Panasonic (NYSE: MC), the market and technology leader in Plasma HDTV, and Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and communications, today announced a series of new products powered by tru2way™ technology, including Plasma HDTV, HD DVR set-top boxes and portable DVR devices. These digital cable devices, which are based on CableLabs' OpenCable™ specifications known as tru2way technology that are being adopted by cable providers nationwide, will provide unprecedented flexibility that simplifies and enhances the way people watch television.
"When we announced our plans to test and develop a fully interactive digital cable enabled HDTV based on CableLabs' OpenCable technologies at CES 2007, we looked forward with anticipation and determination to the actual launch of this revolutionary product," said Toshihiro Sakamoto, President of Panasonic AVC Networks Co, the video, audio and computer development and manufacturing arm of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. "At CES 2008, we are pleased to announce that Panasonic is partnering with Comcast, a cable industry leader, to meet that goal. Indeed, Panasonic will not only deliver a Panasonic Viera Plasma HDTV with tru2way technology later this year, we are also announcing the first portable DVR and digital cable set-top boxes powered by tru2way technology, all of which truly allow consumers to maximize their enjoyment of digital cable television programming."
"We're very excited about the work we've done with Panasonic to make tru2way technology a reality in new plasma high-definition televisions, portable DVRs and set-top boxes," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast Corporation and Chairman of CableLabs. "The tru2way platform is here today, and provides the best way to get two-way devices into the hands of consumers, while also giving them access to the full suite of services they want and expect from cable."
Dick Green, President of CableLabs, noted, "We at CableLabs are delighted to see these Panasonic products coming to market. As support for tru2way technology is adopted by MSOs nationwide, consumers can be confident that exciting new interactive digital cable products from innovative companies such as Panasonic will work seamlessly with any cable MSO that supports OpenCable specifications nationwide."
Tru2way-ready Viera HDTV
Panasonic announced today that selected models of Viera HDTV will include tru2way technology and are expected to be available at retail later this year. This capability is an added feature to these Panasonic's Viera HDTVs that simplifies and improves the total television experience of digital cable television subscribers. In those markets served by Comcast and other cable providers that have upgraded their networks to support tru2way technology, these revolutionary Viera Plasma High Definition televisions are able to access the full range of interactive digital cable video services, including video on demand and interactive program guides without a set-top-box. Panasonic Viera HDTV with tru2way technology provides multiple consumer benefits including less wiring, less unsightly component clutter and simpler operation with a single remote control.
Tru2way technology Set-Top Box
The Panasonic tru2way set-top box with DVR, which is currently in trials, is expected to be delivered to Comcast in 2008. The set-top box is designed for use with non-tru2way-capable HD television sets and lets customers access two-way services, including VOD and HD VOD, from Comcast and other cable operators.
Comcast and Panasonic also unveiled the first portable DVR player powered by tru2way technology at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show. The Comcast AnyPlay™ Portable DVR (P-DVR) is expected to be available in early 2009 and will let Comcast customers record programming at home and watch it wherever they go on the AnyPlay P-DVR.
Jointly developed by Panasonic and Comcast, the AnyPlay P-DVR incorporates DVR functionality into a Panasonic portable DVD player with a built-in folding 8.5" LCD screen and speakers. When placed onto a companion docking station that functions as set-top box with tru2way technology inside, the AnyPlay P-DVR lets viewers watch and record up to 60 hours of their favorite programs. However, unlike a traditional set-top box, it can be used as a television with its built-in screen and can be taken out of its docking station, so recorded programs can be watched anywhere in or out of the home on the AnyPlay P-DVR. The portable device also can playback DVDs and audio CDs.
For a webcast of Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts' CES keynote address and for additional press information on Comcast announcements at CES, please visit www.comcast.com/ces.
Panasonic AVC Networks Company is the video, audio and computer development and manufacturing arm of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Corporation of North America is the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Information about Panasonic products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and communications products and services. With 24.2 million cable customers, 12.9 million high-speed Internet customers, and 4.1 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.
Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, ten regional Comcast SportsNets and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast's Internet business. Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.
tru2way is a trademark of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.
AnyPlay is a trademark of Comcast Corporation or its subsidiaries.