Profile: Masayuki Kozuka

Apr 30, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Title: Director of the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory since the lab’s launch this month.
Technology of the future: The lab will conduct research and development for next-generation digital video compression and technologies for broadband distribution of video and other digital content.
A prime goal of the laboratory is to collaborate more closely with Hollywood’s movie studios and other content providers on the engineering and development of better products and systems for the entertainment industry. Initial attention will focus on evaluating image quality for next-generation DVDs, digital cinema and Internet distribution. DTV and next-generation mobile devices, Panasonic said, will also be considered.
Universal experience: Before heading the Hollywood Laboratory, Mr. Kozuka was the engineering project leader for a joint venture by Universal Music Group, BMG, AT&T and Panasonic for the licensing of electronic media distribution protocols. To date the venture’s output is licensed to NTT’s Communication and DoCoMo groups. Mr. Kozuka joined Panasonic in 1982.
A growing concern: “We’re temporarily renting a building on the Universal Studios lot in North Hollywood. We hope to open a 34,000-square-foot facility in November; $3 million was invested [in this project] for the year. We have 11 employees [including Mr. Kozuka].”
Movie studios: “Several studios are supplying us with content-generally IP transferred video, D5 tapes. We will test compression technologies and transfer rates to determine the best mix for each application. We have to find a reasonable target to fit the transfer capacity available.”
Not just tech: “We also have to find a business model to determine the best solution for each application. We are starting with digital cinema and Internet distribution. For instance, how much should be promotional [free]? How much paid service? We have to think of pricing-pay-per-view, download, subscription-based.”
Obstacles: “Right now DVD video is very profitable for the Hollywood studios. A new format might be harmful to their current business. We have to have a common understanding over the development schedule.”
TV: “Right now we have no plans to provide TV solutions. But we would welcome any broadcast provider with a good idea about broadcast distribution.”