Panasonic Demonstrates Integrated Digital TV Reception Card At COMDEX/Fall '98

First-Ever PC Add-On Card With DTV Tuner, MPEG-2 Decoder And PCI Interface Developed With Microsoft

LAS VEGAS - Nov. 17, 1998 - - Panasonic will demonstrate a new integrated digital television reception card for personal computers at the Panasonic booth (L1014) during COMDEX/Fall '98. This hardware technology, the next step in Panasonic's ongoing relationship with Microsoft Corp., is the first to integrate a digital television (DTV) tuner, MPEG-2 video decoder and peripheral component interconnect (PCI) interface into a single PC add-on card.

The new single-board design, which was developed by the AVC product development laboratory of Matsushita Electric Industrial Company Ltd. (MEI) in conjunction with Microsoft, is built on the Microsoft® Windows NT® operating system. The technology is based on the Microsoft and Intel PC99 specification and relies primarily on PC software technology to receive, process and display DTV signals. The card's software architecture conforms to the Microsoft DirectShow™ API and enables real-time MPEG-2 data streaming and control on Windows NT, and in the future, the Microsoft Windows® 2000 operating system.

Designed as a cost-effective PC-DTV solution, the DTV reception card will use the data-streaming feature of Microsoft DirectShow architecture to store, read and retrieve a variety of multimedia data. This new technology will enable PC users to immediately benefit from the DTV programming that U.S. broadcasters began to transmit at the beginning of November.

"This new integrated digital television reception card is just one tangible result of the close cooperation between Panasonic and Microsoft that began with the memorandum of understanding our two companies signed earlier this year," said Dr. Yoshitomi Nagaoka, director of MEI's AVC product development laboratory. "We expect that by continuing this collaboration we can develop even stronger, more competitive Panasonic digital products to meet the needs of our customers."

"Microsoft is pleased that cooperation between Microsoft and Matsushita Electric is enabling ongoing advancements in digital television technology," said Craig Mundie, senior vice president of the consumer platform division at Microsoft. "The integrated DTV tuner card for the PC demonstrates tangible ways in which the technologies of the personal computer and consumer electronics industries are converging to quickly deliver the availability of DTV features on a PC."


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