Sony reveals new Blu-ray players, HTIBs

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Hello, Blu-ray. Sony just pulled the sheet back on four brand new Blu-ray units: two players and two home theaters in a box. All four come packing the BD-Live Profile 2.0 spec and attractive pricing. Sony means business.

The pair of Blu-ray players seem set to take the torch from the current generation with similar but slightly updated specs and a refreshed look. The players can handle DNLA, DTS-HD Master / Dolby TrueHD capable, and upscaling DVDs. The high-end model, the BDP-S560 even comes packing WiFi for easy network hookup for all the BD-Live goodies. Both that model, and the non-WiFi BDP-S360 should ship this summer for $350 and $300 respectively.

The HTIBs’ maintain all of the standalone unit’s functions but ups the ante a bit on the wireless gimmick. The $800 BDV-E500W’s speakers hook-up wireless to the base unit for a more flexible speaker arrangement. The $600 BDV-E300 ships without the wireless capability but it can be added on later with an S-AIR kit. These units also pack the goods for iPod and Sony Walkman hookup via Sony’s Digital Media Port. Expect these about these two units this coming June.

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Sony’s New Blu-Ray Disc Player and Home Theater Systems Go Wireless

New Line Includes Wi-Fi Enabled Player and S-AIR Wireless Theater Systems

LAS VEGAS, March 2 /PRNewswire/ — Sony is adding four new Blu-ray Disc(TM) devices to its line-up today, including a stand-alone player with Wi-Fi(R) capability for easy BD-Live(TM) access and Blu-ray Disc home theater systems with S-AIR(TM) wireless audio.

The BDP-S360 and BDP-S560 stand-alone players and BDV-E300 and BDV-E500W BD home theater systems deliver full HD 1080/60p and 24p True Cinema(TM) output, decode the latest advanced audio codecs and are BD-Live capable with your broadband internet connection and purchase of external memory.

“The demands of today’s home theater go beyond pristine picture quality and our new Blu-ray Disc product line offers a breadth of technologies that deliver an amazing entertainment experience,” said Chris Fawcett, vice president of marketing for Sony Electronics’ Home Product Division. “Consumers don’t want a living room cluttered with wires and the new Blu-ray Disc product lineup breaks down the wired barriers of the past.”

Offering built-in Wi-Fi wireless network capabilities (802.11N/G/B/A), the BDP-S560 can easily connect to the Internet through your existing wireless home network to download and stream BD-Live content including additional scenes, short subjects, trailers, interactive games, and more. It also enables easy firmware updates to assist in keeping your player up-to-date with the latest Blu-ray Disc media and features.

While compatible with most wireless routers, the BDP-S560 also supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup(TM), for a quick and easy connection to enabled wireless routers. Additionally, the player is Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA(R)) ready, allowing it to connect to other DLNA compliant devices to share digital photos.

Since many consumers own extensive DVD movie libraries, the BDP-S360 and BDP-S560 incorporate Sony’s Precision Cinema HD Upscale technology that converts standard-definition signals (480i) to near HD quality.

Additionally, the models add Sony’s Precision Drive(TM) technology, which helps to detect and correct wobbling discs from three directions, supporting stabilization of the playback of bent or scratched Blu-ray Discs and DVDs.

The BDP-S360 and BDP-S560 models support 7.1 channel Dolby(R) TrueHD and Dolby(R) Digital Plus, DTS(R)-HD High Resolution Audio, and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding as well as bit-stream output via HDMI.

Both players support Deep Color video output and AVCHD discs encoded with x.v.Color(TM) (xvYCC) technology. They also feature compatibility with an array of video formats, including BD-R/RE (BDMV and BDAV modes), DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW, CD, CD-R/RW (CD-DA format) and JPEG on BD/DVD/CD recordable media.

The models also offer an external port for local storage so users can add their USB flash storage device. The BDP-S560 features a front USB port for viewing photos from your USB flash memory device or directly from a digital camera.

Shipping this summer, the BDP-S360 and BDP-S560 will retail for about $300 and $350, respectively.

Styled to match the BDP-S360 and BDP-S560 with a black gloss exterior design, the HT-SS360 component home theater system is an integrated A/V receiver supporting full HD 1080p video and high resolution audio. Added to either of the new players, the theater system completes the package with 5.1 surround sound for a true cinematic experience.

The model will be available this May for about $350.

BLU-RAY HOME THEATER SYSTEMS

Sony also launched two new 5.1 channel Blu-ray Disc home theater systems, the BDV-E300 and BDV-E500W. The models are BD-Live capable and support the latest advanced audio codecs including 7.1 channel Dolby(R) TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus, DTS(R)-HD High Resolution Audio and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding as well as bit-stream.

The BDV-E500W features integrated S-AIR wireless audio capabilities. Sony’s S-AIR technology transmits audio up to 164 feet from the main system to wireless rear speakers for simple surround sound (signal and sound quality may vary) or up to 10 individual S-AIR AirStation audio devices (sold separately) throughout the home. The BDV-E300 model is S-AIR ready so users can add optional modules, also sold separately.

Both systems include Sony’s Digital Media Port, which adds control and connectivity options for music playback through various accessories, including a cradle for iPod(R) players which is packaged with each system, or an optional Network Walkman(TM) cradle, a PC client device and a Bluetooth(R) adapter (each sold separately).

The models include an easy set-up DVD, eliminating any confusion during the set up process. Also, Sony’s BRAVIA(R) Sync(TM) technology simplifies every day operation with one-button command of compatible home theater components through HDMI.

The models also feature Sony’s Xross Media Bar (XMB(TM)) graphic user interface for easy menu navigation, Precision Drive technology, Precision Cinema Upscaling technology and a USB port allowing users to add their external flash memory for BD-Live features. The units ship with an easy set-up DVD for step-by-step instruction on initial set up process.

The BDV-E300 and BDV-E500W ship in June for about $600 and $800, respectively.

All of the new models will be offered at Sony Style stores, online at http://www.sonystyle.com, at military base exchanges, and at authorized retailers nationwide.

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