Panasonic Consumer Electronics pulled the wraps off its first cable-ready
digital-TV set at the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association
Expo in Indianapolis Thursday.
The 53-inch wide-screen projection high-definition "PT-53WXD63" is the first
to carry Cable Television Laboratories Inc.’s CableCARD certification. This
means that with an authorized CableCARD obtained from a cable operator,
consumers can plug in and receive digital and high-definition TV without the
need for a separate set-top box.
Such one-way devices were made possible by the plug-and-play agreement signed
between electronics makers and the cable industry late last year. The Federal
Communications Commission is set to vote on whether to approve the agreement at
a meeting Wednesday.
"Panasonic plans to support the digital-tuner mandate by not only making
models that include the digital tuner, but by adding the CableCARD feature to
all of our ATSC [Advanced Television Systems Committee] models, as well," said
Ed Wolff, vice president of merchandising for Panasonic’s display group.
"The PT-53WXD63 is the first of six new Panasonic models with ATSC/CableCARD
that we will roll out to market over the next 90 days," he added.
When it hits the shelves at the end of September, the set will sell for about
Other PT-53WXD63 features include a photo-viewer standard-definition memory
card and PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) card
slots for viewing still-picture images and a high-definition and
multimedia-interface (HDMI) connector with high-bandwidth digital-content