Panasonic prepares frist combined DVD-Audio/Video player for release

Affirming its commitment to this new and exciting audio medium, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company has started shipping the Panasonic DVD-A7 DVD-Audio/Video player beginning in July. This player, in addition to the new Technics DVD-A10 DVD-Audio/Video player, is the first DVD-Audio/Video home unit available in the United States.

DVD-Audio uses the advanced format’s vast data storage potential to deliver astounding sound enriched with the nuance, warmth and subtle overtones of a live musical performance. Using a sampling frequency of 192kHz – more than four times that of CD – 2-channel DVD-Audio extends the playback high-frequency response to an incredible 96kHz. The result – the higher frequency reproduction gives live instruments their timbre or resonance, which is often lost on a compact disc.

In addition, a new digital-to-analog converter (DAC), based on MASH technology and refined by Matsushita for 192kHz/24-bit DVD-Audio use, gives this player the ability to distinguish levels of sound using 24-bit quantization (vs. 16-bit maximum for CD). This reduces background noise to imperceptible levels. Also, Virtual Battery Operation, which uses a capacitor to supply its charged power to the audio reproduction circuitry virtually eliminates power supply “noise” for faithful reproduction of even the smallest signal information.

The player also uses linear PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) to attain a new level of multichannel sound quality for an unprecedented realism in ambience reproduction, and the potential to create radically different sound spaces such as a concert hall or small jazz club. Incorporating both Dolby™ Digital and DTS® Digital Surround™ decoders, the player can decode music and soundtracks recorded in up to 5.1 channels (including a subwoofer) for a full surround sound effect.

The extensive storage space of DVD-Audio not only permits extended-range audio, but full MPEG-2 video, still images and text to fuse pictures and sounds into a new world of entertainment interactivity. When connected to a television or computer monitor for example, and depending on disc content, the DVD-Audio player will allow “listeners” to watch music videos with unparalleled audio and DVD-quality video, view “photo albums” of band members, or read track titles, song lyrics and liner notes on the screen. Internet URL addresses embedded in the disc can also link listeners directly to relevant Web sites when the player is connected to a PC. And, visual menus can help users easily navigate all the offerings on a disc.

The DVD-A7, which can also play DVD-Video discs, as well as audio and video CDs, also includes features such as Digital Cinema that enhances detail and minimizes glare, Digital Picture Mode which adjusts the image quality for the disc type and allows manual control of settings, and a Monitor Select function that adjusts the picture quality to best suit the type of monitor to which the DVD player is connected.

The Panasonic DVD-A7 DVD-Audio player is also designed to stylistically match the new line of Technics DVD-Audio products. Available in black, the Technics SA-DA8 DVD-Audio ready receiver complements the new Panasonic DVD-A7 DVD-Audio player, which also comes in black. Completing the look are the SB-T300 and SB-AFC300 DVD-Audio ready speakers, which boast dark wood grain outer cabinets. The new Panasonic DVD-A7 DVD-Audio/Video Player carries a suggested retail price of $999.95.

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