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DIRECTV - First Television Provider to Launch 3D in the Home -Will Soon Deliver Three Dedicated 3D Channels Presented by Panasonic

LAS VEGAS, Jan 06, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- DIRECTV, the world's most popular television service, and Panasonic, a world leader in HDTV and digital electronics, announced today a strategic relationship that, for the first time, will bring 3D TV, the next frontier of television entertainment, to the largest audience nationwide. Beginning in June 2010, millions of DIRECTV HD customers will receive a free software upgrade enabling them to have access to three dedicated 3D channels through their 3D television sets, such as Panasonic's VIERA Full HD 3D TVs.

Panasonic will be the exclusive presenting sponsor of DIRECTV's new HD 3D channels, which will deliver movies, sports and entertainment content from some of the world's most renowned 3D producers. DIRECTV and Panasonic will leverage current relationships with programming partners and movie studios to obtain new and existing 3D content. DIRECTV is currently working with AEG/AEG Digital Media, CBS, Fox Sports/FSN, Golden Boy Promotions, HDNet, MTV, NBC Universal and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., to develop additional 3D programming that will debut in 2010-2011. The sponsorship will feature Panasonic branding on all DIRECTV 3D channels for a one-year period.

"We led the way with HD and we are excited to do the same with 3D," said Eric Shanks, executive vice president, DIRECTV Entertainment. "Adding the most HD channels to our lineup gave customers a viewing experience that was incredibly lifelike; adding 3D to the mix will take that one step further allowing them to become part of the cast as the picture comes to life in their living rooms. We are taking a technology that at one time could only be seen in a theater and bringing it into the living rooms of the largest audience in the United States. By partnering with Panasonic, we are bringing together two industry leaders to deliver the most advanced television technology available today and together we are continuing to set the standard for the best television viewing experience available."

"Panasonic has been developing 3D standards for television for several years, and we believe it represents a fundamentally new experience in home entertainment because it adds the immersive nature of real life," said Yoshi Yamada, chairman & CEO of Panasonic Corporation of North America. "Our relationship with DIRECTV is a core component of our 'end-to-end' strategy of building out an entire 3D entertainment ecosystem. From leading the development of the Full HD 3D standard for Blu-ray Disc to launching Full HD 3D stereoscopic prosumer camcorders; to now supporting broadcast of 3D content by DIRECTV; to introducing a broad line of Full HD 3D VIERA televisions and a Full HD 3D Blu-ray player in 2010; our commitment to 3D is unquestioned in the industry."

At launch, the new DIRECTV HD 3D programming platform, powered by Panasonic, will offer a 24/7 3D pay per view channel focused on movies, documentaries and other programming, a 24/7 3D DIRECTV on Demand channel and a free 3D sampler demo channel featuring event programming such as sports, music and other content.

In addition, Panasonic is working to make available 3D production tools, such as Full HD 3D camcorders, professional monitors and related production technology assistance.

Panasonic will showcase its suite of Full HD 3D VIERA televisions and home theater system products tuned to a dedicated DIRECTV 3D channel with exclusive content from the motion picture, "AVATAR" and other sports, entertainment, documentary and music footage at its booth (Las Vegas Convention Center, Central Hall, #9405) at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

For more information on Panasonic's Full HD 3D Technology, visit www.panasonic.com/3D.

About DIRECTV, Inc.

DIRECTV, Inc. (Nasdaq: DTV), world's most popular television service to more than 18.4 million customers in the United States and is leading the HD revolution with more than 130 HD channels. Each day, DIRECTV subscribers enjoy access to over 265 channels of 100% digital picture and sound, exclusive programming, industry-leading customer satisfaction (which has surpassed national cable companies for nine years running) and superior technologies that include advanced DVR and HD DVR services and the most state-of-the-art interactive sports packages available anywhere. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please visit directv.com.

About Panasonic

Based in Secaucus, NJ, Panasonic Corporation of North America markets a broad line of digital and other electronics products for consumer, business and industrial use. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC), and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic is pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth's natural resources and protect our environment through the company's Eco Ideas programs. Detailed information about Panasonic's environmental stewardship may be found in its Panasonic Report for Sustainability 2008 (www.panasonic.net/csr/reports) and Environmental Data Book 2008 www.panasonic.net/eco/rpt/. Information about Panasonic and its products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.

SOURCE Panasonic

Posted by Shane Sturgeon, January 7, 2010 12:16 PM

About Shane Sturgeon

Shane Sturgeon is the Co-Publisher and Chief Technologist of HDTV Magazine, an industry publication with HDTV roots going back to 1984, when Dale Cripps founded The HDTV Newsletter. Today, HDTV Magazine is a leading online resource for HDTV news and information and captures the eyes and imaginations of over 3 million visitors annually. Mr. Sturgeon has a background in information technology and has served in various consulting capacities for Fortune 500 companies such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Verizon Communications, Proctor & Gamble and Nationwide Insurance. He has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Wright State University.