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5/03/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

Sharp Ramps Up LCD Production

OSAKA, JAPAN — Sharp said unexpectedly high global
demand for LCD TVs has prompted it to double current
production capacity at its 10G LCD panel plant in Sakai
City, here, to 72,000 substrates per month. The 10th-generation
plant, which came online last year, uses proprietary
UV2A photo-alignment technology and produces
high-contrast panels that are said to be higher in energy
efficiency in screen sizes of 40 inches and larger, the company
said. It also produces panels for Sharp’s new Quad
Color Technology TVs.

The plant is currently outputting 36,000 substrates per
month. Through a joint venture agreement, Sony shoulders
34 percent of the cost of the factory and gets one-third of the
panels it produces. Sharp gets the other two-thirds.

Panasonic Prices VT25 3D TVs

SECAUCUS, N.J. — Panasonic formally revealed pricing
on its Viera VT25 Series FullHD 3D plasma TVs, which are
slated to start shipping this month. Models with 50-inch
($2,600 suggested retail) and 54-inch ($3,000) screen sizes
ship this month, followed in June by models with 58-
($3,400) and 65-inch ($4,300) screen sizes. In March 2010,
Panasonic partnered with Best Buy to debut its first Full-
HD 3D home entertainment system featuring the 50-inch
Viera TC-P50VT20 FullHD 3D plasma set exclusively at
Magnolia Home Theater showroom outlets.

The new VT25 series models will broaden the reach
of 3D offerings to more dealers and locations. All models
include the company’s Infinite Black Pro Panel using
a new phosphor technology that produces deep blacks
(5,000,000:1 native contrast) and minimal reflections; THX
certifi cation; Viera Cast Wi-Fi with Skype video conferencing
capability; and access to online entertainment
partners Amazon Video on Demand, Bloomberg News,
Fox Sports and Netflix.

Dish, DirecTV Up HD Lineups

NEW YORK — Both Dish Network and DirecTV revealed
plans to expand the number of HDTV channels available
for national distribution. Dish said it will add eight new
national HD channels to its lineup to expand its total HD
channels to 200 (counting pay per view), while DirecTV
said it will add 30 new HD channels over the next several
months, bringing the direct-to-home satellite service’s
HD assortment to more than 160.

DirecTV’s additions include: CSN Bay Area HD; CSN
California HD; Encore HD East; ESPNU HD; FSN
Florida HD; GolTV HD; Hallmark Channel HD; Hallmark
Movie Channel HD; HBO2 East HD; HBO Zone HD; Lifetime
HD; MSNBC HD; Showtime Beyond HD; Showtime
Next HD; Showtime Women HD; Starz Cinema HD; Starz
In Black HD; Telefutura HD West; TMC Xtra HD East;
Travel Channel HD; Univision HD East; WGN HD; and additional
DirecTV Cinema Channels. Dish Network added:
EPIX HD, G4 HD, Headline News HD, History International
HD, Nat Geo Wild HD, ShortsHD, Style HD and Turner
Classic Movies HD.

DEG Forms 3D Working Group

LOS ANGELES — The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG)
said Tuesday that it has created a 3D Working Group to
promote developments in 3D home entertainment.

Members include representatives from Microsoft, Panasonic,
Samsung Electronics, Sony, 20th Century Fox
Home Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
and Warner Home Entertainment Group.

It will be tasked with communicating and promoting “all
of the 3D-compatible products and content that will soon
be available via a number of platforms, including Blu-ray
3D, cable, satellite and the Internet,” the DEG said in a
statement. “This will enable both retailers and consumers
to better understand each platform’s benefits, while
creating a united messaging strategy that properly positions
and promotes 3D at home.”

The new Working Group will coordinate consumer messaging
with the DEG Communications Committee and
create consumer education materials, including a glossary
of 3D terminology. It will also help to merchandise 3D at
retail and explore potential connectivity issues and audio
enhancements with other industry groups.

“We have a full agenda working with key industry companies
in support of 3D and look forward to having our team
help deliver the excitement of 3D to consumers,” stated Kris
Brown, DEG 3D Working Group chair and Warner Home
Video worldwide high-definition marketing VP.

The DEG will host a 3D Forum on June 2 in Los Angeles.

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