Panasonic Brings High-Definition Aquarium To Coconut Grove

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65" Pro Plasmas Centerpiece of Luxury Interior Design

Last Updated: March 14, 2006 5:33 pm GMT
(SECAUCUS, NJ --March 14, 2006) Two Panasonic 65" high definition plasma displays are on the cutting edge of interior design in a luxury condominium lobby in Coconut Grove, Florida. Mounted behind two large portholes cut in a lobby wall of the just-completed $200 million Grovenor House, the plasmas play HD underwater video so lifelike that visitors mistake it for an actual giant-tank aquarium. Colorful high definition fish swim from one porthole to another surrounded by the beautiful corals of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

The two video portholes are key elements of the Grovenor lobby's elegant decor designed by the Florentine architect, Michele Bonan, whose recent work includes several luxury hotels for Ferragamo. Bonan and the Grovenor's developer, Ugo Colombo, initially planned to install a huge salt-water aquarium until they realized that HD video would be more beautiful and much easier to maintain. Frederick Grossberg of Washington DC-based Mill Reef Video was brought in to produce the piece, and he immediately specified the Panasonic professional plasmas for their brilliant images and durability. Mill Reef is a video design firm that produces ambient video to enhance the interiors of homes, restaurants, and public spaces.

Mill Reef commissioned the Grovenor video from the Australian cinematographer, David Hannan, one of the world's top underwater shooters and the creator of the popular DVD, "Coral Sea Dreaming." Shot in 1080/24p, the video runs in a 13-minute loop with only a few unobtrusive edits. "It's definitely not paced like TV," says Grossberg. "It's more like looking through a window at the real thing."

Mill Reef worked with Henninger Media Services to online the piece and then slice the 16:9 image in half to create two separate 8:9 images, one showing the left half of the original scene and the other the right half. Since the plasmas were to be mounted vertically to conserve space, each 8:9 image was then rotated 90 degrees in post, laid back to two separate D-5 tapes, and encoded as two HD MPEG-2 streams by Technicolor Creative Services in Glendale. After much testing, the systems integrator, Ceitronics, settled on twin Doremi Nugget servers to play back the two streams in perfect synch on the two plasmas. The final effect is a single underwater scene seen from two perspectives through the two portholes.

Mill Reef also designed a second underwater video to play on displays mounted in the ceilings of the Grovenor's elevators, as well as a full-screen version of the porthole video for display in the developer's boardroom.

Panasonic Broadcast's eighth generation of professional plasma displays consists of six 8-Series models, four high definition panels – the 65" TH-65PHD8UK, 50" TH-50PHD8UK, 42" TH-42PHD8UK and 37" TH-37PHD8UK – and two standard definition panels – the 42" TH-42PWD8UK and 37" TH-37PWD8UK. The 8-Series models are distinguished by improved brightness, a new cabinet design, lower list prices and new features to make customization easier. This new plasma family features phenomenal image quality, high contrast ratio (4000:1 on SD models and 3000:1 on HD units), 8.58 billion displayable colors, an impressive 60,000-hour service life, elegant design, and models are equipped with interchangeable, multi-function slots for customizing the panels for an array of applications, including multi-screen display. For more information, visit http://www.panasonic.com/proplasma

About Panasonic Broadcast
Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast and professional video products and systems. Panasonic Broadcast is a unit company of Panasonic Corporation of North America. The company is the North American headquarters of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC) of Japan, and the hub of its U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations For more information on Panasonic Broadcast products, access the company’s web site at www.panasonic.com/broadcast.

About Mill Reef Video
Mill Reef Video designs and produces ambient video to enhance the interiors of homes, restaurants, and public spaces. Specializing in High Definition, Mill Reef creates custom programming for an international clientele of architects, designers, and systems contractors. For more information visit www.millreef.com.

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