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DVD-RAM In CES Spotlight For Panasonic

LAS VEGAS -DVD-RAM products will top Panasonic’s 2001 product line, which is being unveiled during International CES, here, this week.

Panasonic will display its first DVD camcorder based on the DVD-RAM disc format for the U.S. market. The VDR-M10 uses 8cm DVD-RAM media to record video scenes and still images that can be played back on a wide range of MPEG2-conforming DVD-RAM devices including certain DVD-RAM-compatible DVD players, DVD video recorders and DVD drives in computers. The discs store up to 60 minutes of high-resolution video in MPEG2 format using a fine mode or 120 minutes in standard mode.

Additionally, each disc will store up to 1998 JPEG still images. The camcorder is equipped with a 1.1 megapixel CCD imager. Other features include a 3.5-inch LCD monitor; 12x optical and 48x digital zoom lens and built-in flash. Pricing and shipment dates were not available at press time.

The company will also show a new DVD-RAM recording deck, the DMR-E10, which uses 4.7GB DVD-RAM media. It features progressive scan output capability, internal Dolby Digital decoding, advanced MEPG2 encoding, four selectable recording modes (XP/ SP/LP/FR), two-channel Dolby Digital audio recording, time base correction input, jog/shuttle dial and on-screen menu icons. It is compatible with DVD-RAM/DVD video/Video CD and audio CD formats. Suggested retail price and shipment date were not set at press time.

Eight DVD video players are planned, including five with progressive scan capability, and four of which are compatible with DVD-Audio discs. All models include Panasonic’s “Enhanced Theater Experience” feature packages including advanced virtual surround sound, cinema mode and dialog enhancer.

Model DVD-RP51 is the entry progressive scan model, which also adds switchable 480i/480p component video outputs, black level control, and built-in Dolby Digital and DTS decoding. The step-up model DVD-R61 includes DVD-Audio compatibility.

DVD-RP91 plays both DVD-Audio and DVD-RAM discs and includes progressive scan output, 54MHz/12-bit video DACs, and MPEG digital noise reduction.

Model DVD-H2000 uses a high quality video circuit designed for high-end projector owners. It includes discrete 480p/480i video out and 480p with BNC terminals, illuminated joystick remote, and DVD/CD text display.

Also included are two five-disc changers. Model DVD-CV51 offers a front-loading rotary design. Model DVD-CP71 adds DVD-Audio and progressive-scan video output capability.

New in digital television monitors will be the PJ-47WX49, which is billed as a pedestal style CRT-based rear projection HDTV monitor. It features a 47W-inch 16:9 screen size, and it offers dual 1080i and 480p native scan display capability. It includes a dual NTSC tuner, BBE sound enhancement and a pair of HD component video inputs with auto detection for progressive scan and interlace signals. It is expected to ship in May at an estimated retail of around $2,000.

Also slated are a pair of LCD-based widescreen Enhanced Definition TV monitors, each of which has a built-in NTSC tuner-the 15W-inch TC-15LT1 (December, $1,999.95 suggested retail) and the 22W-inch TC-22LT1 (January, $4,999.95). Both with display signals in 480p format in 854×480 resolution.

A leader in the TV/DVD/VCR category will showcase an assortment of TV/DVD direct-view combo models, which recently started shipping to dealers. The category includes a 27-inch model ($999 suggested retail), and a pair of flat-screen PureFlat models in the 20-inch ($999) and 27-inch ($1,299) screen sizes.

The company will maintain its broad line of TV/VCR combo units by offering 13 models in screen sizes ranging from 9 to 27 inches. New editions this year will include a pair of 9-inch AC-DC portables with Panasonic’s wireless audio feature that transmits the sound over an unused FM radio frequency. In small-screen models the feature is offered for in-car use so kids riding in the back seat can listen to videos on headphones connected to portable radios without distracting the driver. The wireless audio feature is included in five models.

In TV/VCR, the line includes two 9-inch models; four 13-inch models; two-head, four-head and HiFi 20-inch models; four-head and HiFi 25-inch models, and a 27-inch HiFi model.