presetting, backlit universal remote control, timer recording, VCR Plus+, jog and shuttle control, remaining available recording time indicator, easy-operation on-screen graphics, and more.

ABOUT PANASONIC 

As a leader in DVD technology, Panasonic has introduced some of the world's most innovative consumer DVD products to the U.S. market: the world's first portable DVD player with a built-in LCD screen, the first DVD-Audio players, the first DVD video and DVD- Audio players for automobiles, and the world's first TV/DVD/VCR Combination. The company has also announced plans for the industry's first DVD-Mini System. Panasonic's DVD expertise ranges from research and development to the manufacture of DVD mastering and replication equipment. Its Digital Video Compression Corporation (DVCC) performs DVD encoding, artistic authoring, and services for full-length motion picture transfer. Panasonic Disc Services Corporation (PDSC) performs pre- mastering, mastering and replication of discs for DVD and DVD-ROM products. 

Panasonic consumer DVD products are marketed in the United States by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC), a division of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America (MECA). MECA is the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., (NYSE/PCX:MC) of Japan, one of the world's largest producers of electronic and electric products for consumer, business and industrial use. All prices are in U.S. dollars. Consumers seeking more information on the company's products can call Panasonic's Customer Call Center at 800-211- PANA or access Panasonic's home page at www.panasonic.com. Media interested in press releases can access them via Internet Keyword: Panasonic Press Room, or through New Directions Public Relations' toll-free fax-back system at 888-734-7490.

Dolby, Pro Logic and Dolby Digital are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corp.

dts is a registered trademark of Digital Theater Systems, Inc.

VCR Plus is a registered trademark of Gemstar Development Corporation.

To play back a DVD-RAM disc on a PC or laptop computer with either 4.7GB DVD-RAM or DVD-ROM drive, the PC or laptop must have video recording format support installed.

Specifications subject to change.

- ### -

This press release is copyrighted by Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC).


On sale: Buy the Panasonic DMR-E10 DVD-RAM recorder from JandR.com for $2,999.99
 


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