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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC (PANASONIC) LAUNCHES INDUSTRY'S FIRST BS DIGITAL HDTV WITH BUILT-IN HARD DISK VIDEO RECORDER


Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC), best known for its Panasonic brand of digital electronics products, today announced that it will introduce a new line of BS digital HDTV-ready AV products, led by the TH-36DH100, the industry's first high definition TV with a built-in hard disk video recorder. This new BS digital HDTV product line will be launched in the Japanese market in the mid of May, 2001.


Panasonic's new 36" TH-36DH100, with its built-in 30GB hard disk video recorder, enables up to 2.5 hours of digital record/playback in high definition mode, up to 5 hours in standard digital mode, or up to 25 hours in analog mode. With ease-of-use and high functionality in mind, this new TV takes another step toward providing a truly "on-demand" audio-visual environment. An innovative "Track & Play" feature enables users to play back a program even while it is being recorded, while an advanced search function can instantly locate and play selected recorded programs.



Compactness, adaptability, and artistic flair are also integral features of this new HDTV model. Housed in an innovative Metal Art Form design, never before seen with televisions, is the Super Slim Tube, newly developed by Matsushita Electric as the industry's thinnest flat high definition picture tube, for a TV unit that's only 45 cm deep (approx. 77% of other equivalent-sized screen models).



This new TV is also equipped with advanced 750-line progressive circuitry that not only upconverts both 525i and 525p pictures into 750p output, but also reproduces standard-quality BS digital TV and terrestrial analog broadcasts at high quality.



With an eye toward networked multimedia, this TV can use its built-in i.LINK (IEEE 1394) interface terminal to connect with a wide array of other digital AV components such as D-VHS VCRs, DVD home theater sound systems, and DV-format camcorders. All connected components can then be operated via the TV's onscreen graphical command system using a remote control handset. SD Memory Card support is also featured, enabling both still pictures (in JPEG format) and sound data to be saved and retrieved with ease using the same onscreen commands. Future plans call for even more advanced multimedia features to be incorporated as well.



In addition to the flagship model TH-36DH100, Panasonic will also be rolling out the NV-HDR1000 hard disk video recorder, to be available March 20, 2001 at a price of 225,000 yen. Also as part of this product's line-up, an advanced DVD home theater sound system, the SC-HT100, will be released on April 1, 2001. With the recent startup of BS digital broadcasts in Japan in December 2000, industry forecasts are indicating a demand for 700,000 BS digital TVs/ tuners in fiscal 2000 (year ending March 2001), and 2 million units in fiscal 2001.



Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of digital electronics products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated sales of $68.9 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2000.


 

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Do you know if this PVR would work here in the US? I think Japan's HD system is compatible with our 8VSB system. Right?


Big drawback is the disk size. Only 30gig (2.5 hours). Hopefully it has a SCSI port on the back for adding disks.


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Stephen Couch

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Thanks for posting. Good news for HD recording. Let's see when one of these makes it (or not) to the U.S. The 30gb hard-disk could probably be upgraded to an 80gb as some have already done with ReplayTV & TiVo units.


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Did they offer a stand-alone HD STB/PVR box? A killer HD application in my opinion, even the SD crowd would love to have it for future HDTV-proof, if price is right.
 

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Quote:
stephenC wrote:

Big drawback is the disk size. Only 30gig (2.5 hours). Hopefully it has a SCSI port on the back for adding disks.
If there is an ability to add drives, it would almost certainly be via Firewire/IEEE 1394. You can buy 80Gb external drives for around $350 (I own two). The box would need to be able to format the external drive and then manage it via an onscreen display...


Dennis


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Dennis Whiteman

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I would have to wait for a second generation. I would never have room for any Hd recordings. My Replay is always full. It is amazing that you would need a 120GB hard drive for 10 hours of HD!
 

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Wow... It's a shame it has such a teensy tiny HDD (geez, you can get 7,200 RPM 60GB disks for < $300 these days), but I have to say that is one of the more handsome examples of A/V industrial design that I've seen in quite a while. It looks like a piece of 21st century engineering.


Put a real HDD in there and Panasonic will have a market segment killer on its hands.


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Scott Gammans

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Scott,


Keep in mind that there are less than 60,000 people in the entire USA who have an HD-STB. That isn't much of a market to begin with.


Lee
 

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Very cool, especially the IEEE1394 i.link. IMO, this more good news, as the possibility of transferring material between the hard drive & DVHS appears. More likely, it just means playback of DVHS on the HDTV, but hope springs eternal.


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And as long as Mr. and Mrs. America can't record Judging Amy and JAG in full HDTV resolution, there will continue to be STBs measured in the mere tens of thousands.


Thank you, MPAA.


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Scott Gammans

Another satisfied NEC VT540 owner--except for the remote ;)
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Very cool, Kingman. Thanks for elingo link.


The Panny unit has DTCP built in. The translation is not perfect but you can understand the jist of it.


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Stephen Couch

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Zenith has plans for a similar box to be distributed in the US. It is scheduled for release by the end of the year. No further info about it, (such as HDD size, price, etc) but it was first announced on zdnet.com. I believe it is still on their site (unfortunately, no pictures).


Hopefully this will be first of many. This could really help HD adoption.


-Brett
 

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To answer an earlier question, it is doubtful that such a device would work in the USA. Japan has an analog HD format, if I recall correctly. In short, it's completely different...

 

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As the press release indicates, this is for the new digital broadcasts that just started a few months ago. I believe the system is called ISDB but my memory is usualy faulty.


It is based on COFDM but more advanced and would not work in the US (or anywhere else in the world).



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Conroy,


Japan used the MUSE based HDTV Hi-Vision system in the past, but now is moving to a digital HDTV system called BS. This is at least the second HDTV recorder (the other is the JVC DHVS model 30000) that has been introduced and a number of users in the US are currently testing the JVC for compatibility with ATSC record/playback. The results are not all in yet, but it appears at least playback does exist. For more detail do a search in the HDTV forums for JVC & DVHS.


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