Panasonic Begins Pilot Blu-ray Line

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Universal City, Calif. — Panasonic will start operating a pilot production line for Blu-ray Disc replication and a technology center for creating Blu-ray Disc titles here this month at its Torrance disc manufacturing facility.

Panasonic said it hopes that the BD-ROM replication line and authoring technology center will “spur the development of a local end-to-end BD-ROM technology base for title production services and further demonstrate actual Blu-ray Disc title creation to Hollywood studios, replicators and production houses.”

The action was said to follow similar steps taken by the company to spur the launch of DVD disc replication, prior to the launch of that format.

Panasonic said it has developed technologies for the efficient mass production of BD-ROM discs using cost-effective resin coating. The company was instrumental in the development of an “ultra-precise spin-coating technology used to form the 0.1mm covering layer used in Blu-ray Disc.” Origin Electric was said to have developed production-machinery for the process.

“Panasonic has established this Blu-ray Disc pilot production line and authoring technology center to help the Blu-ray Disc industry get off to a smooth start,” said Kazuhiro Tsuga, Matsushita Electric’s executive officer. “Now, working with solution providers, Panasonic will meet the industry’s needs for both 0.1mm-based Blu-ray Disc replication and high-definition content authoring.”

Panasonic said the pilot Blu-ray Disc production line will begin full production of single-layer BD-ROM discs by the end of May, and dual-layer BD-ROM discs in December. The company’s Blu-ray Disc technology center will collaborate with Sonic Solutions for Blu-ray Disc authoring, the company said.

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