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Vudu to Offer 1080p Streaming Content to Panasonic’s Viera Cast Blu-ray Players

Oh my goodness! Vudu is back in a big way, yes? This most recent resurgence covers Panasonic’s DMP-BDT350 (with full HD 3D), DMP-BDT300 (with full HD 3D), DMP-BDT100 (with full HD 3D), DMP-BD85, DMP-BD65, and DMP-B500 (the portable Blu-ray disc player). Starting November 24th, all of these devices will get complete access to the Vudu library – that is 4,000+ 1080p movies, all of them streaming, all of them promising to be totally frigging amazing. This system will work something like RedBox, with each title being available for $2 for a two-night rental. Firmware updates are on the way.

Panasonic devices listed already have Panatonic’s IPTV functionality VIERA CAST, and earlier this year they added Netflix, Skype for voice and video calling, Twitter, and Pandora for music. These Blu-ray players seem to be quite outta sight. Edward Lichty, General Manager of VUDU says thusly: “We are proud to partner with Panasonic to offer owners of VIERA CAST-enabled Blu-ray Disc Players access to the industry’s best-in-class streaming movie experience, with immediate access to thousands of titles, including the hottest new releases, all with no subscription required.” Check out the full press release here:

VUDU GOES LIVE ON PANASONIC’S 2010 VIERA CAST-ENABLED BLU-RAY DISC™ PLAYERS

Consumers Gain Instant Streaming Access to VUDU’s Extensive Library of Full HD 1080p Movies Instantly for Rental or Purchase

SECAUCUS, NJ (November 22, 2010) – Panasonic, a leader in Full HD 3D technology and built-in TV web entertainment and movie streaming service, VUDUTM announced that Panasonic’s 2010 line of VIERA CAST™-enabled Blu-ray Disc™ Players1 will offer instant streaming of VUDU’s huge high definition movie library, including more than 4,000 Full HD (1080p) movies, beginning on November 24.

VUDU is a video-on-demand service offering instant streaming (no download time) of movies and TV programs through IPTV-enabled HDTVs and Blu-ray Disc Players with no computer or cable/satellite TV service required, and no subscription or monthly membership fees. VUDU boasts the world’s most extensive library of HD movies from all Hollywood studios and leading independent distributors, and an unmatched new release collection with titles available the same day as the DVD release. The VUDU service also offers a great value to movie renters, with an enormous collection of titles available for only $2 for a two-night rental.

“Connected TV will continue to become an increasingly important feature for consumers and Panasonic is working tirelessly to build upon the already robust entertainment and connectivity experiences our VIERA CAST customers can enjoy,” said Panasonic Corporation of North America Vice President, Merwan Mereby. “The addition of VUDU to our 2010 VIERA CAST offerings gives consumers access to a virtually endless library of TV and High Definition movie content when they want it and instantly streamed into their TV without ever having to leave the couch.”

VUDU is the latest entertainment feature to be added to VIERA CAST, Panasonic’s IPTV functionality. Earlier this year, Panasonic added Netflix, Skype™ voice and video calling2, Twitter3 and Pandora to an already robust list of popular entertainment and information options, including Amazon Video-on-Demand™, You Tube™, Google’s Picasa™ Web Album, FOX Sports4, Bloomberg News and a weather service. Panasonic’s line of VIERA CASTTM-enabled Blu-ray Disc Players allows consumers to turn any flat panel HDTV into an IPTV or connected TV via VIERA CAST. VIERA CAST requires no external box or PC5 and is accessed via a single button on the Blu-ray Disc Player remote control. There is no fee to use the VIERA CAST functionality (some VIERA CAST services such as VUDU, Netflix and Amazon VOD have a separate fee structure). New VUDU customers on VIERA CAST™ will receive a $5.99 credit, enabling them to watch their first HD movie on the service for free.

“Our core mission is to deliver the best selection of movies, at the highest quality possible, directly to the customer’s living room,” said Edward Lichty, General Manager of VUDU. “We are proud to partner with Panasonic to offer owners of VIERA CAST-enabled Blu-ray Disc Players access to the industry’s best-in-class streaming movie experience, with immediate access to thousands of titles, including the hottest new releases, all with no subscription required.”

2010 Panasonic Blu-ray Disc Players Featuring VIERA CAST:

· DMP-BDT350 (Full HD 3D)

· DMP-BDT300 (Full HD 3D)

· DMP-BDT100 (Full HD 3D)

· DMP-BD85

· DMP-BD65

· DMP-B500 (Portable Blu-ray Disc Player)

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Max Streaming Guide: Signing Up, Pricing, Features, 4K Content Availability And More

Read this guide for everything about Max. the new streaming service combining HBO Max, Discovery+ and more in one app, and learn about subscription pricing, the availability of 4K content, playback features, supported devices and more.

WarnerMedia launched the rebranded Max streaming service on May 23, 2023, offering HBO Max, Discovery+ and more in one app.

The new app offers more 4K content than the old HBO Max ever did, with over a thousand movies and TV episodes available in 4K at launch.

On top of 4K content, Max will support Dolby Vision, HDR10 and 60 fps video, plus Dolby Atmos audio, for select movies and shows.

What films and shows does Max offer?

All original HBO content can be found on Max, including shows like Succession, The Undoing, the Watchmen series, Sharp Objects and Chernobyl. Blockbuster Warner Bros. films such as Dune, Don’t Worry Darling, Joker and others are also on Max.

Older shows like A Clockwork Orange, Casablanca, Goodfellas and The Wizard of Oz are available in 4K on Max. Warner Bros. will bring all its future movies, including all 2o23 releases, in 4K to Max following their theatrical windows.

Max also brings select Warner Bros. movies and content from the DC Universe, Cartoon Network, Turner Library, Looney Tunes, Adult Swim, and TV brands such as HGTV, the Food Network, TLC, ID, Magnolia Network, Discovery and more.

For the full lineup, visit the WarnerBros. Discovery website.

Max subscription plans and pricing

Warner Bros. Discovery offers three distinct subscription tiers for the Max service, including an ad-supported service, but there’s no free trial available:

Max Ultimate Ad-Free

Pricing:

Monthly: 20

Yearly: $200

Features:

Four simultaneous streams

4K resolution

Dolby Atmos sound

Max Ad Free

Pricing:

Monthly: $16

Yearly: $150

Features:

Two simultaneous streams

1080p resolution

5.1 surround sound

Max Ad-Lite

Pricing:

Monthly: $10

Yearly: $100

Features:

Two simultaneous streams

1080p resolution

5.1 surround sound

Which devices does the Max streaming service support?

The native Max app is available on the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV:

The app requires at least iOS 14.0, iPadOS 14.0 and tvOS 14.0 or later.

You can create five viewer profiles, each with its own profile image. The app offers parental controls, profile PINs for adults, content hubs, genres and other perks.

Max is also available on various smart TV sets from LG and Samsung, set-top boxes and PlayStation consoles, including Fire TV, Android TV, Roku and Cox devices.

In which countries is Max available?

Max is currently only available in the United States. The service will expand to other countries and geographies but the end of 2023, including Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2024, Max should expand to Europe and South East Asia.

Max surprises with a 4K upcharge

Max offers eight times more 4K content at launch than HBO Max ever did, including popular shows like Game of Thrones, The Last of Us, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and The Dark Knight trilogies, the Matrix films, etc.

The 1,000 movies and episodes available at launch will grow over time. The company has developed technology allowing it to release more 4K content “in a faster, more efficient way,” said Warner Bros. Discovery’s Sudheer Sirivara.

4K and HDR are only available with the most expensive $20/month subscription. Given that the old HBO Max service has always underwhelmed us with its lack of 4K content, Max’s 4K upcharge is understandable to an extent.

During six months, all existing HBO Max subscribers retain features of their subscription plan on the new Max service without paying extra. After your six months have expired, you’ll face a decision: Pay a bit of a premium for 4K content on Max or downgrade to a more affordable tier.

Helpful support documents

You may find these support documents useful:

The company claims that the new app offers collections that are hand-picked by humans, which sounds better than AI recommendations on Netflix.

What about Discovery+?

Discovery+ content remains available as a standalone streaming service. Existing Discovery+ subscribers can sign up as new Max customers.

Galaxy Clusters Offer Clues To Dark Matter And Dark Energy

Galaxy Clusters Offer Clues to Dark Matter and Dark Energy Astronomer’s 20-year quest delivers trove of far-flung clusters

A massive, young galaxy cluster seen in X-rays (blue), visible light (green), and infrared light (red). Image by X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Missouri/M.Brodwin et al.; optical: NASA/STScI; infrared: JPL/CalTech

It’s a cosmic irony: the biggest things in the universe can also be the hardest to find.

Elizabeth Blanton, a Boston University associate professor of astronomy, started hunting for distant galaxy clusters more than 20 years ago. A single galaxy cluster can be as massive as a quadrillion suns, yet faraway clusters are so faint that they are practically invisible to all but the biggest Earth-bound telescopes. Distant clusters hold pieces of the story of how the web-like structure of the universe first emerged and could help illuminate the true nature of dark energy and dark matter. Now, her team’s search is delivering its biggest return yet: a catalog of about 200 candidate galaxy clusters which, if confirmed, may include some of the most distant clusters ever found. The new results, which will be a useful tool for astronomers worldwide, were published in the July 26, 2023, edition of the Astrophysical Journal by a team that includes Rachel Paterno-Mahler (GRS’15), PhD candidate Emmet Golden-Marx (GRS’16,’19), Gagandeep Anand (GRS’17), Joshua Wing (GRS’07,’13), and colleagues at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Galaxy clusters can contain thousands of galaxies and many trillions of stars—and that’s just what astronomers can see with ordinary telescopes. Hot gas between the galaxies glows with X-rays, and astronomers suspect that more than 85 percent of every cluster’s mass is hidden in the form of dark matter. Mapped in three dimensions, the universe is a web of bright filaments and dark voids, with galaxy clusters occupying the spots where the filaments intersect.

Woven into this cosmic web are clues to two major cosmic mysteries: dark matter, the invisible stuff that permeates galaxies and the spaces between them, and dark energy, which is driving the accelerating expansion of the universe. Together, dark matter and dark energy make up some 95 percent of our universe, scientists suspect, but astrophysicists know of dark matter and dark energy’s existence only indirectly, by their influence on the stars and galaxies that light up the sky.

The new cache of distant galaxy cluster candidates may help researchers pin down the properties of dark matter and dark energy, says Paterno-Mahler, first author on the new paper, one of a series forthcoming from Blanton’s team. “Galaxy clusters are really good test-beds for learning about the cosmological parameters of our universe, like how much dark energy there is and how much dark matter there is.”

By comparing faraway clusters with their local counterparts, researchers can also assemble a timetable of how galaxy clusters formed and grew. That’s because light from the most distant clusters had to travel billions of years before reaching Earth, so astronomers see those clusters as they were long ago. “If we want to learn how clusters—the most massive collapsed structures in the universe—form and evolve, we need to study them over a range of distances, going all the way back,” says coauthor Mark Brodwin, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. And because galaxy clusters give astronomers access to a large sample of galaxies that are similar in age, they also provide a laboratory in which to study how individual galaxies have changed over time. “You have a bunch of galaxies at the same epoch, together in space, to compare to more nearby galaxies,” says Blanton.

But the farther a galaxy cluster is from Earth, the fainter it appears. Traditional optical telescopes must stare at a single spot in the sky for a long time to collect enough light to reveal a distant cluster, and surveying the whole sky this way is time-prohibitive. So, to create the new catalog, Blanton and her team scoured archived data for clues to where clusters might be, and then followed up with targeted telescope observations. Their search, dubbed COBRA (Clusters Occupied by Bent Radio AGN, or active galactic nuclei), was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA.

Their trail of clues starts with the fact that almost every large galaxy has a supermassive black hole at its center. These black holes are notoriously messy eaters, and when they are feasting, some of the dust and gas plunging inward gets splashed out in enormous, spiraling jets. These jets can stretch the width of the galaxy and beyond, and they produce a radio-wave roar that astronomers can pick up with radio telescopes on Earth. If the galaxy also happens to be zooming through hot cluster gas (or if the gas is zooming past the galaxy), the jets flex into a characteristic “C” shape—“like your hair blowing in the wind,” says Blanton. This “C” shape is the first clue to a possible cluster.

Blanton’s team pored over existing sky surveys and found almost 2,000 of these peculiar objects. Then Wing, as part of his dissertation work, compared those suspected clusters to visual-light images from the archives of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The most exciting candidates, says Blanton, are those for which the Sloan pictures look dark, hinting that the radio signal could be coming from a cluster so distant that the Sloan Survey telescope can’t see it at all.

With the possibilities narrowed down further, they then used the Spitzer Space Telescope to zero in on about 650 possible clusters, one by one. (Spitzer is most sensitive to infrared light, radiation that can’t be seen by the human eye but is ideal for observing distant galaxies.) With a computer’s help, they counted up the number of galaxies in each Spitzer frame and compared it to the typical number of galaxies in a comparable area of the sky. An unusually high number of galaxies—called an “overdensity”—suggests a galaxy cluster.

An overdensity is not definitive proof of a galaxy cluster, though. “You’re seeing a 2D image of a 3D distribution of objects,” explains Blanton. “Some of them could be way in the foreground, or way in the background.” These “projection effects” can create the illusion of a cluster where none really exists. The group’s next step, underway now, is to measure the distance to each galaxy in the apparent cluster to confirm that the grouping is real, not an optical illusion.

Golden-Marx is already pinning down distances to some of the galaxies using the 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope, where BU is a partner institution, and Blanton hopes to secure time on the Hubble Space Telescope and one of the twin 10-meter Keck telescopes in Hawaii to get even more precise measurements. Once the distances are confirmed, the team will be able to properly order the clusters by age and also confirm whether their catalog really includes the most distant clusters yet found.

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Panasonic Lumix Ts2, Zs7 And Zr3 Digicams Debut

Panasonic LUMIX TS2, ZS7 and ZR3 digicams debut

Panasonic have outed three new digital cameras, including the rugged LUMIX DMC-TS2, the super-zooming LUMIX DMC-ZS7, and the AVCHD Lite HD-friendly LUMIX DMC-ZR3.  Of the three, the TS2 is the most visually striking thanks to its waterproof/shockproof/freezeproof casing; still, it also has a 14.1-megapixel sensor, 4.6x optical zoom and AVCHD Lite HD video recording.

It’s capable of submersion in up to 10m of water, withstanding 2m drops and -10 degree centigrade temperatures, as well as boasting dust resistance.  The 2.7-inch LCD display gets a 1.3x thicker cover than the last-gen TS1.

As for the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS7, that has a 12.1-megapixel sensor and 12x optical zoom, along with GPS geotagging and super-speedy autofocus/shutter-release.  Panasonic have also preloaded it with over 500,000 landmarks, which can be added to image metadata if nearby.  It and the LUMIX DMC-ZR3 – which measures 1-inch thick but has an 8x optical zoom and HD video capture – both get the somewhat bizarre “Happy Mode”, which automatically tweaks color, saturation and brightness so that photos and video look “more vivid”.  Think of it as the photography version of Xanax.

No prices or release dates for any of the three new models.

Press Release:

PANASONIC’S RUGGED DIGITAL CAMERA GETS TOUGHER – WATERPROOF TO 33 FEET, FREEZEPROOF, SHOCKPROOF*1 – WITH THE ABILITY TO RECORD HIGH DEFINITION VIDEO

New Panasonic LUMIX TS2 Features a Rugged Design, Allowing for Extreme Outdoor Use, Yet Still Easy to Use to Capture High Quality Photos

Secaucus, NJ (January 26, 2010) – Panasonic today introduced the new LUMIX DMC-TS2, a successor to the company’s first rugged digital camera designed for active outdoor use, the LUMIX DMC-TS1. Featuring High Definition video recording capability, in the AVCHD Lite format, the new 14.1-megapixel LUMIX TS2 further strengthens its toughness when compared to its predecessor and is waterproof to 33 feet (10m), shockproof to 10 feet (2m), freezeproof to 14° F (-10° C) and dustproof*1.

With its enhanced toughness, The LUMIX TS2 features an airtight body protected against water immersion, dust and sand. The new model is waterproof to a depth of 33 feet and dustproof, which can be attributed to its rubber padding and reinforced glass and carbon inside the camera. Furthermore, the LUMIX TS2’s cover panel for the LCD is thickened by 1.3x compared to the predecessor LUMIX TS1 to withstand increased pressure underwater. The LUMIX TS2 is shockproof, encased with shock-resistant material, and its folded optics design protects its lens when dropped during operation. Furthermore, the lens unit is protected by a supplementary damper to absorb the force from shock impact. Also, all components including the lens unit, have been tested to endure temperatures as low as14°F (-10°C). For increased durability, the Panasonic LUMIX TS2 will come with an optional silicon jacket that helps protect its exterior from scratches.

The Panasonic LUMIX TS2 features Sonic Speed AF (Auto Focus), which enables a super-fast response time, and a shutter release time lag as short as approximately 0.005 second. With the camera’s quick response, it is easier to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities. Combining that with the Sonic Speed AF (Auto Focus) that lets users lock on the subject in approximately 0.24 second(wide-end) / 0.28 second (tele-end)*2 and the short startup time of approximately 1.1 second.

The Panasonic LUMIX TS2 features new image processing technology, Intelligent Resolution, which is incorporated in its Venus Engine HD II. With Intelligent Resolution technology, three areas – outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation – are examined pixel by pixel and automatically detected to enhance any degradation created during the digital zoom process or in high-sensitivity shooting, when details in an image tend to get lost in the noise reduction process. The outline areas are enhanced effectively to give the edges more clarity, while simultaneously giving a moderate accent to the textured areas so it looks accurately detailed. To the soft gradation area, such as a face, the increased noise reduction system of the Venus Engine HD II is applied to make it smoother. As a result of Intelligent Resolution, images are naturally clear and crisp in both photo and video recording. The Intelligent Resolution technology powers Panasonic’s new Intelligent Zoom feature, which extends the camera’s zoom ratio by approximately 1.3x while maintaining the picture quality – and enhancing the digital zoom and making it comparable to the quality of an optical zoom. Thus, with Intelligent Zoom, the Panasonic TS2 features a total zoom up to 6x.

The LUMIX TS2 features a 28mm wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO ELMAR lens that extends to a 4.6x optical zoom, giving consumers great shooting range. The wide-angle lens provides flexibility for all shooting scenarios, especially useful underwater where movement is often restricted and the shooting angle becomes important for composing shots. The LUMIX TS2 features a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD with a wide-viewing angle that ensures high visibility during recording and playback, thanks to its automatic brightness control depending on the lighting conditions. Also, the LUMIX TS2 features a built-in LED light, which is extremely convenient when shooting in dark situations, such as underwater.

The LUMIX TS2 can record HD video in Motion JPEG and AVCHD Lite– with the latter format almost doubling the recording time in HD quality compared with the Motion JPEG format. To complement the HD video capabilities, the Panasonic LUMIX TS2 features Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, which enables high quality audio.

The Panasonic LUMIX TS2 features iA (Intelligent Auto) modem, a popular feature on LUMIX digital cameras, making them intuitive to use without changing any settings, as the technologies engage automatically. For instance, iA incorporates Panasonic’s POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), which doubles the repression power compared to the conventional image stabilization system, MEGA O.I.S.

Other technologies incorporated into the LUMIX TS2’s iA mode include:

Face Recognition – With new enhancements when compared to previous editions, Face Recognition allows users to register up to three different images for a person, helping to improve detection accuracy. Face detection is also included for up to 15 faces.

Intelligent Scene Selector – Automatically selects whichever of 6 Scene Modes – Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and newly added Sunset – best suits the shooting situation.

Other iA Technologies: Intelligent Resolution and Intelligent Zoom, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Exposure.

Panasonic’s iA is also available in video mode, and it automatically selects the most suitable Scene mode and helps to reduce blur due to handshake and improves focus, brightness and exposure. In addition, iA in video mode features Intelligent Scene Selector, which automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Macro, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the shooting environment.

Other features of the Panasonic LUMIX TS2 include:

Happy Mode – New Scene mode that optimizes color, saturation and brightness to make both photo and video more vivid and true to the color the users remember when they took it.

High Dynamic – New mode is newly added to the existing Scene modes. This mode helps to capture a scene with moderate exposure, even though the scene contains both bright and dark area together. The user can select one of three options, Standard, Art, or B/W, depending on the desired effect and personal taste to make the photo look natural to artistic.

Compatibility – Compatible with SDXC Memory Cards, including Panasonic’s newly announced 64 GB*3 and 48 GB SDXC Memory Cards – to enable high capacity content storage and fast data transfer speeds. Also compatible with Windows 7*4.

Video Divide – Users can divide video into two sections to shorten or delete the unwanted clips directly on the camera. Users can also grab a still image from a video – all within the menus on the camera.

Battery Life – Can take up to 360 images on a single battery charge*5.

Pricing and availability for the Panasonic LUMIX TS2 will be announced 30 days prior to shipping date. The Panasonic LUMIX TS2 will be available in silver, blue, orange and yellow.

*1 When used according to Panasonic’s operating guidelines, waterproof to a depth of 10m and dustproof in accordance with IEC60529 standard. Shockproof from a height up to 2.0m in accordance with the “MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5-Shock” test standard. All components including the lens unit are evaluated to endure the temperature as low as -10 degrees C to make the TS2 freezeproof.

*2 Using 1-area AF.

*3 1GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes. Usable capacity will be less. SDXC Memory Cards can only be used in SDXC host devices, which support the SDXC Memory Card.

*4 Windows and the Windows logo are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

*5 Based on the CIPA standard.

* Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.

*Leica is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH.

*The LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lenses are manufactured using measurement instruments and quality assurance systems that have been certified by Leica Camera AG based on the company’s quality standards.

*The “AVCHD Lite” and the “AVCHD Lite” logo are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.

* AVCHD Lite motion images recorded onto an SD Memory Card or a DVD disc cannot be played from a device that does not support the AVCHD standard.

*Dolby and the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.

Press Release:

PANASONIC UNVEILS THE WORLD’S SMALLEST PHOTO/VIDEO HYBRID SUPERZOOM DIGITAL CAMERA*1 COMPLETE WITH A 25MM WIDE-ANGLE LEICA LENS AND POWERFUL 12X OPTICAL ZOOM

With New Built-In GPS Feature, Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 Digital Camera is Ultimate Travel Companion, Allowing Users to Geo-Tag Photos and Videos

Secaucus, NJ (January 26, 2010) – Panasonic today introduces the LUMIX DMC-ZS7, the newest member of the acclaimed superzoom ZS-Series of digital cameras that have gained worldwide popularity. Complete with its hallmark 25mm ultra-wide-angle Leica lens and a powerful 12x optical zoom (operable in video recording mode), this 12.1-megapixel powerhouse performer, also includes a new built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) feature that embeds photos and videos with the latitude and longitude location details, a useful feature when using an online photo-sharing website. The LUMIX ZS7 is also the world’s smallest photo/video hybrid superzoom digital camera*1, which can also record High Definition (HD) video using the recording capability in AVCHD Lite, which includes a dedicated video record button and new to the ZS-Series is a manual shooting mode.

“As a successor to the Panasonic LUMIX ZS3, which was last year’s most popular compact model, we are confident the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 will continue the success, thanks to big features like HD video, 12x optical zoom and the newly added GPS capabilities and it’s super-fast Auto Focusing,” said David Briganti, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “Panasonic is excited to introduce our first GPS-enabled digital camera, and it adds to the ZS7’s appeal as the ultimate travel companion – from its range of shooting options, both far and wide, and now the ability to record exactly where photos were taken. We are confident consumers will have all the features they need to capture high quality photos and video and share their travels with their friends and family.”

The Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 features Sonic Speed AF (Auto Focus), which enables a super-fast response time, and a shutter release time lag as short as approximately 0.006 second. The camera’s quick response makes it easier to capture sudden, spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities and together with the Sonic Speed AF that lets users lock on the subject minimum in approximately 0.35 second (wide-end) / 0.41 second (tele-end)*3. The LUMIX ZS7 also features a short startup time of approximately 1.1 second.

With the new GPS feature, the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 is the ultimate travel companion, and can record the latitude and longitude in the EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) data, while also displaying the location information real-time while shooting and during playback. These geo-tagged images can be pinpointed on maps common in photo-sharing websites and social media sites – so travels can be archived and also visually represented on a map – and easily shared with friends and family. The Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 also shows the name of the city, country and state, and information for more than 500,000 popular landmarks, covering 73 countries, are stored in the camera’s internal memory. For instance, when users are taking photos of the Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building, landmarks stored within the camera, these locations will be displayed on the screen while taking it and tagged in the data. Users can also refer to the locations using the included software PHOTOfunSTUDIO HD Edition Version 5.1. The LUMIX ZS7 automatically adjusts its internal clock to the local time, so there’s no need to set the clock manually when traveling.

The Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 also features a new image processing technology, Intelligent Resolution, which is incorporated in its Venus Engine HD. With the Intelligent Resolution technology, three areas – outlines, detailed texture areas and soft gradation – are examined pixel by pixel and automatically detected to enhance any degradation created during the digital zoom process or in high-sensitivity shooting. The outline areas are enhanced effectively to give the edges more clarity, while simultaneously giving a moderate accent to the textured areas so it looks accurately detailed. To the soft gradation area, such as a face, the increased noise reduction system of the Venus Engine HD II is applied to make it smoother. As a result of Intelligent Resolution, images are naturally clear and crisp in both photo and video recording. The Intelligent Resolution technology powers Panasonic’s new Intelligent Zoom feature, which extends the camera’s zoom ratio by approximately 1.3x while maintaining the picture quality – and enhancing the digital zoom and making it comparable to the quality of an optical zoom. With Intelligent Zoom, the Panasonic ZS7 features a total zoom range up to16x.

Other technologies incorporated into the LUMIX ZS7’s iA mode include:

Face Recognition – With new enhancements when compared to previous editions, Face Recognition allows users to register up to three different images for a person, helping to improve detection accuracy. Face detection is also included for up to 15 faces.

Intelligent Scene Selector – Automatically selects whichever of 6 Scene Modes – Macro, Portrait, Scenery, Night Portrait, Night Scenery and newly added Sunset – best suits the shooting situation.

Other iA Technologies: Intelligent Resolution and Intelligent Zoom, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Exposure.

Panasonic’s iA is also available in video mode, and it automatically selects the most suitable Scene mode and helps to reduce blur due to handshake and improves focus, brightness and exposure. In addition, iA in video mode features Intelligent Scene Selector, which automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Macro, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the shooting environment.

The LUMIX ZS7 can record AVCHD Lite HD video, which almost doubles the recording time in HD quality compared with the Motion JPEG format. To complement the HD video capabilities, the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 also features Dolby Digital Stereo Creator to record high quality audio. Also, the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 has a 3.0″, high resolution 460,000-dot Intelligent LCD with a wide-viewing angle with excellent visibility during recording and playback.

Other features of the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 include:

Happy Mode – New Scene mode that optimizes color, saturation and brightness to make both photo and video more vivid and true to the color the users remember when they took it.

High Dynamic – Newly added to the existing Scene modes. This mode helps to capture a scene with moderate exposure, even though the scene contains both bright and dark area together. The user can select one of three options, Standard, Art, or B/W, depending on the desired effect and personal taste to make the photo look natural to artistic.

Compatibility – Compatible with SDXC Memory Cards, including Panasonic’s newly announced 64 GB*3 and 48 GB SDXC Memory Cards – to enable high capacity content storage and fast data transfer speeds. Also compatible with Windows 7*4.

Video Divide – Users can divide video into two sections to shorten or delete the unwanted clips directly on the camera. Users can also grab a still image from a video – all within the menus on the camera.

Battery Life – Can take up to 340 images on a single battery charge*5.

Panasonic also introduces the LUMIX DMC-ZS5, which like the LUMIX ZS7, features a 25mm ultra-wide angle Leica lens, 12x optical zoom and manual controls. Distinguishing it from the LUMIX ZS7, the LUMIX ZS5, has a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot Intelligent LCD, records HD video in Motion JPG at 30fps, and has a high performance Venus Engine VI. Battery life on the LUMIX ZS5 has approximately 330 photos and does not include GPS capabilities.

Pricing and availability for the Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 and LUMIX ZS5 will be announced 30 days prior to shipping date. The Panasonic LUMIX ZS7 will be available in silver, black, red and blue models; while the Panasonic LUMIX ZS5 will be available in black and silver.

*1 Superzoom defined as digital camera with a 10x optical zoom and greater; single lens digital camera as of January 26, 2010.

*2 Using 1-area AF.

*31 GB = 1,073,741,824 bytes. Usable capacity will be less. SDXC Memory Cards can only be used in SDXC host devices, which support the SDXC Memory Card.

*4 Windows and the Windows logo are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

*5 Based on the CIPA standard.

Press Release:

PANASONIC INTRODUCES SUPER COMPACT DIGITAL CAMERA FEATURING AVCHD LITE HD VIDEO RECORDING CAPABILITY

Panasonic LUMIX ZR3 includes 25mm ultra-wide-angle Leica lens and powerful 8x optical zoom in a slim and portable body

SECAUCUS, NJ (January 26, 2010) – Panasonic today announced the introduction of the LUMIX DMC-ZR3, a fully-featured digital camera complete with AVCHD Lite High Defintion (HD) video recording capabilities, a25mm ultra-wide-angle Leica lens and a powerful 8x optical zoom – giving consumers a wide-range of shooting options, yet in a slim body that is small enough to fit in a pocket or small purse. New to the ZR-Series this year, Panasonic also introduces Intelligent Zoom, which extends the LUMIX ZR3’s zoom to an impressive 10x.

The LUMIX ZR3 takes video recording to the next level with its AVCHD Lite HD video format. Featuring double the recording time in HD quality compared to the conventional Motion JPEG format, and offering Dolby Digital Stereo Creator to record high-quality audio, the LUMIX ZR3 is perfect for capturing those spur-of-the-moment video opportunities in high-quality. With the newly-added Video Divide function, users can cut their video into two sections on the spot – within the menus of the camera – to shorten or delete the unwanted half.

Continuing with the trademark iA mode, Panasonic has incorporated this intuitive and innovative feature into the LUMIX ZR3. Working to enhance the potential of all photos and videos, iA mode automatically selects the best Scene mode, and also helps to correct handshake and any focus or brightness issues.

Other technologies incorporated into the LUMIX ZR3’s iA mode include:

• Face Recognition – Allows users to register various faces, helping to improve detection accuracy of friends and family.

• Happy Mode – New color mode that optimizes color, saturation and brightness, to make both photos and videos more vivid and true to the color originally experienced.

• Other iA Technologies – Intelligent Resolution and Intelligent Zoom, AF Tracking, Intelligent ISO Control and Intelligent Exposure.

The LUMIX ZR3 features a super-fast AF (Auto Focus) speed of 0.26 second (wide-end) / 0.31 second (tele-end)*1. This combined with a high-speed start-up of just 1.1 second, gives the LUMIX ZR3 an ultra-fast response that helps to catch even the most fleeting photo opportunities. Additionally, the 2.7-inch large Intelligent LCD screen offers a dynamic, clear view and automatically adjusts its own brightness level. Also, the LUMIX ZR3 accepts the SD/SDHC Memory Card, but is also compatible with the next-generation SDXC Memory Cards, which feature a high-potential in both capacity and data-transfer speed.

*1 Using 1-area AF.

*The “AVCHD” is a high definition (HD) digital video recording / playback format jointly established by Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation. The “AVCHD Lite” is a subset of the “AVCHD format” for HD digital video cameras with HD video recording restricted to 720P. The new “AVCHD Lite” Logo and the “AVCHD Lite” License are restricted to devices within the AVCHD Video Camera category. Digital cameras have been added to the AVCHD Video Camera category.

*The “AVCHD Lite” and the “AVCHD Lite” logo are trademarks of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation.

*SD Speed Class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.

*Leica is a registered trademark of Leica Microsystems IR GmbH.

*The LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lenses are manufactured using measurement instruments and quality assurance systems that have been certified by Leica Camera AG based on the company’s quality standards.

*Dolby and the double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.

*Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Sony’S 2023 Tv Flagships Offer Qd

Sony’s 2023 TV flagships offer QD-OLED and 8K Mini LED

Sony has revealed its new flagship TVs for 2023, and there’s a big decision to be made between QD-OLED and Mini LED. On the one hand, the A95K 4K Master Series is Sony’s first QD-OLED TV, promising levels of picture quality even higher than we’ve already come to expect from OLED.

The QD-OLED panel is up to 200-percent brighter than conventional TVs, Sony claims, but it also avoids using a dedicated white pixel. That means the color volume doesn’t narrow as brightness ramps up, unlike in traditional panels where a brighter white pixel is used to improve overall screen brightness.

Source: Sony

There’s no significant change in peak brightness as a result, Sony claims, but a noticeable improvement in color saturation at that peak brightness. Off-angle viewing is improved, too, even over traditional OLED, thanks to no longer needing a color filter.

Powering it all is the Cognitive Processor XR, the dedicated chipset that Sony announced last year. It’s been updated for 2023 TVs with new software, focusing on both picture quality improvements that can be measured, but also those “immeasurable elements” that improve the viewing experience in less tangible ways.

Source: Sony

For example, the chipset is used to create a depth map of what’s on-screen, and then avoid over-enhancing the background. That means the foreground subject stays clearly distinguished. Flexible color contrast control means the XR can independently adjust luminance and saturation; the 2023 software linked the two factors.

It’s used to control XR OLED Contrast Pro on the A95K, which balances there brightness for higher peaks in glare and deeper blacks in shadow. It also’s also used for XR Triluminos Max, for more detail in colors. The A95K has Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ system, where two actuators turn the OLED panel itself into a speaker, supported by two built-in subwoofers. Google TV is used, and there’s hands-free voice control.

Source: Sony

On the other hand, Sony is also joining the Mini LED crowd. The Master Series Z9K Series 8K TVs and X95K Series 4K TVs also use the updated Cognitive Processor XR, together with XR Backlight Master Drive for more precise control over dimming. Originally launched on the Z9D TV, which could independently control each of its LEDs for dimming or boosting, the system allows for less blooming without a sacrifice in overall brightness on the new, 2023 models.

As for whether you should go with QD-OLED or Mini LED, there Sony is insistent that neither is officially “best” for every living room. Both, it points out, are Master Series sets and thus considered the best of what Sony produces. However, which you should be moving to the top of your shopping list depends on what sort of content you view, and where.

Source: Sony

If you’re watching bright, full-screen content like sports, particularly in brighter environments, then Mini LED probably makes the most sense. They’ll be the brightest TVs that Sony offers. If, however, you tend to view more cinematic content, and in darker spaces, then QD-OLED will probably bring the most rewards, with its broader dynamic range.

The Sony Master Series A95K will be offered in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes; the Master Series Z9K will be offered in 75-inch and 85-inch sizes (both in 8K resolution), while the X95K will come in 65-inch, 75-inch, and 85-inch sizes (all in 4K resolution). Pricing will be confirmed closer to their release, from spring 2023.

Free Content Plan Template To Adapt To Your Needs

Keeping your business top of mind for your targets calls for you to post content regularly. You must post the right things at the right time to make the biggest impact.

Your posting schedule must be consistent with your marketing efforts, with a focus on your strategic needs and projected outcomes.

In other words, you need a content plan.

But what is that? Is it the same thing as a content strategy? What type of information needs to be included? And what separates a good content plan from a bad one?

For the answers to all these questions and more – plus a free template you can download and customize to your own needs, read on.

What Is A Content Plan?

A content plan is a document that defines all the marketing content and assets you need to implement your content marketing strategy.

This includes everything from blogs and social media posts to search engine optimization research and white papers.

It will directly align with your marketing funnel, with each included asset corresponding with one of its stages: awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty.

Why Do You Need A Content Plan?

Content is an essential part of marketing.

By creating a content plan, you make it easier for your team to create, collaborate and implement this content.

A good plan will help you project future resource allocation, avoiding unnecessary delays and expenses.

Content Strategy Vs. Content Plan: What’s The Difference?

Though they have similar names, are often mistaken for one another, and are sometimes incorrectly used as interchangeable terms, a content plan is not the same as a content strategy.

And yes, you need both.

So, what’s the difference?

The main thing you need to know is this: your content strategy defines how and why content will be used in your marketing strategy.

Your content plan determines what, when, and where you’ll use various assets as part of this strategy in order to reach your goals.

You should lay out your content strategy before starting on your content plan, as your content plan will define how you achieve the strategy’s goals.

What Information Is Included In A Content Plan?

An effective content plan should provide your content creators with useful information they can use when developing assets. Namely, it should tell them:

Who the content is for – Your content needs to have an audience; that’s rudimentary marketing. Your content plan should clearly define who your assets are intended for and be constructed in a way to appeal to these targets.

What problem it will solve – Your target audience has a need. Your content plan should present a solution to this need, as well as inspire the targets to take action.

How it will be created – Do you have an on-staff content writer who will create this piece, or will you outsource it to a freelancer? Who is responsible for publishing it? Answering these questions will make it easier to manage budgets and workflows.

Any associated costs – Whether it’s a payment to a web developer, a placement fee, or a subscription required for research, your content plan should ballpark any expected fees or payments necessary to create each item.

Depending on your needs, you may also want to include information about tone, notes about structure and layout, word counts, categories, and URLs.

Different Types Of Content To Include

It has already been mentioned how every piece of content should align with a specific stage of your marketing funnel.

Now, let’s look at each stage and discuss the types of content that work best for each.

Awareness

This type of content is going after the top of the marketing funnel.

It’s about showing potential customers that you exist and informing them about the qualities that differentiate you. Content should be easily consumable and easy to share.

Common types of awareness content are:

Social media posts.

Keyword-rich content for SEO.

Blog posts that are not sales-heavy.

Consideration

Content that works well for the consideration stage includes:

Blogs establishing your authority.

Comparison content.

Webinars.

Conversion

The lead is on the hook, now it’s time to reel them in and complete the sale. Content in this stage should provide information on why customers should choose your brand.

Types that can help in this stage include:

Sales, promos, and coupons.

Consultation offers.

Case studies, articles, and whitepapers.

Creating Your Own Content Plan

As promised, here is a template of a content plan you can download and put to work for your business.

But here’s the thing – your company’s needs are unique. Just downloading this plan isn’t going to be effective.

You need to adapt it to your specific situation.

Not sure how to do that?

You’re in luck. We’ve also provided a handy step-by-step guide.

Customizing Your Content Plan 1. Determine Which Goal Each Piece Is Trying To Achieve

Trying to be everything to everyone is a terrible strategy. Remember the old adage, “a jack of all trades is a master of none.”

This is especially true for marketing content.

Every piece of content you plan, and eventually create, should have a specific purpose.

As you’re filling out your own content plan, keep in mind what you’re trying to accomplish with that piece. Make sure each piece of content clearly aligns with a specific stage of your marketing funnel.

2. Identify Where The Target Audience Is

Decide who you’re targeting and then figure out the best way to reach them. Then, determine where each piece of content can be placed for maximum impact.

Bear in mind that certain types of content will perform better on specific platforms.

For example, that professional eBook you’re planning to create is more likely to receive more attention and interaction on LinkedIn than it is on Facebook.

3. Take Your Budget Into Account

When determining when to create and release certain pieces of content, be mindful of your budget.

For example, if you have a tradeshow in August that will require a lot of investment, in both time and money, then June and July may not be the best times to undertake resource-intensive content projects.

One of the benefits of a content plan is that it gives you information about ongoing and upcoming projects at a glance.

4. Determine A Cadence

Gaining credibility and growing your audience requires the regular release of fresh content.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic number for what that is. Only you can determine what works best for you and your audience’s desires.

You should look at your schedule to determine how much time it allows you to dedicate to content creation and curation.

Then, put yourself in your targets’ shoes and decide how frequently they would like content from you.

Finally, consider how your release frequency will help you achieve your goals.

For example, if you’re trying to grow your audience, you should probably post more frequently than if you’re seeking to maintain customer loyalty.

5. Create A Flow

You need a clearly defined content creation process.

It should outline what each person is responsible for, who is involved in each step, and establish a process for passing things off from one person or department to the next.

Many organizations find using a color-coded system most effective for this stage.

Some Other Content Planning Tips

Now that you have your content plan template downloaded and you’ve customized it to your unique situation, it’s time to get started planning and creating that content – well, almost.

Before you take the leap and start outlining every asset and piece of collateral you’ll use in the coming year, here as some final things to bear in mind:

Color Code

You should be easily able to identify where a piece is in the creation process, which platform(s) it will be used on, and how it fits into your overall marketing strategy.

Don’t Forget About SEO

Make sure you’ve researched your keywords and are including them whenever possible. Strive to make content that matches search intent and make sure that everything is providing value.

Don’t be afraid to draw inspiration from pages that are currently ranking highly for your desired keywords.

(Note the word “inspiration.” This does not mean stealing. All your content should be original.)

Consider Each Channel Separately

Each content marketing channel has its own objectives. You should always keep these in mind when determining what will go where.

That said, keep an eye out for opportunities to repurpose things. If you can generate engagement by posting links to the same blog post on four different social media channels, then you absolutely should.

Keep An Idea File

Keywords are a great jumping-off point for generating ideas. Look around at what other brands are doing. Can you take a similar approach?

Maybe you have a silly idea that you’re not serious about, but which could inspire someone else.

Your goal with your idea file is to brainstorm as many ideas as possible, which means none are wrong.

Final Thoughts

Creating a successful content plan isn’t difficult, but it does take a bit of work. However, if you’re serious about achieving your marketing goals, it’s something you need to do.

And be aware: Your positions, goals, and criteria will evolve over time, and your content should evolve alongside it.

Now get out there and make something great.

More resources:

Featured Image: maybealice/Shutterstock

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