Panasonic will open a testing laboratory for Blu-ray Disc content in Hollywood today.

The centre will verify whether the Blu-ray Disc content from movie studios meets technical specifications and can be played on a range of Blu-ray Disc hardware, the company said. Panasonic said at present there is no way to do this before discs are replicated.

The new facility will be operated by Panasonic of North America and located within the existing Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory.

Panasonic is one of the major backers of Blu-ray Disc and sits alongside companies like Sony and Samsung on the committee that sets the format. The number of Blu-ray Disc players in the US grew slowly last year as did those for the rival HD DVD format. However Blu-ray Disc got a boost in November when Sony's PlayStation 3 went on sale.

In the US Panasonic has been selling the DMP-BD10 Blu-ray Disc player and a companion home theatre system since last year.