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Day 5 - IFA International

  • Text
  • Products
  • Digital
  • Consumer
  • September
  • Panasonic
  • European
  • Berlin
  • Trends
  • Consumers
  • Features
  • Www.cleverdis.com

SPECIAL FEATURE: CAmERAS

SPECIAL FEATURE: CAmERAS & oPTICAL dEvICES IT ALL STARTS FRom R&d IFA InTERnATIonAL vISITS ThE PAnASonIC PRojECToR R&d CEnTRE In oSAkA By Richard Barnes Panasonic Team welcomes Richard Barnes at the projector R&D centre in Osaka Over the past year, the projector business has been seeing more downs than ups - like many other segments of the CE Industry. However it appears that a turnaround is happening. IFA International visited Panasonic’s projector R&D centre in Osaka, and met with the company’s senior management just prior to the show, and bring you the following exclusive report. The “Matsushita Experience” At the famous Matsushita Museum, we are greeted by Senior Marketing Group Coordinator, Masaru Yokoyama, who explains the essential nature of Panasonic’s philosophy, based on its founding father, the late Konosuke Matsushita, revered in Japan as a stalwart of the industrial revolution in that country. Indeed, Matsushita could be described as a great “industrial philosopher”. The museum tells the story of Matsushita’s life. It gives one a far better understanding of the “customer based” viewpoint of the company that has grown over the decades. Projector R&D After visiting the museum, it’s just a short train ride to Panasonic’s Osaka R&D facility, where we are offered a tour “behind the scenes”. Top-level engineers explain the numerous trials through which machines are passed, including extreme temperature tests, dust tests and vibration tests, and the countless other calibration and measuring devices used to ensure the beamers perform at an optimal level. We are fortunate to be able to meet with most of those instrumental in creating Panasonic’s projection devices. It’s question time… Kunihiko Miyagi, General Manager, Projector Products Development Group Mr Miyagy, the times have of course been very difficult of late. Tell us a little bit about the market situation for projection devices at the moment. We are not an exception, the projector industry has been suffering along with the rest of the economy, but since this April we are actually seeing improvement in the projector sales. Now more specifically, the consumer electronics market… How is that market evolving at the moment as we head towards the end of the year? Right now, the projector division specialises in installation, portable and home theatre projectors, and in terms of home theatre projectors, with the US and the European market, we are actually doing fairly well. Are there any subsegments or geographical areas that are particularly strong still in Europe? For Panasonic projectors, the European market is our number one market for home theatre projectors, and within Europe, especially Germany and France are the strongest regions. How does Panasonic differentiate itself compared to other projector manufacturers in the consumer electronics field? For us, the differentiation factor is definitely our philosophy and our core development philosophy of “true image”, where we would like to bring to homes a closer experience to that of movie theatres. Tamotsu Akeyama - Staff Engineer - Product Development Group One of the most important aspects of Panasonic’s projector 16 www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Tuesday, 8 th September 2009

SPECIAL FEATURE: CAmERAS & oPTICAL dEvICES Richard Barnes with Matsuru Yokoyama development, especially in the home cinema sector is of course the fact that now you have a very big presence in Hollywood. Tell me a little bit about what Panasonic is doing in Hollywood, and how this is helping the advancement of your projectors… We aim for high picture quality, for the picture to be beautiful… That’s very important to us, and what we try to aim for in Panasonic projectors is the director’s intention - what has truly been intended by the directors themselves. When we go to Hollywood, we collaborate with the colour directors and directors of photography and tune the images according to what they originally intended through their master print. Rena L. Yotsu - Senior Coordinator - Product Planning Team What are the main trends for Home Cinema projectors today? The main trend ever since the onset of home cinema projectors is the increase of contrast levels. Our users want more and more contrast, and a few years ago with the 720P projectors we achieved contrast ratios of 4000-5000:1. Nowadays, however, with Full-HD projectors, we’re seeing contrast levels over 10,000:1. For example, our model from last year had a contrast ratio of 60,000:1 and we’re seeing a lot of increase in contrast levels now. What will be the trends with this year’s product? For our new projectors we are definitely going to strive for higher contrast and better image, but where we need to be careful when we talk about high contrast is that it’s all a balance when it comes to picture quality. You may have a very high contrast level, but the difficulty and also the challenge with very high contrast level is creating the gradation within that big dynamic range. So it’s not just the contrast levels, you need to look at the total package to assess the level of picture quality. Panasonic Osaka showroom Ryota Kagawa - Manager - Europe and CIS Sales Team How does Panasonic support the channel in Europe? What is your European channel policy at the moment? In the European market for home theatre projectors, we have the SDS (specialised dealer system). We have almost 350 such dealers. To be SDS qualified, dealers should be capable of installing large screens, and they should also have a demo facility, a demo space to present our projectors with 1080 P signal sources, and they should also have a hotline service. A dealer needs to fulfil those kinds of conditions to be selected. Panasonic also has a very good training facility in Europe… Yes, every time we introduce new products, we have training seminars, technical seminars, and also sales seminars. We give that kind of training every year to new SDS dealers. Hall 5.2 / Stand 101 IFA International • Tuesday, 8 th September 2009 www.ifa-international.org 17

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