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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Matsushita to Sell Small, Lightweight Portable DVD Player
  • February 18, 1999 (TOKYO) — Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. said it will soon begin selling its new model DVD-L50 portable DVD player equipped with an LCD monitor.
    This new model is intended as the successor to the DVD-L10. In addition to being more compact and lightweight than its predecessor, its battery life has been extended to 3 hours. A TV tuner is also to be made available as an option.

    The new player is to be priced at 125,000 yen (US$1,100), less than the 150,000 yen (US$1,320) price of the current model. It will first go on sale in Japan on March 20, and then later, from April, sales will also begin in North America and other overseas markets.

    The current DVD-L10 model that the new model will replace originally went on sale in February 1998. Total sales have so far topped 100,000 units, including more than 40,000 units sold in Japan. Monthly production of the new model is scheduled to exceed 20,000 units, more than 5,000 of which will be put on sale in the domestic market.

    The DVD-L50 has been made 27 percent more compact than the DVD-L10, thanks mainly to the improved design of its printed circuit boards. It measures 140mm wide x 151.5mm deep x 37.7mm thick. In particular, that 140mm width measurement is a 20mm reduction from the width of the DVD-L10.

    In addition, the weight of the new L50 model has been reduced to 640g, down from the 910g of the L10 model. The weight of the battery has also been cut. When being used with its battery the total weight of the L50 model is 940g, less than a kilogram, whereas the L10 model weighs 1.45kg with its battery.

    The battery, an option priced at 20,000 yen (US$175) for the new L50 model. is a lithium-ion type which, combined with the less power consumption of the new model’s design, makes it possible for the player to be used continuously for up to 3 hours. That is 1.3 times the comparable figure for the L10 model.

    The portability of the unit when being used with its battery has also been improved. The L50 model’s battery attaches directly to the unit, thus eliminating the need for a special connector like the one used to link the L10 with its battery. No special recharging device is necessary either, because the L50’s battery can be recharged while it is still attached to the main unit.

    When the player is connected to its TV tuner (optional) retailing for 20,000 yen, the built-in antenna also allows it to be used to watch VHF and UHF television broadcasts.

    The player runs on AC voltages of 100V to 240V, so it also is usable abroad.

    Another feature of the new model is a special function that allows users to adjust the volume in the mid-range. By making use of this function when they are watching movies, consumers should be able to clearly hear what the actors are saying. The player also comes with a credit card-sized remote control unit.

    The new player’s monitor is a 5-inch thin-film transistor liquid-crystal display that can display wide-screen images. It consists of 280,000 pixels, the same number as the monitor of the L10 model.

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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