Joachim Reinhart, President and Chief Operating Officer of Matsushita Europe and the first European to be an Executive Officer of Matsushita Electric in Japan, called for a clear strategy for the introduction of high definition broadcasting in Europe.
In the Panasonic Broadcast press conference at IBC 2004 in Amsterdam, he said, “HD is good for jobs, for skills, for industry and good for Europe’s position in the world economy as the largest single market.”

“We have been slow as a region” he added, “to see the importance of HD. What is so striking currently is there is no Europe-wide public debate going on over HD. All of us must work together to change that and build public support.”

He called for broadcasters, manufacturers, the IT sector and programme makers “to get together and develop a plan of action over how to implement HD services. Then it is important that we build a constituency of support among national and European politicians, legislators and the general public for its introduction.”

In his speech, he highlighted the growing take-up of HD services in Japan and the USA, as more HD content became available particularly in sports. He highlighted Panasonic’s 20 year support of the Olympics as indicative of the long term planning and commitment required by manufacturers to support the introduction of HD services in Europe.

The growing global demand for HD, he said, was key to the major investment being undertaken by Panasonic in core technology, factories and HD equipment to support the growing number of countries starting HD particularly in Asia and including the People’s Republic of China in 2008.

At IBC, Panasonic announced its support for the proposed EBU broadcast HD standard of 720/50p.