Panasonic Corporation today announced that it will exhibit its latest 4K products and technologies, as well as innovative 4K solutions for business with these 4K technologies at their core, at the 2014 International CES, the world’s largest consumer electronics show, held from January 7 to 10, 2014 in Las Vegas, USA.
Panasonic has led the industry with its numerous 4K products and the company intends to provide new value to a diverse range of customers by utilizing the high volume of information made possible by 4K high resolution, as well as the ultra-realistic images, which are the strengths of 4K technology. Panasonic’s 4K exhibit is based on this core concept, offering both individual consumers and business customers 4K solutions, from in-store displays to security, for diverse sectors and industries.
4K Solutions for Business
Panasonic will present the following three applications for shop signage for high-class brand stores etc., which will allow customers visiting the store to enjoy a completely new shopping experience.
(1) Signage where product images shown on a 4K display inside the show window can be selected by touching an operating screen generated in mid-air outside the store*1
(2) 4K digital catalogues using a high contrast IPS LCD panel for commercial use to present the texture of the material in high quality
(3) Signage which links two 65-inch 4K displays vertically and reads the RF tags of the selected products, allowing the user to see how the products look when worn
Panasonic will present surveillance solutions using Full HD security cameras with 4K displays. Solutions offering various advantages to customers, such as sharper images of individual screens on multi-screen displays, making more effective surveillance possible and reducing the installation space for monitors, will be on display.
Panasonic will introduce an application linking four 4K images with no connecting line through Panasonic’s proprietary technology to display ultra-wide video in 12K x 2K with three 4K monitors. The advantage of being able to view the full ultra-wide image in high picture quality is expected to be put to use in sports analysis, in advanced security surveillance, and a variety of other fields.
A prototype 4K-compatible projector will be on display. This prototype projector uses industry-first technology to shift pixels two-dimensionally in both horizontal and vertical directions, quadrupling the pixel density and projecting beautifully crisp 4K video signals offering solutions for events.
Systems combining the 4K camera recorder for commercial use and the BT-4LH310 31-inch 4K monitor (released December 2013) are offered not only for broadcasting stations/studios but for use in 4K cinema production as well.
20-inch 4K Tablet (Performance Model)
Panasonic has added a high specification performance model of its 20-inch 4K tablet announced at IFA in September 2013. The performance model contains an Intel Core i7 vPro CPU, and will enable the easy handling of 3D CAD and other types of data.
4K Products for Consumers
4K Ultra HD TV
The new “Life+ Screen” AX800 series, a new 4K Ultra HD TV (for the US market) offering overwhelmingly high picture quality along with next generation smart functions, will be on display. The new advanced personalization functions of the AX800 series, such as “my Stream”, allowing the user to seamlessly link and display a variety of content according to their tastes, and “Info Bar”, a self-starting information display, will be introduced.
4K Wearable Cameras/4K Digital Cameras
A 4K wearable camera, able to be used hands-free for sports or in everyday life, allowing users to relive their experiences in even greater realism is currently under development, and demonstrations will be held at the booth. In addition, Panasonic is developing a digital single lens mirrorless camera compatible with 4K video.
4K OLED Panels
Linked curved 4K OLED panels which have been created with Panasonic’s own RGB all-printing method of production display videos with a greater impact and sense of immersion.
4K HEVC Technology
Panasonic is developing a video codec enabling equal or better picture quality compared to standard encoders at 1/20th the processing time, while still being compliant with the HEVC international standard specifications expected for 4K video transmission. A demonstration of this will be carried out at the Panasonic booth*2. As one of the core technologies of 4K video transmission, HEVC technology can increase the value of 4K video by improving the connectivity of devices and the convenience of sharing content between devices. In the future, Panasonic will expand this HEVC technology and enable high quality video transmission even on low speed communications lines.
Panasonic will continue to contribute to the realization of a safer, more secure, and more convenient society and customer lifestyles through its 4K product solutions
*1: 4K Signage Operable in Mid-air
One of Panasonic’s 4K signage solutions that allows interactive control without having to directly touch the screen. By combining Panasonic’s TOF (Time of Flight) sensor with the AI plate of ASUKANET, it has been possible to develop a control system that allows easy and precise finger control, like a touch panel, on a screen that floats in mid-air. This has been added to a signage system to form a solution.
When a customer comes into the optimum viewing distance of the 4K display (1.5 times the height of the display), the information is displayed on the 4K signage installed on the inside of the window, which can be operated through the glass, taking full advantage of the appeal of the 4K content.
By replacing the control instruments, such as switches and buttons, which previously had to be physically touched to control, with a touch panel, can reduce failures and breakage and offers merits in hygiene through the prevention of contamination.
*2: Low computational volume/high picture quality HEVC encoding technology
HEVC encoding technology that realizes a low computational volume and a high picture quality, while being compliant with the High Efficiency Video Coding specification (ITU-T Rec. H.265|ISO/IEC 23008-2), the international standard specification recognized in 2013 by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the International Organization for Standardization. This encoding technology when installed in software reduces the processing time to 1/20 of previous encoding standards, while realizing high quality video transmission with the same or higher levels of detail.
In the current HEVC encoder standard, the most efficient compression combination is selected from a combination of all the compression parameters. As a result, a massive processing volume is required, and to realize a HEVC encoder, a high performance CPU or LSI with a high level of energy consumption was necessary.
Panasonic has used its video compression technology and image processing technology know-how developed in its recorder and videocamera equipment for consumers and its commercial equipment, such as its AV equipment for professionals and Blu-Ray authoring equipment, to develop adaptive encoding mode selection technology, in which the processing volume is reduced by adaptively choosing the most efficient encoding mode from an already narrowed selection of parameters that match the characteristics of the video, and adaptive encoding volume allocation, in which distortion is minimized by allocating greater encoding volume to areas where humans are more likely to notice it. Through these developments, encoding with a high level of image quality while maintaining the compression efficiency has become possible, even in software or hardware LSI platforms with limited computing resources.