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Matsushita to release DVD this fall

Despite an apparent dearth of available titles, Matsushita pledges to start selling DVD players in the United States and Japan on November 1.

Despite an apparent dearth of available titles, Matsushita says it will sell its first DVD player in the United States and Japan on November 1.

Matsushita (MC), which markets many of its products under the Panasonic brand name, will sell two models priced at approximately $735 and $900.

The announcement comes just days after Sony (SNE) decided not to release its DVD player until next spring. Sony's decision was based on widespread skepticism as legal and technical disputes over the product with the film, computer, consumer electronics, and recording industries have dragged on through the summer. But Matsushita, like other manufacturers including Toshiba, are unfazed by the controversy and still plan to release the players for the Christmas season.

Matsushita's two models can also play standard compact discs. Up to eight languages can be dubbed on the discs and subtitles for up to 32 languages can be displayed for movie titles.

The company says it will also sell a 28-inch television that incorporates a DVD player starting on November 15 at a price of approximately $2300.

Matsushita expects to produce about 30,000 players a month.

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