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Hitachi and Visual Systems Research Form Exclusive Strategic Alliance

Jul 22, 2002 09:11 AM

Hitachi and Visual Systems Research Form Exclusive Strategic Alliance to Break the Price/Performance Barrier for Wide-Screen Projection Systems

-- Partnership to Bring 100-inch HDTV Home Cinema Images to Mass Markets --

BRISBANE, Calif.,, July 22, 2002 - Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan (NYSE: HIT), and Visual Systems Research, Inc. (VSR), a leader in advanced optical display technologies, today announced a strategic partnership combining VSR's Panamorph™ wide-screen conversion optics with select Hitachi multimedia projectors. The technology integration will serve to transform Hitachi projectors, such as the CP-S370W, CP-X380W, CP-SX5500W, CP-X980W, CP-X985W and CP-X990W, from the standard 4:3 aspect ratio into a wide-screen, 16:9 HDTV format ideal for a wide range of applications such as home theater and digital signage.

The Panamorph lens is incorporated into Hitachi projectors with the use of custom-fitted adaptors that attach onto the front of the unit. The lens reformats the picture to allow 33 percent more pixels to be activated, producing improved vertical resolution and brightness when projected onto a 16:9 screen. By incorporating the Panamorph lens, Hitachi is able to provide a wide-screen projector package offering picture quality similar and often superior to that of other wide-screen options at just a fraction of the cost.

"This partnership finally opens the door for much larger markets to enjoy what previously had been available only to the very few," said Pete Denes, director of sales for Hitachi America, Ltd., Digital Media Division, Visual Display Products. "By combining the Panamorph lens with our comprehensive line of multimedia projectors, customers have cost-effective access to wide-screen imaging for teleconferencing, digital signage, large church displays, auditoriums, cinemas and especially home theaters."

"Most people aren't even aware that they can have a bright, 100-inch diagonal, HDTV format image in their homes because the product cost has been too high to justify mass retail promotion and distribution," said Shawn Kelly, chief executive officer of VSR. "The Panamorph and Hitachi solution finally provides a package that can be sold by mass market retailers to appeal to both professional and home theater customers alike. And combined with the high quality of DVD movies, this quantum change in the home theater experience is something that you really have to see to believe."

Hitachi currently maintains a limited, exclusive partnership with VSR for Panamorph lenses directly attached to projectors for mass markets. Distribution of the projector/lens combination is to begin immediately through Hitachi's commercial distribution partners and value added resellers.