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Home / News / IFA 2009: Panasonic press conference live blog – full HD 3D TV, Avatar and new micro-four thirds camera

IFA 2009: Panasonic press conference live blog – full HD 3D TV, Avatar and new micro-four thirds camera

09:00 There's a large mechanoid from the Avatar movie in the entrance of the Panasonic stand. Something tells me we might be seeing quite a bit of Ava

09:00 There’s a large mechanoid from the Avatar movie in the entrance of the Panasonic stand. Something tells me we might be seeing quite a bit of Avatar this morning.

09:02 Panasonic press conference opens with really quite painfully loud music and a quick flash through Panasonic’s past product innovations. Last year’s claim to fame – the 150in TV. What do they have for us this time? Well, a nice bit of 3D TV.

09:03 We’re promised a very special guest from Hollywood. The perma-tanned presenter lady says she’s pleased to be here too. Bless her.

09:04 New Chief Executive of Panasonic Europe, Laurent Abadie, has taken the stage. He’s wearing a Britney Spears-style throat mic. If he busts out Baby One More Time, I will be his biggest fan forever.

09:05 Abadie is talking through Panasonic’s business stats. Cue the obligatory reference to the “economic downturn”. Panasonic number 1 in Plasma HD TVs in Europe, top in digital stills camera market. Number 1 in DVD Recorders in the UK.

09:06 Panasonic focuses its investment on R&D. Yet to see a company press conference where they don’t focus their investment on R&D.

09:07 Kiki – the Japanese word for “crisis”, one character is “danger” but the other is “opportunity”. I get the feeling that Abadie used to be a bit of a hippy.

09:09 Panasonic is working on energy generation, energy storage and energy saving products. So lots of lovely green gadgets on the cards.

09:10 Panasonic announces Full HD 3D – workong on everything from the broadcast cameras to the Blu-ray disc media to the player, active shutter glasses and plasma TVs. So Panasonic is using active shutter glasses just like Sony. Is this going to be the future tech we’ll be wearing in our houses?

09:11 Yoshiiku Miyata, senior vice president of Panasonic’s AV business is on stage. He’s going to tell us all about 3D. We’re on to the “digital hearth” now – it’s Panasonic’s concept of digital kit you gather round like the camp fire in the olden days. It’s a lovely bit of marketing spin plus you couldn’t watch Family Guy on your open fire.

09:13 A full HD 3D label flies on to screen as the music goes EPIC. The presentation is now comparing the excitement of the moon landings to the excitement of 3D TV. Moon landings, schmoon landings. Black’n’white? Pah!

09:15 “In real life, everything is 3D but TV pictures are 2D.” Next year, says Panasonic, TV will change dramatically. Panasonic uses PDP technology to capture “real” full HD 3D pictures.

09:17 Panasonic says it wants to lead the way in creating consumer standards. I wonder what Sony will have to say about that.

09:18 Two key technologies in Panasonic 3D full HD. Delivers two 1080P images, one to each eye. “3D – you will find yoursefl feeling as if you’ve stepped in to the screen.” New TV is going to be like The Last Action Hero?

09:20 Panasonic says it will be the first brand to launch a 3D Blu-ray player and 3D HD TV. Panasonic is also pushing for its 3D standard as the…well…standard. It’s also got a 3D studio lab in Hollywood which it is mighty proud of.

09:21 A series of scenarios with a viewer shoved in. Someone has gone a bit mad with their Photoshop skills. Panasonic will “deliver a new 3D world into your home. ” No specifics just a lot of 3D fantasies. Expect full HD 3D TVs and 3D Blu-ray players from Panasonic next year.

09:23 Here comes another Panasonic boss with news on the 3D standards. He’s actually going to tell us about some products. Mamoru Yoshida, Senior Vice President, AVC Networks. He’s going to give us a little bit more warmth from the digital hearth.

09:24 He’s bigging up Blu-ray and reminding us that Panasonic was one of the founder members of the Blu-ray consortium. 3D format using Blu-ray, high capacity, high speed…high cost? Blu-ray players will feature the “UniPhier Engine” to process the 3D images.

09:27 Panasonic is going to launch 3D Blu-ray recorders and players as well as Viera 3D HD TVs and a 3D Blu-ray home theatre system.

09:28 Now on to Blu-ray recorders. They record and play back HD broadcasting, recordings and discs. Yep, we’ve got that bit. Now discussing two new players for Germany, Lucky old them. They’re the DMR-BS850 (500GB) and DMR-BS750 (250GB).

09:29 Lumix cameras: G1, GH1, GF1. The Lumix G Micro System – HD movie recording, system camera changeable lens, micro-four thirds.

09:32 The Lumix GF1 is announced, world’s lightest HD system camera. A real Micro-four thirds beauty. Aluminum, comes in 4 colours. Records in 720p HD, new lenses. Has built-in pop-up flash and has an optional attachable live viewfinder – that’s one up on the Olympus Pen EP1 which only has an analogue additional view finder.

09:36 Panasonic says “full HD 3D system is the next step.” Here comes the very special guest and given that Avatar ads are everywhere I predict…James Cameron. Oh my heart will go on…

09:37 “Content is king” says presenter-bot. Oh it sure is. Come on, bring on Jim won’t you. “Academy award winner, producer of blockbusters including Titanic…” Oh so it’s not Jim, it’s his producer.

09:38 Trailer for Avatar. It looks pretty badass. Robot suits, blue skinned aliens, battles, monsters. Bit creepy with the dreadlocked blue skinned aliens kissing – slightly like some form of mad specialised pron.

09:40 It’s Jon Landau. He’s also got his throat mic on. Please give us a chorus of Toxic. He fell in love with Panasonic’s portable DVD players. He’s giving a little homily for how excellent Panasonic are. How nice of him.

09:41 Avatar is “a story redemption.” It’s about morals, redemption, it’s about “ideas for life.” It’s a film like… but with some 3D stuff.

09:43 “On Titanic, there were practical world solutions we had to come up with to make the movie. When we embarked on Avatar, the technology didn’t exist. We had to create it. Jim [James Cameron] has been dabbling with 3D in his documentaries but there is nothing more immersive than the 3D…3D is the cherry on top of the entertainment experience.”

09:44 Jon Landau thinks “Panasonic was the right choice. Even before we started working with them we were using their equipment.” Jon Landau reveals that Ubisoft is building the Avatar game to be 3D compatible.

09:45 Jon Landau: “3D will evolutionise the movie viewing experience.” That’s the word of the day so far. Evolutionise! We’re going to get out there and take a look at Panasonic’s 3D kit. Landau and the Panasonic bosses have all donned the specs. It’s like Men In Black remade by bored office workers.

09:47 We’re going to go and check out the Panasonic full HD 3D prototype now and see the Ubisoft game too.

Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

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