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Panasonic Develops the Worlds Smallest 1080p Plasma Display Panel

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Prototype of 50-inch PDP unveiled at CEATEC JAPAN 2005

Osaka, Japan – Panasonic, the leading brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is best known, today announced the company has developed a prototype of a 50-inch plasma display panel (PDP) with 1080p (progressive) resolution. The prototype is the world’s smallest PDP that delivers more than two million pixels (1,920 × 1,080) and the same brightness as its current high definition (1,366 × 768) model TH-50PX500. Panasonic unveiled the prototype at CEATEC JAPAN 2005 at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo. The exhibition commenced today and will run until October 8.

Superior characteristics of the PDP such as true-to-life color reproduction, dynamic contrast, quick response to moving images and wide viewing angles make it an ideal device for TVs. In the past, technical challenges in securing brightness and stable discharge from tiny pixels1 prevented manufacturers from obtaining 1080p resolution for 50-inch and smaller PDPs.

Panasonic has overcome the technical hurdles. The 50-inch 1080p PDP offers the same high aperture ratio and brightness as the current 50-inch HD model. To achieve the high aperture ratio and high-speed pixel drive, the company used its own technologies developed for the 65-inch 1080p PDP. Panasonic also established technologies to make ribs2 thinner and phosphors tinier. The prototype displayed at CEATEC JAPAN 2005 incorporates a new drive circuit that enables stable light emission. These technologies will enable Panasonic to offer PDPs in many popular-sized large-screen flat-panel TVs without compromising accurate and high-quality images that only PDPs can deliver.

Most of the current terrestrial digital broadcasts in Japan are 1080i (interlaced, 1,440 × 1,080) resolution. As some of these broadcasts are converted from standard definition (720 × 480), the current HD panels are more than capable of reproducing those signals. As digital HD broadcasting services are spreading and improving in the world, higher quality images, exceeding the current HD broadcasts, are expected to air in the near future.

Anticipating the future progress and increasing demand for such HD content, Panasonic has pursued development of 1080p-capable PDPs and succeeded in commercially producing the 65-inch 1080p PDP TV (TH-65PX500). The model will be available in Japan from November 1, 2005.

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With the development of the 50-inch 1080p PDP, Panasonic will accelerate its efforts in furthering its high-resolution and high-quality picture technologies and continue to offer enhanced value to consumers.

Panasonic owns 21 Japanese and five overseas patents on the product including current applications.

Notes:
1. A plasma screen consists of millions of pixels. Each pixel is made up of three different cells or sub-pixels, one for each color, red, green and blue. When charged with electrical voltage, each cell produces light independently. By controlling intensity of each sub-pixel color, hundreds of thousands of colors are created, expressing subtle nuances.

2. A “rib” divides each gas cell and prevents interference between adjacent cells to produce clear images.

Key specifications:

Size (aspect ratio) 50 inches (16:9)
Number of Pixels 2.07 million (1920 horizontal x 1080 vertical)
Pixel Pitch 0.576 × 0.576 mm (50-inch HD model: 0.81 × 0.81 mm)
Effective Viewing Area Width: 110.6 mm Height: 62.2 mm Diagonal: 126.9 mm
Contrast Ratio (in dark surroundings) 3000:1

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$81.44 billion for the year ended March 31, 2005. 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.co.jp/global/index.html.

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