Panasonic HDTV DIRECTV Systems Panasonic, the first consumer electronics company to introduce HDTV in the United States, and DIRECTV,Inc,the nation’s leading digital television , have entered into an agreement to incorporate DIRECTV PLUSÂ ™ high definition television receivers into Panasonic brand digital television certified set-top boxes. The announcement was made at the 2000 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.The new products will be manufactured by Matsushita Television and computer system and will be marketed and sold in the United States later this year by Panasonic “Consumer Electronics” Company (PCEC). Product development of the new set-top box is being carried out jointly by MTNC and Burlington, NJ-based Panasonic AVC American Laboratories, Inc. (PAVCAL), together with their parent labs .
DirecTV Satellite Systems
Panasonic has demonstrated its leadership by becoming the first consumer electronics manufacturer to make high definition television available to consumers,” said Bill Casamo, executive vice president for Directv. “We’re very excited about our new plan to develop Directv HDTV satellite receivers, as they will complement the already growing number of HDTV sets sold in the marketplace.”
Panasonic was the first to introduce a high definition digital television monitor in the United States in August 1998, followed by its first all-format digital television set-top box in October 1998.
This agreement with DIRECTV is another dynamic step in Panasonic’s commitment to provide consumers with the greatest choice and convenience to enjoy the full breadth of digital television programming,” said Bill Mannion, PCEC’s general manager, Television and Network Systems Division.
DIRECTV began broadcasting its first national high definition consumer channel to customers of its high-power satellite television service on Aug. 1. The channel, Home Box Office’s high definition HBO HDTV, features blockbuster Hollywood films and original movies from HBO in high definition format and airs on DIRECTV(r) 24 hours daily. A second DIRECTV high definition channels, featuring pay per view movies and other select programming was launched for consumers Nov. 1.
With Panasonic DIRECTV enabled set-top receiver, consumers will have an expanded number of viewing choices, including access to DIRECTV’s satellite broadcasts in both standard and high definition, as well as terrestrial broadcasts available in the localÂ area via a rooftop antenna. The Panasonic receiver is also the first to feature the Advanced Programming Guide, which seamlessly displays program information from all available sources.
We believe DIRECTV can play a pivotal role in the acceptance of HDTV technologies, added Mannion. With HBO and other program sources already broadcasting high definition via DIRECTV, the addition of DIRECTV-enabled set-top boxes to our comprehensive line of digital television products allows us to bring the excitement and benefits of high definition television to a much broader audience.”
DIRECTV is the only satellite TV service whose receiving system is being built into HDTV sets and DIRECTV/ATSC* set-top converter boxes, thus providing consumers with virtually instant access to DIRECTV programming and local digital terrestrial channels via a rooftop antenna, where available.
DIRECTV HD Receiver
The Panasonic DIRECTV PLUS ™ set-top box will be displayed at the 2000 International Consumer Electronics Show in DIRECTV Booth 5611 and Panasonic Booth 2001.
DIRECT TV is the nation’s leading digital television entertainment service with more than 8 million customers, including customers subscribing to PRIMESTAR By DIRECTV. DIRECTV and DIRECTV PLUS are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of Hughes Electronics Corporation. Hughes Electronics is the world’s leading provider of satellite and wireless system and service . The earnings of Hughes Electronics, a unit of General Motors Corporation, are used to calculate the earnings per share attributable to the General Motors Class H common stock (NYSE:GMH). Visit DIRECTV on the World Wide Web at www.directv.com.
Located in San Diego, California, Matsushita Television and Network Systems, companies manufactures a wide range of television products, which are marketed and sold in the United States by Secaucus, New Jersey-based Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC) or are exported to other countries. Both companies are divisions of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America (MECA), the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Ltd. (NYSE: MC), one of the world’s largest producers of electronic and electric products for consumer, business and industrial use.
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