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Jun 22, 2006

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Jeff Samuels	             Ann Barlow	              Will Safer
 Panasonic	              Peppercom      	       Panasonic
 201-392-4571	              415-438-9826	       201-392-6124
 samuelsj@us.panasonic.com    abarlow@peppercom.com    saferw@us.panasonic.com

Panasonic Launches BD-ROM Authoring Service in the US

New MPEG-4 AVC encoder and Blu-ray-Java authoring system expedite production of Blu-ray titles with 1080p-quality pictures and advanced interactivity



Secaucus, NJ - Panasonic, the brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is known, announced today that it will commence Blu-ray Disc entertainment title (for Blu-ray Disc read-only media, or BD-ROM) authoring service for movie studios at Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (PHL) in Universal City, California on July 1. Optical discs, like Blu-ray Disc, or conventional DVDs, need to have their content authored as a step toward physical replication of the disc as an entertainment title.

As Panasonic and other electronics manufacturers plan to introduce Blu-ray Disc players this year, Blu-ray titles from the major movie studios are expected to become increasingly available for consumers. The BD-ROM authoring service launched by Panasonic will facilitate the production of Blu-ray Disc titles, so that consumers can experience High-Definition movie entertainment at home.

Panasonic has been authoring DVDs in the U.S. since 1996 and has accumulated a great deal of know-how in digital content authoring. In order to provide the new service, Panasonic has installed state-of-the-art Blu-ray Disc authoring equipment at PHL.

The equipment installed for this purpose includes a specially developed MPEG-4 Advanced Video Codec (AVC) encoder and a Blu-ray Java authoring system. The combination of the encoder and authoring system enables Blu-ray title creators to reproduce near-original, high-quality video with an easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) based on Java.

The new Panasonic encoder and authoring system support the Blu-ray Disc Association's BD-ROM specification, and take advantage of the disc's benefits including very high data compression, interactive menus and highly-advanced copyright protection. The Panasonic MPEG-4 AVC encoder, capable of more than twice the compression of conventional MPEG-2 encoding, maintains the highest-resolution 1080p image quality of the source. The result is a stunning picture which Hollywood studio experts have reckoned comparable to the original.

The BD-Java authoring system offers a variety of interactive features such as pop-up menus, allowing for easy content navigation during playback. For example, users can pop up a table of contents during playback, bookmark favorite scenes, or select any desired item from the menu.

"Our engineers worked closely with Hollywood movie studios to develop the Java-BD authoring system," said Kazuhiro Tsuga, Executive Officer in charge of Digital Network and Software Technologies of Matsushita Electric. "We listened carefully to movie studios to help us create easy-to use and high-quality BD-ROM-based entertainment titles. To make them even better, we want to engage in an ongoing dialog with the Hollywood content providers."

"Panasonic plans to offer Blu-ray Disc authoring-related services to major movie studios and other content providers to accelerate the releases of more Blu-ray titles," said Mr. Tsuga. "The introduction of the Blu-ray authoring services and Blu-ray players completes the creation of an environment in which consumers can enjoy stunning High Definition video on their Panasonic HD plasma TVs at home."

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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