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Headquarters News

May 11, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:
Akira Kadota, International PR
 Tel: +81-3-3578-1237  Fax: +81-3-3436-6766
Panasonic News Bureau
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Panasonic Begins Development of Technology for
Recording HD Images onto SD Memory Cards
Based on the AVCHD Standard for Digital Video Cameras




Osaka, Japan - Panasonic, the brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is known, today announced that it has begun developing technology to record digital HD (high-definition) images onto SD Memory Cards, following the AVCHD standard for HD digital video cameras. The company is also constructing a new environment for editing and playing back the images.

With the expected adoption of HD broadcasting in many countries and the widespread sales of HD TVs, people will be able to view HD images at home with increasingly enhanced viewing environments. The development of new device technology for the home video market is prompting a major switch in recording media to discs and SD Memory Cards (solid-state memory), which are easier to use and more convenient than tape media.

This new HD video recording technology for SD Memory Cards will conform to the AVCHD standard, which uses a highly efficient compression encoding technology to record 1080i*1 or 720p*2 HD images onto 8-cm DVD discs. It will use MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 to compress video files, and Dolby Digital (AC-3) or Linear PCM for audio files. This combination makes it possible to develop HD video cameras that are compact yet deliver high-quality images and sounds.

"Believing that the SD Memory Card is the recording media best suited for video cameras, Panasonic has already released a professional-use HD video camera that uses SD Memory Card technology," said Mr. Akihiro Nakatani, Director of Video Camera Business Unit, Panasonic AVC Networks Company. "Panasonic's efforts to develop the technology to record HD images onto SD Memory Cards and construct a new playback and editing environment, in addition to its establishing the AVCHD standard for 8-cm DVDs, will serve to further stimulate development of products that take advantage of the characteristics of both media."

*1:1080i -- An HD standard based on interlaced scanning using 1080 effective scanning lines
*2:720p -- An HD standard based on progressive scanning using 720 effective scanning lines

About Panasonic
Best known by its Panasonic brand name, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of US$76.02 billion for the year ended March 31, 2006. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, New York (NYSE:MC), Euronext Amsterdam and Frankfurt stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net.


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