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SD, Networking Take Spotlight At Panasonic’s CEATEC Display

CHIBA, JAPAN — Under the theme of “Digital Networking For Life,” Panasonic highlighted SD memory card technology, along with plenty of other component products and technologies that will make up home networks in the near future, at CEATEC 2000.

While showing DVD-RAM and HDTV plasma sets introduced earlier in the year, Panasonic debuted SD memory-card-based audio, fax and digital camera products, digital camcorders and other products as part of its strategy. The company also highlighted the BS (broadcast satellite) digital TV format that will debut in Japan this December.

Emphasizing the core of what it calls its “Creative Network,” Panasonic introduced a series of laptop PCs initially for the Japanese market called the AV Note PCs. They are earmarked for audio/ video uses, and feature user-friendly operation and ergonomic design. Each unit uses jog wheels and track balls to file moving and still images.

Again, the key to this from Panasonic’s standpoint is the SD memory card, which has a slot in each laptop in the AV Note series. Interfaces include the standard variety, as well as two i.LINK ports, wireless communication ports used on mobile devices, and digital optical terminals.

Panasonic also showed the first SD memory card digital camera, the ipalm PV-DC3000J, which features a 16MB multimedia card. Larger-capacity SD cards are sold separately. Available in Japan now, the suggested retail is $871. Using a 64MB SD memory card, up to 320 images can be saved in JPEG or TIFF formats. The unit also features a 1.5-inch color TFT screen, advanced 3.3-megapixel CCD, and 2x optical zoom as well as 3x digital zoom, the firm said.

Also shown:

  • An advanced chipset for SD audio players, which is said to be the first in the industry to incorporate both copyright protection and SD audio data recording in the hardware.
  • The NV-MX3000, a top-of-the-line DV-format digital camcorder featuring three CCDs, megapixel recording and Leica Dicomar lenses.
  • A “Hypersurround” sound system for personal use, with headphones that offer 5.1-channel surround sound capability for the home.

At press time, Fakon Nagasaki, Matsushita Electronic distribution business development director, denied reports that the company would market a Gamecube-compatible media player in Japan.