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Panasonic Introduces Progressive Scan DVD Player
SECAUCUS, N.J., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Asserting its leadership position in digital electronics technology, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC) announces its first progressive scan DVD player. The impressive DVD- H1000 delivers crisp 480p digital images to recreate the picture quality of the cinema right at home.

"Progressive scanning, one of the properties of digital television, makes it possible to deliver this theater-like experience," says Rusty Osterstock, assistant general manager for Panasonic's DVD Division. "Imagine a near film- like picture, with rich detail, extraordinary depth of field, and the most precise color reproduction. The DVD-H1000 can deliver DVD movies extraordinarily close to the way they originally appeared on the big screen."

Unlike interlaced scanning (the NTSC standard which projects alternating frames of 262.5 lines of picture information every 1/60th of a second), progressive scanning transmits a full 525 horizontal lines (480 of which are displayed) in the same amount of time. With nearly double the number of lines, progressive scanning offers higher picture resolution and eliminates bothersome motion artifacts -- those jagged edges on moving objects that are typical of a converted interlaced signal.

The DVD-H1000 can handle both progressive scan and interlaced output. By converting film source signals to "480p" output, the progressive video processor chip reproduces recorded information in a format that's more faithful to the original. The processor can also convert from interlaced to progressive scanning by performing critical signal processing tasks with high precision, delivering an exceptionally accurate 480p signal.

All of this means viewers raised on the NTSC standard will immediately notice a startlingly sharp picture, full of detail and virtually free of digital artifacts. In short, they'll enjoy the closest thing to a cinema right in their own homes.

Panasonic didn't stop with the progressive video processor. To raise image fidelity, the company developed a 10-bit, "4:4:4" signal processor. This chip not only converts the recorded luminance and color difference (Y, P(B) P) portions of the video signal from 8 to 10 bits, but, in a first for consumer DVD players, also upsamples the color signal data. Interpolation of P(B) and P color difference data doubles their recorded 6.75MHz sampling frequencies to match the luminance signal's 13.5MHz frequency. This 4:4:4 bandwidth delivers striking color reproduction along with flat luminance signal response for high resolution and minimal picture noise.

The new progressive scan DVD player even gives viewers an added degree of control over the picture they see. Users can choose from adjustable Gamma correction settings to bring out more detail in dark scenes. The settings will be determined by the source material and the viewing environment.

Pursuit of image quality alone does not make a great DVD player. Only a balanced synergy of fine sound and picture integrity can create a convincing theater ambience. As is appropriate to this flagship model, the DVD-H1000 is endowed with the latest audio circuit technologies and audiophile grade components, such as a 96kHz/24-bit DAC, newly developed electrolytic capacitors which employ bamboo fiber separators, and new high-capacity (0.1uF) copper film capacitors. The player also incorporates an R-core toroidal transformer, which helps eliminate magnetic flux leakage for reduced harshness at the high end. The result is awesome audio best appreciated with an equally outstanding high-quality amp and speaker system. Listening to a high-sampling-rate/high-bit-depth (96kHz/24 bit) linear PCM music recording will confirm the player's reference-quality audio performance.

Structurally, the DVD-H1000 is a master feat of workmanship. An aluminum die-cast chassis, reinforced with a steel top and floor, houses direct-mounted circuit boards and mechanical parts in an 8-block independent construction figuration. By placing the drive assembly, audio circuit board, video circuit board, power supply transformer and other vital components in their own compartments, the 8-block design avoids mechanical and electrical interference, thereby preserving audio and video signal purity. The unit's aluminum die-cast construction, meanwhile, adds rigidity and vibration resistance, both of which help protect the integrity of the audio and video signals.

Virtual Battery Operation technology prevents AC power supply noise from entering the audio circuitry, thereby isolating sound localization. Creating this staple power supply helps preserve audio signal purity and supports solid bass and clear treble reproduction as well.

The DVD-H1000's hi-fi design extends to the unit's digital outputs as well as S-Video outputs and standard audio/video outs. Component video jacks, which allow separation of the video signal down into its luminance (Y) and separate chrominance (P and P(B)) elements, for the best possible picture. The player also has six-channel RCA and optical digital audio outputs should users opt for an external Dolby Digital or DTS decoder.

The player also features an illuminated universal remote control with easy-to-use joystick mechanism. A 4:3 shrink function retains the correct dimensions of a telecine (interlaced) 4:3 video transfer when displayed on a 16:9 screen. Other useful features include 5-speed smooth motion scan (up to 100X), and icon-based, on-screen menu.

The DVD-H1000 will be available in October, 1999, at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $2,999.95.

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: MC; PCX) 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 Media interested in Panasonic press releases can gain information via the Panasonic Web site 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 trademark of Digital Theater Systems, L.P.

SOURCE: Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company

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