Book Asked to Advise Panasonic's Living in HD Project

Connie Book, associate professor and associate dean of the School of Communications, was part of a press conference in New York Aug. 1 that discussed Panasonic’s Living in HD Project. The initiative, which lasts until March 2008, will provide 30 families with full access to Panasonic’s A/V and IT product suites. The promotional campaign aims to study how high-definition technology affects American family life.

Results from a Harris Interactive survey, in part, spurred the start of the HD exploration. The survey revealed that just 52 percent of parents feel they spend enough quality time with their children. Of those polled, 63 percent said they would be willing to spend more money on technology if it meant a substantive increase in family time.

“As we approach the national transition to digital broadcasting, it is important that individuals and companies understand how to use High Definition technology to its full potential because it will affect social and professional interactions," Book said. "Panasonic's Living in HD program can be a valuable tool for consumers, as well high tech companies and social scientists, as HD technologies become more prevalent in everyday life."

Families that wish to participate in the HD project will be selected based on their ideas for documentaries. Submissions will be sent via the Living in HD Web site. Book, along with Panasonic executives, educators and Hollywood personalities, will help decide which 30 families will receive Panasonic’s $20,000 product suites. Included on the selection committee are Sudhir Venkatesh, director of Columbia University’s Center for Urban Research and Policy, writer/director Kevin Smith, known for such movies as "Clerks," "Chasing Amy" and "Dogma," and Brett Ratner, a producer/director recognized mostly for his soon-to-be "Rush Hour" trilogy.

“Panasonic created the Living in HD program to more deeply understand how people’s lives will change was they become aware of the full potential of HDTV,” said Paul Liao, Panasonic chief technology officer. “Very few households are shooting video in HD today, but we expect that number will increase with consumer HD camcorders.”

Read more about the HD program on and (Both quotes in this story are from the Twice and CNNMoney articles. Photo courtesy of


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