Sony Line Show
Sony had their line show on Tuesday. Continuing the sick joke from previous years, it was in Las wasn't-I-here-last-month Vegas. Instead of Caesars, it was at Paris.
Paris has this cute/cheesy thing where everything is in French and English. This kind of ruins the effect to me, as if this was actually Paris, there certainly wouldn’t be any English. That’s probably asking too much. Whatever. The good bits follow. The “Pics here” links all lead to the same place, so you only need to click on one. Or click on them all, that’s ok by me.
There is a new Blu-ray player coming out, the BDP-S300. They claim it will do everything the BDP-S1 will do (like 1080p/24), but for $600. In addition, it will read and output xvYCC color space, if we ever see discs so encoded. The case also had DTS and Dolby Digital Plus logos, which would be interesting if those end up on the final product (for having what those logos imply). They’re saying “summer” for availability. Pics here. This one will play CDs, oh the future.
On the marketing side, they’re expanding the “BRAVIA ” sub-name to home theater equipment, rear-pros (including SXRD models), and even front projectors. Up next, BRAVIA the FLAME THROWER!!!! Kids just love that one.
In the “not-dead-yet” category, the E3000 series are 1080p LCD RPTVs. The most interesting feature of these are their extremely thin form factor. The 50-inch is only 12.6 inches deep. The 46-inch is just 11.9. They’ll even accept 1080p/24. No pricing, but expect them to be less than the SXRDs when they ship in July. Pics here.
The KDL-32XBR4 was hyped as being a showcase of things to come. It has a WCG-CCFL (Wide Color Gamut-Cold Cathode Florescent Light) backlight, a 10-bit LCD panel, and “Motionflow.” The latter interpolates frames to double the apparent frame rate to 120. Fully interpolated frames tend to make my skin crawl, but we’ll see. Nearly every major LCD manufacturer is coming out with 120 Hz panels, and each has a slightly different approach on how to get the signal up to this refresh rate. As of yet none are doing 5:5 pulldown (24 fps x 5) for film content.
A handful of other LCDs were shown. The 1080p “V” series, the 768p “S” series. The “V” series has a WCG-CCFL backlight, and 10-bit LCD panels. One feature well discussed for both lines was the BRAVIA Theatre Sync that lets BRAVIA products all talk to each other. Panasonic has a similar system that you can read about here. All “S” series have the WCG-CCFL, but only the 40 and 46-inch models have 10-bit panels. No prices, one pic.
The other big news was the BRAVIA Internet Video Link. This $300 add-on module for most of the TVs I’ve mentioned above allows a user to access AOL, Yahoo! Grouper, Sony Pictures and Sony BMG Music and stream (not download) free content. You’ll need a broadband Internet connection, but then you can get “Internet video programming, music videos, movie trailers, user generated videos and RSS feeds.” So all the Sony movie trailers and guys getting hit in the nuts videos that your heart desires are just a few clicks away. It is only for access to these sites, so no checking your email or anything. If you thought that YouTube video looked bad a 425 pixels wide, imagine what it will look like when you zoom into it to blow it up to 1920 by 1080 and 46-inches diagonal. Personally I don’t see the big deal of this, but I’ve missed the point of things before.
Second to lastly, Sony’s Xross Media Bar first seen in the PSP (and also in the PS3 and a receiver), is popping up in just about all their products. This is a good thing. It will make navigating your way around the TVs copious features a little easier.
Lastly, they teased us once again by showing a "1,000,000:1" contrast ratio OLED display. No definite plans yet, but it's pretty. Pics here and a short video of it in action downloadable here (Quicktime, 21MB).