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Panasonic’s Ohtsubo On Networks, Content, Blu-ray

Tokyo — Fumio Ohtsubo, president of Panasonic’s AVC Networks Company, used that now familiar word — “ubiquitous” — to describe digital networks of the future and explained why his company is in a unique position to take advantage of the technological change.

Ohtsubo, whose responsibilities include Panasonic’s CE business worldwide, told the international press attending the CEATEC show in nearby Chiba that the target for his company and the industry should be “ubiquitous” networks where users will be able to use a variety of mobile, home and computer products to gain access to content in a seamless manner.

The Panasonic executive thinks that the company’s oft-stated “3D Value Chain Strategy” of SD memory cards and DVD-RAM becoming “de facto standards” and “global number one share” in plasma TVs gives it a unique position in this effort to supply current and future products for today’s and tomorrow’s networks.

Ohtsubo said that content security and Digital Rights Management must be in the forefront if this dream of accessing information and entertainment anywhere, anytime by anyone will be realized.

In a networked environment, “When we talk about content security technology … we mean consumers who want to browse media at home using wired or wireless applications. CE manufacturers want total security in our networks and have been working on this for several years. [We think] Panasonic is a leader in this effort,” Ohtsubo stated.

Blu-ray, the HD optical format that Panasonic is vigorously backing vs. rival HD DVD, needs effectively protected packaged media for it to be successful. Ohtsubo is hopeful that packaged media will be available by 2006 when “Panasonic will introduce Blu-ray on a worldwide basis.”

He emphasized that while Panasonic and Sony have introduced Blu-ray in Japan this year, “On the HD DVD side there is no product yet. Maybe next year?” He noted that when HDTV programming increases dramatically in the United States, “we can begin introduction of BD recorders,” which he again expects to be 2006.

When it comes to Blu-ray, Ohtsubo not only thinks it will play a vital role in networks of the near future and play a “critical role in the home server of A/V content.” He said that Blu-ray’s “large storage capacity versus HD DVD will give it an advantage in this area.”

For more Panasonic news please see:

Ohtsubo Bullish On Q4 HD