CES: Panasonic Rolls Out Portable DVD Player

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show here today a DVD (digital video disk) player that looks like a laptop and offers DVD video and audio performance for users on the go.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show here today a DVD (digital video disk) player that looks like a laptop and offers DVD video and audio performance for users on the go.

The DVD-L10 is the world's first portable player based on the emerging high capacity format, according to Matsushita. It will be marketed under the Japanese consumer electronics company's Panasonic brand name in the U.S.

Sales will begin within the second half of this year at a price of about US$1,300, according to the company.

The rollout of the mobile unit comes despite disappointing sales of DVD players in the latest Christmas buying season, officials said. The Panasonic unit advances a big push by backers of the format to build a market for DVD players as a replacement for today's VCRs, and DVD-ROM drives as a follow on to CD-ROM drives used in PCs.

The DVD format uses disks the size of CD that can hold up to 135 minutes of high quality video and offers features not available on today's VCRs and CDs such as multiple language support, subtitle choices and multiple camera angles.

The DVD-L 10, which weighs 910 grams, houses a 5.8-inch LCD and has built-in stereo speakers and a digital audio output that supports both Dolby Digital or DTS (Digital Theater Systems)-encoded soundtracks.

The player runs on two nickel metal hydride batteries that offer a battery life of up to two hours, the company said.

The unit uses a 10-bit video digital-to-analog converter (DAC) for better overall picture quality and a 96KHz, 24-bit linear audio DAC for better sound from music DVDs, the company said.

The DVD-L10 offers on-screen menu icons for controlling functions such as language selection and search.

Matsushita also unveiled several other DVD players at the show today including a high-end model designed as a centerpiece to a home theater and one with karaoke features.

Panasonic can be reached at http://www.panasonic.com/.

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