Panasonic Is First Major TV Manufacturer To Sign PHILA Agreement With CableLabs®
Will Make DTV Service More Accessible in Cable-Served Homes
Secaucus, New Jersey, October 17, 2002—Panasonic and CableLabs® today announced that Panasonic is the first major television manufacturer to sign a POD-Host Interface License Agreement (PHILA) with the cable industry. The agreement enables Panasonic to develop, manufacture and market digital televisions (DTV�s) that will be able to directly receive High Definition (HDTV) and other digital programs via cable, including premium services, wherever they are available in the U.S. Such a DTV can be connected by cable subscribers directly to their digital cable service without the requirement for set top box.
There has been a continuing joint effort by the cable industry and the consumer electronics industry to achieve interoperability in order to enable retail availability of equipment. Developed by CableLabs, the POD-Host interface provides the standardized and secure communications link between an individually addressable �POD� (point of deployment) security module, which provides the necessary customization for operation with the consumer�s local cable system, and the �host� digital television.
The card-sized POD module, supplied by cable operators to their customers, is inserted in the card-slot in the TV or set-top box to authorize access to encryption-protected digital programming, including premium cable services. The POD is a critical component of the CableLabs OpenCable™ project. Companies that sign the PHILA receive a license to deploy proprietary technology contained in the POD-Host interface.
Until now, consumers who wanted to enjoy the benefits of HDTV or other DTV programming needed to rely on either over-the-air broadcast digital TV signals or digital-cable set-top-boxes from their cable service provider. But the PHILA signed by Panasonic and CableLabs will also make cable�s expanding HDTV and other DTV programming accessible to cable customers who may prefer a digital television that can connect directly to their digital cable service without using a digital cable set-top box. Currently some 35 million-cable homes use this approach for analog TV.
�Panasonic is pleased to take a leadership position in the fast-growing digital cable television market. The agreement is a significant milestone in the nation�s digital transition which was set in motion by the FCC five years ago,� said Dr. Paul Liao, president of Panasonic Technologies Company and Chief Technology Officer of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, which is best known by its Panasonic brand. �Panasonic would like to acknowledge the leadership of FCC Chairman Michael Powell, Congressman Billy Tauzin, Chairman of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee and Congressman Fred Upton, Chairman of the House Telecommunications Subcommittee, in helping to spur greater cooperation between the consumer electronics, cable and other industries involved in the digital transition.�
�Panasonic�s commitment demonstrates the confidence of the consumer electronics industry in cable as a platform for innovation,� said Dr. Richard R. Green, President and CEO of CableLabs. �We are extraordinarily pleased to be working with a quality leader in the consumer electronics industry like Panasonic. CableLabs and the cable industry look forward to working with Panasonic and with other leading consumer electronics companies in developing advanced video and communications services to benefit consumers,�� Green added. Green also observed that the agreement underscores cable�s strong support of the digital transition initiatives articulated by Chairman Powell, Chairman Tauzin, and Chairman Upton.
Matsushita Electric Corporation of America (Panasonic) is the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Ltd. (NYSE:MC) of Osaka, Japan. Panasonic has been a leader in the digital television transition both in developing and shipping innovative industry-first HDTV and other DTV products. For more information on Panasonic visit our website at www.panasonic.com.
About CableLabs: Cable Television Laboratories (www.cablelabs.com) was founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry. A non-profit research and development consortium, CableLabs delivers innovations that enable cable operators to be the providers of choice in their markets. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains web sites at www.cablelabs.com; www.packetcable.com; www.cablemodem.com; www.cablenet.org, and www.opencable.com.
CableLabs® is a registered trademark of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. Other CableLabs marks are listed at http://www.cablelabs.com/certqual/trademarks. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.