Over the last few months month, Panasonic has put itself in the lead of the technological race between standalone Blu-ray players. Back in October, it released the first Profile 1.1 player before the deadline for the specification even hit. Now Panasonic is leapfrogging its competitors again with the newly announced Panasonic DMP-BD50, the first Blu-ray player to be Profile 2.0 compatible--also known as BD-Live. This means the DMP-BD50 will be able to handle any special features on future Blu-ray discs that utilize an Internet connection, similar to what has already been done on HD DVD discs like Blood … Read more
Panasonic has detailed its 2008 home-theater-in-a-box line, which includes three models in the consumer-friendly sub-$500 range. In and of itself, that's not big news--except that we've frequently found Panasonic HTIBs (such as 2007's SC-PT750) to deliver a great bang for the buck.
All of the systems come with five-disc DVD changers, iPod flip-down docks with audio and video playback capabilties, and HDMI upscaling up to 1080p. Furthermore, the $400 SC-PT760 and $500 SC-PT960 models include a wireless rear speaker module in the box (it's sold separately as an upgrade on the entry-level $300 SC-PT660). The SC-PT760 comes with front speaker stands while the SC-PT960 has tallboy-style front-, left-, and right-channel speakers. For a more detailed look at what each system has to offer, consult the chart after the jump.
On the high-end, Panasonic's SC-BT100 includes an integrated Blu-ray player (that's Profile 1.1 compatible to boot). The yet-to-be-priced system will compete with the currently available Samsung HT-BD2 when it's released in May 2008.… Read more
The Panasonic SDR-S7 is a new ultracompact camcorder that records its footage to SD and SDHC cards. The slim shooter looks similar to the rugged SW20, though it lacks any waterproof, shockproof, or dustproof attributes. It features a 10x optical zoom lens and a 2.7-inch flip-out LCD screen, and a Quick Start feature Panasonic claims lets it start recording just 0.6 second after opening it. The SDR-S7 ships in May, with a suggested retail price of $300. … Read more
The onslaught of new car stereos continues on the first day of action here at CES with another trio of single-disc receivers from Panasonic. The CQ-RX400U, CQ-RX200U and CQ-RX100U all come with front-mounted auxiliary input jacks for connecting digital audio players, while the top-of-the-range CQ-RX400U features a USB 2.0 port for playback of audio from iPods, flash drives, and other generic mass storage devices. The CQ-RX400U and CQ-RX200U can be connected to Panasonic's external module for XM/ Sirius Satellite radio; and Bluetooth hands-free phone calling. All three devices feature a 4 x 50W (max) amp and a 3-band … Read more
Panasonic just revealed a new waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof compact camcorder at today's CES press conference. According to Panasonic, the new SW20 can handle dunks in up to 5 feet of water, drops from up to 4 feet, and will keep most dust out of its pint-size, colorful casing.
Though Panasonic has been producing its rugged Toughbooks for several years now, its camcorders have had this persistent quirk of breaking if you drop them several feet or submerge them in water. The SW20 is the first rugged, waterproof camcorder I've seen so far from Panasonic (last year's … Read more
Panasonic kicked off its CES digital imaging announcements with two new high-definition camcorders. Eschewing both tapes and DVDs, the Panasonic HDC-HS9 and HDC-SD9 record 1080/24p video directly to SD/SDHC cards.
According to Panasonic, the HDC-SD9 is the smallest, slightest 3CCD 1080/24p camcorder yet, weighing in at less than 0.7 pound. It writes AVCHD video to SD and SDHC cards, storing up to 6 hours of high-def footage to a 16 GB card. With the company's newly announced 32 GB SDHC card, the space doubles to up to 12 hours.
The 3CCD HDC-HS9 can also record … Read more
Panasonic expanded the range of its in-car multimedia offerings today here at CES 2008 with the unveiling of two in-dash DVD players. The single-DIN CQ-VX100U and double-DIN CQ-VW100U both feature 7-inch wide-screen LCD monitors with touch-screen capabilities. Both systems support DVD and DivX video formats as well as CD and MP3 audio formats. Both systems are also expandable to accept inputs from TV tuners; iPods (including video iPods); external video sources (including rear-view camera inputs); and satellite radio. They will both ship in February with a price of around $600.
Panasonic is expanding its selection of plasma screen sizes this year, introducing a 46-inch model that splits the size (and price) difference between the company's 42- and 50-inch plasmas. We'll tackle the whole announcement, which includes 11 new models, in this post, starting with the entry-level models. All of the panels are scheduled to debut in spring, and pricing was not announced.
One note first, however. We liked the company's antiglare screen from last year, found on the TH-50PX77U for example, but for 2008 Panasonic dropped it in favor of a new antireflective screen that's used throughout the line. We're anxious to test one of these models to see how the new screen performs.
Japan Inc. will put on the hard sell at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.
Panasonic is expected to unveil a 150-inch plasma television during a keynote speech Monday by Toshihiro Sakamoto, president of the Panasonic Audio Visual Networks Company. (Matsushita Electric goes by Panasonic in the U.S.) Sakamoto, a new speaker to the CES keynote circuit, is also expected to unveil a number of other products during his speech.
Rival Hitachi, meanwhile, will show off a series of ultraslim LCD TVs that have yet to be exhibited in the U.S. The 32-inch TVs, shown first at Ceatec … Read more
On December 21, Kodak settled suits with Matsushita, better known in the United States by its Panasonic brand, and with a Matsushita subsidiary, Victor Company of Japan (JVC).
Under terms of the settlements, the companies signed cross-licensing agreements granting each company access to the others' patents, Kodak said in the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Both settlements are "royalty-bearing to Kodak," the company said.