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Panasonic Inks 3-D Movie Sponsorship Deal

Secaucus, N.J. – Executives with Panasonic Consumer
Electronics revealed Friday that it has signed a sponsorship deal for famed
director James Cameron’s forthcoming sci-fi 3-D feature film “Avatar.”

Panasonic executives said they will
use the sponsorship deal with 20th Century Fox to begin promoting awareness for
new 3-D-ready plasma televisions and 3-D-enabled Blu-ray Disc players it plans
to introduce in 2010.

Panasonic’s approach to 3-D, which it is
working with other companies to standardize, will enable playing 3-D
stereoscopic video in full 1080p HD resolution. The technology presents two separate
1080p images, which the human eye perceives as a single 3-D image when viewed
through special glasses. The glass are designed to block vision in one eye and
then the other as the television displays rapidly alternating images, each with
a slightly different angle, to create an illusion of depth.

Cameron’s new film, which will be released
in theaters on Dec. 18 in both 2-D and 3-D versions, features a combination of
live action and animated special effects.

Bob Perry, Panasonic Consumer
Electronics North America executive VP, said his company will join others in
the industry in promoting and introducing 3-D HD equipment for the home.

Upon the introduction of equipment,
he said he expects as many as 100 3-D HD titles on Blu-ray Disc to be

Meanwhile, Panasonic plans to begin spreading the word this fall by giving demonstrations across the U.S. and Europe
using specially designed trailer vans showing “Avatar” trailers.

Perry said he could not yet
estimate how much of a price premium the new home-based 3-D-enabled products
will carry. However, he said the first products will likely be introduced as
step-up items to 2-D only TVs and Blu-ray Disc players before the appeal
spreads in several years to more mainstream audiences.

Perry said that while Panasonic
will focus on delivering the capability to television based on plasma
technology, he expects others to develop LCD-based products that will play the
new content.