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Yamaha unveils the future of MusicCast multiroom wireless audio amid Moto GP bikes

July 14th, 2016 · Comments Off on Yamaha unveils the future of MusicCast multiroom wireless audio amid Moto GP bikes

Yamaha Moto GP bike
I recently went to the Yamaha Motor HQ in Milan. Not to look at motorbikes mind,  although there was a lot of Moto GP machinery there, but to get a preview of Yamaha’s AV and hi-fi range for the rest of 2016.

It was a flying visit – a 6-am Heathrow check-in, returning the next day – but pretty fascinating none the less.

The event, which attracted media from all over Europe, featured a raft of senior Yamaha management. Jun Nishimura, AV Business Unit Director of Yamaha Corporation Japan, opened with a business update, followed by an introduction by Koichi Tsuji, General Manager of Yamaha’s Motor Sports Development Division.

There was even a taped welcome from The Doctor, Valentino Rossi. Unfortunately he couldn’t make it in person, but he sent one of his bikes, so that was OK. There was also a segment hosted by Fabrice Laurent, Director, Europe AV Division, Yamaha Music Europe GmbH, and finally, a presentation by Michael Geise, Product Manager, for Yamaha’s Europe AV Division.

MusicCast was the big over-arching story. There were no new AV receivers announced, although I did get a hands-on with some models announced earlier this year.

Comments Off on Yamaha unveils the future of MusicCast multiroom wireless audio amid Moto GP bikesTags: Home cinema · Multiroom · Trade

Sony and Panasonic rally behind quake relief effort

March 15th, 2011 · No Comments

Both Panasonic and Sony have pledged additional support to help the Japanese earthquake relief effort. Panasonic, through its new subsidiary Sanyo, is donating 4000 solar-powered lanterns. This comes on top of radio, flashlight and battery donations. Sony similarly is contributing radios to help with communications. Here are the releases from the two companies:

→ No CommentsTags: Corporate

Panasonic issues statement on Quake damage to its facilities in Tohoku region

March 14th, 2011 · Comments Off on Panasonic issues statement on Quake damage to its facilities in Tohoku region

Panasonic Effect Of Earthquake In The Tohoku Region On Business Operations – TheStreet

Panasonic Japan has issued the following press release following the Earthquake:
Panasonic Corporation (NYSE:PC) (TSE:6752) “Panasonic” extends its condolences to everyone who has been affected by the major earthquake in the Tohoku region of Japan on March 11, 2011. The effects to our group as of today are as follows.

Comments Off on Panasonic issues statement on Quake damage to its facilities in Tohoku regionTags: Corporate

Yamaha UK creates new AV Division, appoints industry veteran Ian Galloway

March 6th, 2011 · No Comments

Ian Galloway rejoins Yamaha UK as AV Division Director Yamaha Music UK has opened the doors of a dedicated Audio Visual Division and has appointed industry veteran (and my good chum) Ian Galloway as Divisional Director. Galloway (pictured above, left) played a pivotal role in the 1981 UK re-launch of Yamaha Hi-Fi, and helped form Yamaha Electronics UK in 1986. He went on to lead the company through the Nineties, during which time Yamaha became the UK’s dominant AV receiver brand.
The new group will encompass Hi-Fi, AV receivers, system products, home cinema speakers, digital sound projectors and desktop audio products. The company says the move shows its determination to expand Yamaha’s UK AV business, after losing share in recent years to Onkyo and others.

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New Panasonic 3D Blu-ray players get UI face-lift and gesture control

February 2nd, 2011 · No Comments

Blu-ray home screen
Panasonic is revamping its GUI for 2011. The brand has always taken a very conservative approach to its user interface, keeping it largely unchanged over the years. As these shots reveal, however, it is giving its 2011 line-up of  Blu-ray players a face-lift. I took the snaps during a tech briefing about the upcoming BDT110 and BDT210 decks. There’s plenty more that’s new under the hood for 2011, too.

→ No CommentsTags: 3D · HD DVD and Blu-ray

Panasonic fine-tunes Blu-ray codec for movies on SD card

January 31st, 2011 · Comments Off on Panasonic fine-tunes Blu-ray codec for movies on SD card

An interesting snippet emerged while I was having lunch with Masayuki Kozuka, who heads up R&D for Panasonic’s Media and Content Alliance office. He confided that PHL (aka Panasonic Hollywood Laboratories), the power house behind the development of the Blu-ray 3D specification was currently working on an optimized version of the MPEG4 AVC High Profile codec specifically for SD card.

“We are tuning AVC High Profile for use on SD cards,” he told me. “The idea is to deliver the best possible picture quality on SD card.” His inference was that films could be released in a memory card format as well as BD and DVD. “It’s a bit like Digital Copy,” he added. “Of course we prefer to promote the Blu-ray format, but we think its important to keep compatibility across media. So we are talking to studios at the moment. They are interested…”

This is It Micro SD sleeve
Coincidentally, this comes a few weeks after Japanese solid state specialist Hagiwara released the Michael Jackson documentary This is It on a 2GB USB flash memory and a 1GB micro SD card, for the Japanese market only. The former was called a PC Edition, and was encoded in WMV at 720×406 resolution. The SD card Mobile Edition is intended for use in mobile phones.

Comments Off on Panasonic fine-tunes Blu-ray codec for movies on SD cardTags: HD DVD and Blu-ray · Home cinema · Trade

Onkyo TX-NR5008 review reveals a change of character for the best-selling brand

December 16th, 2010 · No Comments

TX-NR5008 open front The TX-NR5008 is the latest flagship AV receiver from Onkyo. The brand has been the dominant player in the market since 2009, often being the first to introduce new receiver technology. The fact that it has consistently got its product development timing right in such a fast moving market is a key reason for its success. Of course it helps that the AVRs tend to sound good too.

I’ve been a fan of the brand for some years now. Sensing the buzz building around the brand early on, I turned up on its doorstep in Osaka to find out what was making the company tick.

→ No CommentsTags: Hi-fi · Home cinema

Panasonic ties up Avatar 3D Blu-ray until Feb 2012, no retail release planned for 2011

December 13th, 2010 · No Comments

Chapter selection

If you were hanging on for the release of Avatar 3D on Blu-ray, then you might be Pandora-less for a little longer than anticipated. Panasonic has confirmed to me that it’s nabbed the exclusive global distribution rights to the blockbuster title until February 2012. Until that point, it will only be available as a retail incentive to buyers of the brand’s 3DTVs and Blu-ray players.

→ No CommentsTags: 3D · Home cinema · Plasma