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Panasonic Provides More Blu-ray Details

New York — Panasonic set September as the launch date for its first Blu-ray Disc player with a price under $1,500.

Speaking at its “Digital Lifestyle” event, held here yesterday, company executives said the DMP-BD10’s pricing would be finalized later in the year, but would launch alongside Panasonic’s first 1,080p plasma and high-definition receiver.

The company also announced that its mammoth 103-inch 1,080p plasma set debuted at International CES would ship in the United States this year. Pricing was not expected to be finalized until later in the year.

“It will be in our customers’ homes before the holidays are over,” said John Iacoviello, product and marketing VP.

The penetration of so many plasma TVs will enable a “digital lifestyle” as consumers make and enjoy high-definition content in novel ways, Iacoviello asserted. The integration of SD card slots into all of its plasma displays will help push imaging off of the computer and into the living room, helping users create “digital scrapbooks” viewable on the big screen, Iacoviello added.

On the digital still side, optical group director Richard Campbell hailed 2006 as the company’s “coming out party” for its Lumix line, noting that the company had increased the number of dealers for its camera line by a factor of three.