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Panasonic 3D Aces US Open Tennis

Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company announced that it wrapped up a successful couple of weeks at the USTA National Tennis Center, teaming up with DIRECTV and CBS Sports to deliver the first-ever 3D broadcasts of US Open matches including the men’s and women’s singles finals.

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Unedited press release follows:

Panasonic 3D Technology Aces 2010 US Open

Delivers US Open in First-Ever Live-in-3D Broadcast in Collaboration with DIRECTV and CBS Sports

Panasonic Joins with Sports Video Group to Create “3D Tennis Playbook”

SECAUCUS, N.J., Sept. 24 — Panasonic, a worldwide leader in Full HD 3D(1) technology and the official 3D HDTV sponsor of the US Open, wrapped up a successful fortnight at the USTA National Tennis Center last week teaming up with DIRECTV and CBS Sports to deliver the first-ever 3D broadcasts of US Open matches including the men’s and women’s singles finals – which will become the basis of a soon-to-be released textbook guide to producing 3D tennis broadcasting.

Panasonic also marked the US unveiling of its first consumer 3D camcorder at the 2010 Open as well as the availability of the much-anticipated world’s first professional 3D camcorder, and a partnership with professional TV services company Bexel to provide 3D broadcast rigs for live television productions.

Professional Tennis Enters 3D Era
During the two weeks of tennis at the US Open, center court matches during both weekends were broadcast in 3D on DIRECTV’s n3D™ powered by Panasonic – a linear channel dedicated exclusively to 3D programming and viewable on 3D television sets including Panasonic’s line of award-winning VIERA Full HD 3D TVs. n3D is one of DIRECTV’s three separate all-3D channels which launched June 30, sponsored by Panasonic to deliver even more 3D sports, entertainment, documentary and other programming to DIRECTV’s HD subscribers.

Panasonic’s AG-3DA1, the world’s first professional 3D camcorder with SD Memory Card recording capabilities, played a major role in the production of the 3D US Open broadcasts, complementing the seven stationary dual-HD camera 3D rigs by providing roving 3D coverage of key matches and behind-the-scenes activities from around the USTA National Tennis Center grounds.

“We were very excited about bringing the first 3D broadcasts of the US Open into viewers’ homes,” said Ken Aagaard, CBS Sports’ Executive Vice President of Engineering and Production. “The US Open offered us an opportunity to work within a much smaller field of play than we’ve seen with baseball, basketball and football and capture the nuances of the game of tennis from very unique perspectives. Panasonic’s 3DA1 pro camcorder also provided us with just the tool we needed to fill the void in the on-court action by going into the crowds and capturing the behind-the-scenes tennis world in 3D as well. Feedback from viewers has been very positive thus far.”

Panasonic, DIRECTV and Best Buy also supported the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) 3D Demo Days, which coincided with championship weekend at the US Open, by inviting the public to visit Best Buy stores across the country to watch the DIRECTV n3D channel broadcasts of the US Open in 3D on Panasonic VIERA® Plasma 3D HDTVs. Overall 59 retailers in 3,000 stores participated in CEA’s 3D Demo Days across the US.

Guide to 3D Tennis Broadcasts
Panasonic is underwriting the development of the 3D Tennis Playbook, a hands-on guide for industry professionals on how to produce tennis events in 3D, produced by the Sports Video Group (SVG), the industry’s premier technical working group for producers, and distributors of sports content.

“The Playbook is going to be a frontline documentary on how to produce tennis tournaments in 3D so that broadcasters worldwide can take advantage of the experience gained at the groundbreaking 3D broadcasts from the 2010 US Open to bring the excitement of professional tennis in 3D to more and more homes,” says SVG Executive Director Martin Porter.  “We are grateful to Panasonic for advancing 3D production techniques and technology and for being a partner in the creation of this valuable industry resource.”

US Open Fans Step Into the 3D World
As part of Panasonic’s sponsorship of the US Open, fans attending this year’s event could visit the Panasonic 3D Experience Gallery located at historic Louis Armstrong Stadium where they could see themselves in 3D, watch 3D movies and programs and catch the US Open action live in 3D on DIRECTV’s n3D powered by Panasonic channel. During the two-week event, more than 40,000 fans visited the Panasonic Gallery and other 3D demo areas located around the National Tennis Center to experience the immersive world of Panasonic 3D home entertainment for themselves.

“As a worldwide leader in 3D technology, Panasonic is extremely proud to work with such equally dedicated partners and industry leaders as the USTA, CBS Sports, DIRECTV and SVG to lead professional tennis into the 3D era,” said Eisuke Tsuyuzaki, Panasonic’s Chief Technology Officer. “With 3D home entertainment, seeing truly is believing, and tennis fans both at the US Open and around the country have now been able to see for themselves how 3D technology will be able to transform their living room into a front row seat to the world’s top sports and entertainment events.”

About Panasonic 3D Technology
Panasonic’s range of Full HD 3D VIERA® Plasma HDTVs (VT25 and GT25 Series), when coupled with Panasonic’s 3D Blu-ray Disc players (DMP-BDT100, DMP- BDT300, DMP-BDT350) bring a new era of immersive visual entertainment into consumers’ homes(2), by creating a 3D experience that easily rivals the best that can be seen in cinemas.  In addition, Panasonic and DIRECTV recently ushered in a new age in the rapid growth of 3D entertainment for the home with the launch of n3D™ powered by Panasonic – a DIRECTV channel dedicated exclusively to 3D programming. n3D powered by Panasonic is now available at no additional cost to millions of DIRECTV HD customers and features a range of sports and entertainment programming exclusively in 3D. Panasonic is the exclusive presenting sponsor of DIRECTV’s n3D channel, one of three 3D TV channels from DIRECTV that deliver movies, sports and entertainment content from some of the world’s most renowned 3D producers.

All Panasonic VIERA Full HD 3D TV models are also Full HD TVs that display pristine 1080p content in two dimensions (2D) for conventional HD viewing.

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company:
Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company (PCEC), a market and technology leader in High Definition television, is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC) and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic is pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth’s natural resources and protect our environment through the company’s Eco Ideas programs.

1) Panasonic “Full HD 3D” is defined as follows:

* compatible with 1080p 3D signal
* panel has native resolution of 1920x1080p display
* depending upon the model, different 3D signal processing is used

2) Current 3D content will be limited and may include certain Blu-ray Disc titles and satellite programming. Additional equipment and/or subscription fees may apply. 3D Blu-ray Disc player (sold separately) is required to view 3D Blu-ray Disc content and Active Shutter 3D Eyewear (sold separately) is required to view all 3D content.