We couldn't ask for a better start to the show...
HD disc format winner Blu-ray is up next and Panasonic Video Business Unit Director Takuya Sugita tells us customers are now making the switch from DVD with 65 per cent of the market expected to be using Blu-ray by 2011. Ambitiously, Panasonic wants 20 per cent of the global market for players and 40 per cent for recorders (we’ll see what Sony and Samsung have to say about that!).
Given it was the first company to bring Bonus View and BD Live, the company has now gone for another first with the newly announced ‘DMP-BD55’ and ‘BD35’ – the first Single chip single processing players and the DMR-BW500 – the first European BD recorder with twin HD digital tuners.
Inside the W500 is also a 500GB HDD, BD Live, HD networking and staples like HDMI connectivity and 1080p recording and playback while an SDHC card slot means content can be easily added. As for the BD35 and BD55 they bring the same tech (SDHC card slot included) minus the recording functionality and HDD.
A new version of the company’s proprietary ‘PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus’ and ‘P4HD’ pixel precision processors will be at their cores. Also worth noting are the weight (just 2.5Kg), dimensions and power requirements of the players which will decrease approximately 50 per cent since compared to previous generations meaning we’re getting small and far more convenient now.
So in sum, NeoPDP is market ready and integrated IPTV will be at the core of its next generation TV pictures (as a Kuro owner, from the panels I have seen Pioneer look out!). Secondly, while no prices for the new products have been revealed expect NeoPDP sets to carry a significant premium while the noises from Panasonic suggest the players and recorders will be the first genuinely affordable high quality units products on the market (a theme as predicted).
All in all, a cracking way to start off IFA…