NEWS RELEASE

 

Panasonic Industrial Company Computer Components Group Tel. 408.945.5600

Division of Matsushita Electric 1600 McCandless Drive Fax 408.262.4214

Corporation of America Milpitas, CA 95035

Contact: Andy Marken

marken@cerf.net

(408) 986-0100 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Panasonic Highlights Video Production Capabilities of

DVD-RAM Drive and REALmagic DVR ON PBS

Computer Currents TV Demonstration Showing Ease of Producing High-Quality Personal, Professional Videos Will be Aired Nationally on PBS Stations Beginning October 19

Milpitas, CA (October 5, 1999) – Panasonic Industrial Company (PIC), the leading provider of DVD-RAM drives and media, will demonstrate the video production capabilities of its LF-D101 DVD-RAM on the upcoming DVD 101 segment of Computer Currents, television’s longest running technology show. During the demonstration, the drive will be connected to a PC equipped with Sigma Designsâ ’ (Nasdaq: SIGM) REALmagicâ DVRÔ (Digital Video Recorder) to show how easily DVD titles can be produced, edited and stored on DVD-RAM media for playback on a PC with a DVD drive or a DVD player. Station and airing times for Computer Currents’ DVD 101 show can be found by visiting .

For the segment, the show’s host, Stewart Cheifet, and Jeff Saake, PIC’s general manager, will explain how video can be captured from a digital camcorder or a video tape and encoded with MPEG compression technology. A theater-quality DVD title can then be created by dragging-and-dropping the compressed video as well as audio clips, graphics, and backgrounds into the authoring application. After storing the video on 5.2GB rewriteable DVD media, the video can be played back on a PC monitor or an NTSC/PAL TV screen by using the same DVD-RAM drive or the latest DVD-ROM drives and DVD players. The videos can also be attached to e-mail messages, posted on the Web, or shared over corporate LANs and WANs.

The end-to-end DVD video production demonstration illustrates that by combining the Panasonic DVD-RAM drive with a low-cost encoder/decoder such as Sigma’s REALmagic DVR, in-house video producers, graphic designers, educators and consumers have an affordable solution for recording, editing, authoring, and archiving amazingly high-quality video and audio. And unlike tape, DVD titles won’t deteriorate over time.

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Consumers and professionals alike will appreciate the high performance, media inter- changeability and low storage cost of the Panasonic LF-D101 drive. The rewriteable DVD drive writes and rewrites to DVD-RAM media at over 9x CD speed. In addition, it reads DVD-ROM at 2x and CD, CD-R, and CD-RW at up to 20x. The drive’s 120ms average seek time also ensures fast access. With DVD-RAM media providing a capacity of 2.6GB per side at less than a penny per MB and more than 100,000 write/rewrite cycles, storage costs are exceptionally low.

Featuring full compliance with DVD-RAM standards, Sigma Designs’ REALmagic DVR combines a high-performance MPEG-2 encoder with the award-winning quality of its Hollywood PlusÔ MPEG-2/DVD decoder onto a single PCI add-in card. Sigma’s DVR is bundled with a fully integrated software solution for capturing, editing, and authoring DVD videos. The capture software lets users configure the bit rate and format of the video and see exactly what the effects will be by using the card’s real-time preview feature. With its MPEG-2 editing capabilities, the easy-to-use software enables users to capture video segments and paste them into a new file. The DVD authoring software delivers true DVD-Video formatted video, with interactive menus and other features, which can be saved onto DVD-RAM discs.

During playback, the decoder chip decodes MPEG-2 bit streams at up to 15 Mb/sec and supports resolutions of 720 x 480 at 30fps (NTSC) and 720 x 576 fps (PAL). The decoder supports standard DVD-Video and interactive playback on TV sets and VGA monitors.

Pricing, Availability

Sigma Designs’ REALmagic DVR will work with any PC with an Intelâ Pentiumâ 133 MHz processor without requiring a specialized graphics adapter. The versatile codec includes drivers for Windowsâ 95, 98, and NT with DirectShow filters. Samples of REALmagic DVR will be available later this quarter. REALmagic DVR will be sold through OEMs and systems integrators. The suggested retail price for the codec card is less than $999.

The Panasonic LF-D101 DVD-RAM drive is available as an internal drive with a SCSI-2 interface. OEMs can purchase the drive from Panasonic Industrial Company. Panasonic Document Imaging Company (PDIC) is also marketing Panasonic brand LF-D103U DVD-RAM drives for an MSRP of $699. DVD-RAM media, which is marketed under the Panasonic brand name, is also available from several other leading manufacturers. The removable double-sided 5.2GB disc has an MSRP of $39.95. The 2.6GB single-sided media has an MSRP of $24.95 and is sold with a removable cartridge for playback on the latest Panasonic 5X and 6X DVD-ROM drives.

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Corporate Profiles

Sigma Designs is an acknowledged leader in the fast-growing digital video market. Sigma specializes in digital video encoding/decoding for the PC DVD market, for video streaming over corporate Intranets and extranets, and for the emerging set-top box/information appliance market. Sigma is a driving force in advancement of digital video technology used in high-speed, high-bandwidth transmission for business, home, and education markets. Sigma Designs’ products, marketed under the REALmagic trade name, are sold worldwide through a direct sales force, distributors, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). For more information, visit the Company's web site at http://www.sigmadesigns.com.

For more information on the Panasonic OEM DVD-RAM drive and media, contact Panasonic Industrial Company, 1600 McCandless Drive, Milpitas, CA 95035; (408) 945-5600, FAX (408) 262-4214, E-mail berzind@panasonic.com. Or, visit the company's Web site at www.panasonic.com/oemdvd-ram. For Panasonic-branded DVD-RAM drives and media, contact Panasonic Document Imaging Company, Two Panasonic Way 7D-9, Secaucus, NJ 07030 (201) 348-7282, E-mail marusicm@panasonic.com. In Canada, contact Panasonic Canada, Ambler Drive, Mississauga, Ontario L4W 2T3, Canada; (905) 238-2254, FAX (905) 238-2414, E-mail rkwong@panasonic.ca.

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Sigma Designs, Inc. is not a part or in any way legally affiliated with Panasonic Industrial Company. Panasonic Industrial Company assumes no responsibility for the performance of or customer satisfaction with Sigma Designs products. All company and/or product names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective manufacturers. Features, pricing, availability and specifications are subject to change without notice.

 

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