Jaume Rey Surveys HD Progress in Europe

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Last Updated: June 2, 2008 4:26 pm GMT
(WIESBADEN, Germany--June 2, 2008) Jaume Rey, Director of Professional & Broadcast IT Systems Business Unit (PBITS), delivered the keynote speech at the Universitat de València CONTD Conference, a two-day event held 26-27 May 2008 in València, Spain.

Addressing industry leaders, professionals, and students on the topic of "HD Content in Europe" Rey surveyed the development and current state of European HD production, and noted that while consumers have embraced HD acquisition technology, many viewers are still watching television on SD sets.

Rey stated, "HD has expanded extensively throughout Europe in recent years and is now present almost everywhere. The U.S. and Japan are ahead of us in Europe though some European countries — such as the U.K., France, and the Scandinavian countries — have already invested and adopted the HD technology. In countries such as Spain, broadcasters and production companies must show a lead in the introduction of HD.

"In a growing market, manufacturers need to think globally instead of locally where content production and distribution is concerned. Examples of innovative video distribution such as YouTube illustrate the wider view required and European countries should play a key role on this development because of the rich resources of the European cultural heritage. Spain, in particular, with a 400 million potential market of Spanish speakers globally, should play a leading part."

Rey also announced Panasonic's support for the 720/50p format, following EBU-UER's and the BBC's support. "However, our mission as a manufacturer is to let the market decide which technology will be the best to implement," he said, before going on to highlight the BBC's commitment to HD since 2002. "We are very pleased that the BBC showed their interest and support by shooting the superb Planet Earth series using Panasonic Varicam cameras."

Mark Lindfield, the BBC producer and director of Planet Earth showed some scenes from the production and explained that their initial misgivings at pioneering the use of HD for a BBC natural history documentary quickly gave way to a very favourable impression.

Lindfield added that HD technology is very similar in many respects to film while being more versatile and producing cleaner images. HD technology also allows users to get different views and angles in spaces that it would be difficult to shoot in with film cameras.

In conclusion, Jaume Rey pointed to a future in which HD technology will feed into a much wider range of productions, including videogames and virtual reality content production, as well as archive AV solutions.

More information is available at http://www.panasonic-broadcast.com.

About Panasonic
Best known by its Panasonic brand name, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of JPY 9,068.9 billion (approx. USD 90.52 billion, exchange rate USD 1=JPY 100.19) for the year ended March 31, 2008. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, and New York (NYSE:MC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit http://www.panasonic.net.

About PBITS
Panasonic's Professional Broadcast & IT Systems Business Unit is part of Panasonic Audio Visual and Computer Systems Europe (PAVCSE), a division of Panasonic Marketing Europe GmbH. The company is a leader in the development of video formats and core products for broadcast and professional AV, including camera-recorders, video recorders, monitors, and mixers. Panasonic's P2 systems provide the reliability of solid-state production with immediate connectivity to existing IT infrastructures, allowing for completely tapeless workflows. http://panasonic-broadcast.com

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