John Iacoviello, consumer product and marketing operations senior VP, discussed a number of other initiatives being performed by Panasonic during the International CES press briefing, here. These are some of the areas he discussed:
• Panasonic plans to advance the home-networking market by moving high-definition video signals from display to display throughout the home using powerline communications. He said Panasonic has developed a chipset that can bring high-speed transmission of high-definition video to every room in the house over existing powerlines. Evaluation module boards and software development kits will be available in April, 2005, he said.
Panasonic parent Matsushita Electric has joined Sony and Mitsubishi in an alliance for the creation of specifications for high-speed home powerline communications.
Looking toward next-generation optical disc formats, Iacoviello said Panasonic is working with Sonic Solutions to produce professional-use Blu-ray Disc authoring solutions for the BD-ROM format. “This collaboration will help to accelerate software production of BD titles,” Iacoviello said.
In audio, Panasonic will add a wireless speaker kit that will enable consumers to add rear-channel speakers to a surround sound set up without running wires. The option is also included in the new SC-HT930 DVD home theater system.
For portable audio, Panasonic is also collaborating with Microsoft to achieve interoperability between SD memory cards and Windows Media, making it possible to download music online using Windows Media Player software, store it to SD memory cards and play it back with any compatible Panasonic digital audio player. The first such players will be available this summer, Iacoviello said.
Panasonic has also teamed with MusicMatch to make its streaming music service available to Panasonic digital audio players, and will offer MusicMatch Jukebox software with four new E-Wear players. Purchasers will have the ability to download five free music files when they sign up for a free trial of the MusicMatch service.