Panasonic Introduces PX600 VIERA High Definition Plasma TVs

3/8/2006 - Panasonic, the brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is known, today unveiled the PX600 series digital high-definition wide-screen flat-panel plasma TVs. The four PX600 VIERA HDTVs feature a new plasma display panel, giving viewers deeper, richer blacks and superb images with the industry's highest contrast ratio. The new models also offer the VIERA Link, a single remote control solution for operation of home theater components. The 50-inch TH-50PX600, 42-inch TH-42PX600 and 37-inch TH-37PX600 will be available on the Japanese market on April 15, followed by the 58-inch 58PX600 on May 1.

The VIERA HDTVs incorporate the new PEAKS (Picture Enhancement Accelerator with Kinetic System) Panel, new Deep Black Filter and upgraded Real Black Drive System. The combination has achieved blacker blacks and a stunning 4,000:1 contrast (10,000:1 contrast at maximum) in dark surroundings. The result is sharp and clear pictures with blacks more prominent even in bright rooms. The new VIERA HDTVs use precise, maximum 16-bit signal processing to produce brilliant images with remarkable depth and detail, displaying 50 percent more shades of gradation than the previous PX500 series.

"Our new plasma HDTVs offer excellent picture quality that has come to be expected for Panasonic TVs by discerning consumers," said Mr. Shunzo Ushimaru, Director of Corporate Marketing Division for Panasonic Brand in Japan. "The VIERA Link makes home theater entertainment pure fun and enjoyment. The new HDTVs also inherit connectivity with other audio visual devices via SD Memory Cards."

For ease of operation, the four models introduce the VIERA Link, the industry's first HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface)-cable based solution for integrated home theater systems. HDMI is the standard digital interface transferring uncompressed high-definition video and multi-channel digital audio signals over a single cable. When a PX600 HDTV is connected with a DIGA DVD recorder and a Panasonic AV amplifier via HDMI cable, users can operate all three devices from the VIERA remote control. The VIERA remote, for example, can switch on and off the other two devices, record or playback on DIGA, switch to 5.1 channel surround-sound mode. The VIERA Link is supported by the four DIGA DVD recorders1 and the SU-XR57 digital AV control amplifier, all of which are also unveiled today.

The new VIERA HDTVs use the new PEAKS Processor system LSI which incorporates Panasonic's proprietary integrated platform for digital consumer electronics. The highly scalable platform integrates a symmetric multiple CPU, the first in consumer electronics, and 130 million transistors on a single chip, delivering seamless connectivity among various digital consumer devices.

Now, the TVs can display an electronic program guide more quickly, 30 percent faster than before. Users can enjoy high-quality wide-screen viewing of MPEG2 moving pictures shot with SD Video Cameras2 on a new VIERA HDTV just by inserting the SD Memory Card in the slot. JPEG still images (DCF format) stored on the cards can be shown on a large VIERA screen in a slide show format by simply pressing a remote button twice. Still pictures taken with Panasonic LUMIX cameras3 can be displayed full screen.

The new PEAKS Processor also supports dual screens and a variety of other features. Equipped with two digital tuners, the new VIERA HDTVs offer dual screen mode. Users can select and view any combination of two channels simultaneously. These include terrestrial, BS and 110-degree CS digital broadcasting and terrestrial analog broadcasting services.

The new TVs are not only user friendly providing operational ease of use, but also friendly to the natural environment. Panasonic trimmed the glass thickness of the new plasma panel from 2.8 mm to 1.8 mm, using less glass materials. The trimming resulted a reduction of overall weight of the TV set. For example, the 42-inch 42PX600 weighs 33 kg, 18 percent lighter than the PX500 series with a comparable screen size. The new HDTVs use up to 37 percent less electricity compared to the PX300 series.

As a leader of the consumer electronics industry, Panasonic is actively working to eliminate the use of the six substances specified by the European Union's RoHS Directive. These are lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromiun, polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. The new HDTVs conform to the Directive ahead of the EU deadline of July 1, 2006.

The new plasma panels were made at its advanced PDP plant in Amgasaki City, Japan, which started production last September, two months earlier than originally planned. Another PDP plant will start operation next year, lifting Panasonic's total PDP output to over 11 million panels per annum in 2008. Panasonic continues to lead the global flat panel display TV market with improved operational efficiencies that its scale of production allows.

Committed to bringing joy and excitement to everyday life, Panasonic continues to turn its ideas into reality.

About Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
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 $81.44 billion for the year ended March 31, 2005. 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.

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