Panasonic announces palns for full DVD-Audio line for launch in July

Finally, after months of waiting and delay, DVD-Audio is showing first signs of live again with a new announcement from Panasonic today. Panasonic just offered a glimpse into the future of music by announcing plans for a full line of DVD-Audio/Video products under both the Panasonic and Technics brand names, with products arriving on store shelves beginning in July.

Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company anticipates an enthusiastic acceptance for DVD-Audio products, based on the capabilities of the new format and the phenomenal success of DVD-Video. DVD-Audio uses the tremendous data capacity of the DVD format to produce the closest thing to truly pure sound that technology has yet achieved. To provide such musical fidelity, DVD-Audio uses linear Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) offering ultra hi-fi (up to 192kHz/24-bit) 2-channel audio or up to 6 channels of hi-fi multi-channel sound and 74 minutes or more of play time on a CD-size disc. DVD-Audio players also play DVD-Video discs and compact discs.

The company will introduce DVD-Audio players in July to the U.S. market, under both the Panasonic and Technics brands. As previously announced, the Panasonic DVD-A7 will have a suggested retail price of $999.95, and the Technics DVD-A10 will have a suggested retail price of $1199.95. Technics will also introduce a line of DVD-Audio ready components, comprised of the SA-DA8 ($599.95) and SA-DA10 ($799.95) DVD-Audio ready receivers and DVD-Audio ready speakers, SB-T300 ($599.95 pair) and SB-AFC300 multi-purpose speaker for front, center or surround sound ($149.95 each), which are necessary to gain the full fidelity of the DVD-Audio format.

A new in-dash mobile DVD-Audio/Video head unit (Panasonic model CQ-DVR909) featuring Center Fold, a distinctive fold-out center channel speaker, will also be available in July, at a suggested retail price of $1999.95. Panasonic is also introducing DVD-Audio ready speakers for mobile applications.

Beginning this Fall, Panasonic will expand its DVD-Audio line to include a micro component system with DVD-Audio/Video player. This diminutive system will feature an audio cassette deck, AM/FM tuner, and two front speakers with built-in subwoofers. An optional multi-channel package that includes a small three-channel amplifier and three DVD-Audio ready speakers (for center and surround) will also be available. Prices and model numbers for the micro system and optional multi-channel package will be announced soon. Also in the Fall, Panasonic will introduce a portable DVD-Audio/Video player for audiophiles on the go. Pricing and exact availability to be determined.

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