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Panasonic Bows Blu-ray Deck With “Final Standard” Features

Los Angeles — Panasonic today introduced a next-generation Blu-ray player it said is the first with the format’s Final Standard Profile feature, and will ship it in November.

Final Standard Profile is an advanced function added to the Blu-ray standard, which Panasonic said allows new functions such as picture-in-picture and audio mixing (which allows the consumer to switch the sound between the main and sub windows).

Panasonic’s DMP-BD30 is said to be the first Blu-ray deck to also feature the inclusion of an SD card slot for playback of high-definition content recorded in the AVCHD format. The SD slot also allows for viewing of digital still images recorded to an SD card.

“The DMP-BD30 will contribute greatly to Blu-ray’s mounting lead over the competing format,” said Gene Kelsey, VP, Panasonic entertainment group.

The DMP-BD30 has a suggested retail of $499, and a company spokesperson said it is expected to ship in the United States during November.

Kelsey explained that when Final Standard Profile features are a combined with a Blu-ray movie, “that is authored to include the Profile the viewer has a myriad of entertainment options. One of the more intriguing aspects of the Final Standard Profile is the picture-in-picture feature that allows the movie fan to access a variety of entertainment enhancements, such as having the director or an actor pop up to discuss the scene you are watching, or when watching an animated movie, you can see the actor performing their character’s voice over, all while still watching the movie.”

He added the features also provide “the movie community with numerous opportunities to embellish the viewing experience with additional creative elements.”

The DMP-BD30 also features other advances in the format, including Deep Color Compatibility, and HDMI 1.3B, that bumps the step gradation from 8-bit 256 all the way up to 12-bit, 4,096 step gradation, Panasonic said.

Other features the DMP-BD30 provides are 1080/24p playback, so the consumer can see the same 24 fps reproduction as the original movie. “This eliminates the need to utilize 3:2 pull down, a process to convert 24 fps images to 60 fps, resulting in a smoother picture,” Panasonic said.

Panasonic has included a multifunction SD card slot to this Blu-ray player. Coupled with the AVCHD codec, the DMP-BD30 allows for images recorded on a high capacity HD SD card to be outputted directly from the player’s HDMI terminal in their original 1080p form.

The DMP-BD30 provides an AVCHD Direct Navigator function that “makes it easy to search for particular scenes. The player can also play back JPEG still images on an SD card, such as those recorded with a Panasonic Lumix digital camera. The DMP-BD30 converts the images to 1,920 by 1,080 resolution, ideal for viewing on a 1080p HD plasma and output them through the HDMI terminal.

And the DMP-DB30 features the EZ-Sync HDAVI control that allows the consumer to operate their Panasonic home theater system with one remote, the company said.