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LivingInHD.com to Answer Consumers' Last-Minute Questions About the Upcoming Digital TV Transition.

Live Event and How-To Videos Aim to Help More Than Three Million Households Still Not Prepared

Consumers Can Chat Live with the Living In HD Answerman on Thursday, June 4 From 4:00 - 5:00 pm ET and 7:00 - 8:00 pm ET

SECAUCUS, N.J., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Panasonic, a market and technology leader in High Definition consumer and digital entertainment products, today announced a special "What You Need To Know About the Digital Transition" section on its Living in High Definition Web site (http://www.livinginhd.com/) to assist the more than three million households that a recent survey indicates may remain unprepared for the nation's Digital TV Transition scheduled to occur on Friday, June 12th at midnight locally.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090602/NY25932 )

"It's been a long time coming, and the switch to all-digital TV broadcasting is finally here," said Peter Fannon, Panasonic's Vice President, Technology Policy. "It's been more than a decade since TV stations started putting their digital channels on air and since Panasonic sold the first consumer HDTV display in the US," he noted. "But despite the continuous on-air reminders about the DTV transition, we realize there is a need to help any broadcast TV households that are still unprepared," he added.

To help close the gap, Panasonic is creating an additional, interactive resource online, at its popular LivingInHD.com website, to help consumers with answers to their questions about making the transition work for them. LivingInHD.com's resident expert Greg Harper (aka "The Answerman") is hosting a series of interactive live video chat sessions to answer questions about the Digital Transition and how to take advantage of the latest in television technology. The sessions will take place at http://www.livinginhd.com/ on Thursday, June 4 from 4:00 - 5:00 pm ET and 7:00 - 8:00 pm ET. These live chat sessions will also be cached on the LiHD site to provide an on going resource. The results of several recent surveys on the public's DTV awareness and preparedness prompted this additional move by Panasonic, as the research suggested the importance of continuing the maximum outreach and information.

The LivingInHD.com website aims to demystify High Definition for consumers by providing them with a resource with which they can have access to more than 70 how-to videos created by Harper and fellow consumers, as well as blogs, chat rooms, links to other resource sites, and other information. Helping consumers still in the dark about the DTV transition was a logical addition to the site's growing library of information as the remaining full-power TV broadcast stations make the switch from analog to digital broadcasting.

A Nielsen survey conducted in late April 2009 revealed that as many as 3.5 million homes are still not prepared for the transition to all-digital TV broadcasting. In addition, a Fall 2008 survey from Consumer Reports' National Research Center indicated that many consumers are still confused about what they need to do to prepare for the transition. The "What You Need To Know About the Digital Transition" section found at LivingInHD.com will address key questions and provide valuable, consumer-friendly information. It also includes live chats with technology experts and comprehensive How-To videos demonstrating everything from installing DTV converter boxes to getting the optimal HD picture quality on your HDTV set.

According to the Consumer Reports survey (http://www.consumerreports.org/dtv, http://www.hearusnow.org/), among those consumers who are aware of the transition, more than half (63%) had major misconceptions; over a quarter (29%) believed that all households will need digital televisions to watch TV, one quarter (25%) believed that every consumer must subscribe to cable, satellite or fiber TV to watch any television programming at all, and 9% believed consumers will have to throw away all analog television sets - none of which is true.

"No one should lose access to broadcast TV reception for lack of information on how to make the transition to digital," said Fannon. "So, in addition to long-standing support through our consumer call centers, websites and printed materials, and on top of the great work of our retail partners, our colleagues at the Consumer Electronics Association, and many in the US government and elsewhere, Panasonic wants to continue to help right through the nation's important switch to all-digital TV. We invite anyone with questions to visit LivingInHD.com and get the answers they need on the transition and any other questions on HDTV they may have."

The LivingInHD.com site will also offer downloadable and printable tip sheets that consumers can take directly to their television sets to ensure they have all the elements to receive a digital signal or High Definition content, depending on what service provider and TV set they have.

About LivingInHD.com

Launched in 2008, LivingInHD.com is a social networking site designed to demystify High Definition and "unconfuse" consumers. Members share insights, opinions and advice with others interested about the world of HD. The site also helps people find creative inspiration on how to use their HD products in exciting ways, as well as interact with technical experts.

To help provide a useful resource of expert information and guide visitors through the site, LivingInHD.com now features "The Answerman" Greg Harper, an expert in High Definition and digital technology, who posts regular videos to the site from his own studio and from LiHD family homes to provide real-life, easy-to-understand solutions to common questions and dispel myths about HD - from the upcoming Digital Transition on June 12th to understanding how an HDMI cable works or the difference between 1080p and 720p resolution.

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company

Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, a market and technology leader in High Definition television, is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. 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. Information about Panasonic products is available at http://www.panasonic.com/. Additional company information for journalists is available at http://www.panasonic.com/pressroom.

CONTACT: Blayne Murphy, Cohn & Wolfe, +1-212-798-9763, blayne.murphy@cohnwolfe.com; or Chris De Maria, Panasonic, +1-201-348-7182, demariac@us.panasonic.com

Web Site: http://www.panasonic.com/
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Date:Jun 2, 2009
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