Panasonic, Motorola Chosen To Outfit Republican, Democratic Conventions

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The Consumer Electronics industry will be represented by Panasonic and Motorola at the upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions, technology coordinators for the events affirmed.

Panasonic has been selected to furnish both convention facilities - Philadelphia's Union Center, July 31-Aug. 3 (RNC) and Los Angeles' Staples Center, Aug. 14-17 (DNC) - representing more than 3 million square feet of combined floor space.

Tom Campbell, consumer electronics technology adviser for both conventions and the 2000 presidential debates, said Panasonic, in conjunction with Los Angeles-based Panasonic retailer Ken Cranes, was selected to outfit the two arenas because of the brand's strong assortment of current and forthcoming digital television technologies.

Panasonic will supply monitors on and around the convention floors, in speaker green rooms, and in a Consumer Electronics Association-sponsored technology showcase that will present working demonstrations of HDTV products and programming. Most sets are expected to be digital-capable.

Campbell said Panasonic planned to present a new laptop DVD player with a 15-inch widescreen LCD display and progressive-scan playback capability, and new high-contrast plasma display panels in the 50-inch and new breakthrough format 60-inch screen sizes.

Japanese NHK will be broadcasting the proceedings in HDTV for its domestic audience, and feeds will be used to demonstrate the full capabilities of the new televisions to convention attendees. Additionally, Campbell said, CEA was working to provide an off-air HDTV signal of the convention coverage from one of Philadelphia's DTV broadcasters.

Motorola, meanwhile, was named the official supplier of wireless technologies for the conventions.

Equipment to be provided to the host committees and attendees at the events will include two-way radios, wireless telephones and two-way pagers. These products will be offered to help attendees and officials keep in touch during convention proceedings.

In addition, Samsung, Yamaha and Zenith will also provide equipment for use in party executive offices in hotels. This will mark Panasonic's first time as a product outfitter for the national political conventions. In past conventions Samsung and Zenith were selected.

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