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July 13, 2006

Panasonic and Sony Expand HD Digital Video Camera Recorder Format “AVCHD” and Commence Joint Licensing

Panasonic (Matsushita Electric)
Sony Corporation

Tokyo, Japan, July 13, 2006--- Panasonic, the brand name for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is known and Sony Corporation (hereafter Sony) announced jointly today the commencement of licensing for “AVCHD” the high definition (HD) digital video camera recorder format, as well as expansion of the format’s specifications.
Panasonic and Sony announced basic specifications for “AVCHD” on May 11th this year, and since then have extensively promoted the format throughout the industry while preparing for licensing. Then, the two companies have decided to include memory cards (SD Memory Card and Memory Stick) and hard disk drives as applicable recording media of the format in addition to previously-announced 8cm DVD. This is for the purpose of broadening the range of applicable media, thereby allowing wide variety of products to be developed by various manufacturers. The new specification was defined as “AVCHD” format Version 1.0.
The two companies have also developed licensing programs for playback appliances and PC software in addition to the one for video cameras, so that environment for playing back AVCHD content will be expanded. This will allow users to enjoy shooting high definition footages with their camcorders and playing them back or editing them on a wide range of products.

Licensed Product Category for the “AVCHD” format and logo extend to the following

  1)  AVCHD format and logo license for Video Cameras
  2)  AVCHD format and logo license for Players
  3)  AVCHD format license for PC Software

For more information on “AVCHD” and licensing procedures:

Please visit the AVCHD Information Web Site http://www.avchd-info.org/

Panasonic and Sony have been promoting this format extensively throughout the industry as the new HD digital video camcorder format best suited for the coming High Definition era and the following companies have expressed their support for “AVCHD” to date. Through these licensing programs, Panasonic and Sony will continue promoting “AVCHD” in earnest, with a view to expanding the market for consumer-use HD video camera.
Adobe Systems Incorporated
CANON INC.
CyberLink Corporation
InterVideo, Inc.
Nero AG
PIONEER CORPORATION
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO.,LTD.
SHARP CORPORATION
Sonic Solutions
Ulead Systems, Inc.
* In alphabetical order

Specifications for the “AVCHD” format Version 1.0

Recording Media
8cm DVD media/
SD Memory Card/“Memory Stick”/
Hard Disk Drive
Video Video Signal 1080/60i
1080/50i
1080/24p
720/60p
720/50p
720/24p
480/60i 576/50i
Pixels (horizontal × vertical) 1920×1080
1440×1080
1280×720 720×480 720×576
Aspect ratio 16:9 16:9 4:3, 16:9 4:3, 16:9
Compression technology MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
Luminance
sampling frequency
74.25MHz
55.7MHz
74.25MHz 13.5MHz 13.5MHz
Sampling structure 4:2:0
Quantifying bit number 8 bit (luminance/color contrast)
Audio Compression technology Dolby Digital (AC-3) Linear PCM
Bit rate after
compression
64 - 640kbps 1.5Mbps (2 channels)
Audio channels 1-5.1 channels 1-7.1 channels
System MPEG-2 Transport Stream
System bit rate -24Mbps

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 US$76.02 billion for the year ended March 31, 2006. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, New York (NYSE:MC), Euronext Amsterdam and Frankfurt stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company’s website at http://panasonic.net

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading personal broadband entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $64 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006. Sony Global Web Site: http://www.sony.net

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