Panasonic plans Blu-Ray player for September

Japanese consumer electronics giant Panasonic has announced that it expects to introduce its first Blu-Ray DVD player, the DMP-BD10, in September. Although pricing has not been finalised, the company says it expects to start selling the new machines at under $1,500 in the US.

The company says that it will also be introducing a high definition television set at the same time to accompany the DMP-BD10.

The Blu-Ray format will be able to hold over 50GB of data on a dual layer disc – far more than the current generation of DVD discs. However the new high definition plasma televisions which are currently being sold in anticipation of the launch of high definition broadcasts this summer will require higher capacity discs to show movies with the same crystal clear display.

‘We want to ensure that the consumer experience is as easy as possible, so we’ve added EZ-Sync HDAVI control function to make it simple to connect and control multiple products, such as a Panasonic Plasma TV, Blu-ray Disc player and receiver,’ said Reid Sullivan, VP of merchandising, Panasonic’s entertainment group. ‘Plus, with the BD10 we respect the legacy content that consumers have in their entertainment libraries, including virtually all DVD and CD formats, as well as video and image formats.’

Other companies that have so far announced Blu-Ray players are Sony, Pioneer and Samsung. However, all of these machines are likely to be much more expensive than the machines from the rival Toshiba-inspired HD DVD format. Toshiba said it would launch its own HD-A1 and HD-XA1 HD-DVD players in April to be priced around $500 and $800.

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