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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Mar 10, 2011 0 comments
Though disc releases are festooned with special features, movies sold as downloads tend to be unadorned. However, Sony Pictures is beginning to add features to movies sold as downloads through iTunes.

You'll be able to search for actors and dialogue, choose clips to share on social networking sites, and find songs embedded in soundtracks. Not surprisingly, the latter will be linked for purchase in the iTunes music store.

Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 03, 2008 0 comments
Sony shattered the quasi-content-free tradition of pre-CEDIA press events with an awesome exhibition of exhibitionist tendencies. The Bravia Internet Link will host the premiere of the blockbuster Sony Pictures film Hancock with Will Smith and Charlize Theron. The Blu-ray release of same will have Digital Copy. Wait, there's more. Sony attacks lazy liquid crystals with 240Hz Motionflow, which quadruples the refresh rate and interpolates three new frames. Blu-ray has gone from 18 to 32 manufacturers in a year, including Sony of course, which will bow the BDP-S5000ES (pictured) in November for $2000. It has an HD Reality Processor that selectively enhances sharpness in areas of the picture that need it -- not unlike what Toshiba is doing. With rigid frame & beam construction and isolated circuits, this will be the Blu player to beat. Oh, and when the floor opens tomorrow, Sony will be showing a prototype of a 400-disc BD mega-changer to make its debut in 2009. Two new ES receivers will have Faroudja video processing. SACD not dead, judging from intro of XA5400ES player. Huff, puff. If other manufacturers have this much news, I'll be dead by the end of the show.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 20, 2007 0 comments
Sony has become the latest manufacturer to dump its rear-projection television line.
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 08, 2007 1 comments
Pre-CES press events are notorious for emphasizing message over substance. Sony's message was "Transformation." Nevertheless everyone's favorite electronics giant and whipping boy had a few surprises in store at yesterday's big do, and the first was violinist (and Sony Classical recording artist) Joshua Bell in a huge display of virtuosity. It got CES off to a great start! Sorry about the picture. It hardly does justice to Sony's 1080p Bravia LCD display. What do you expect from a Panasonic camera being operated by a monkey?
Mark Fleischmann Posted: Apr 25, 2014 2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
500-GB hard drive
DSD capable
Serious fun to use
Minus
No live streaming from network devices
Lightweight amp

THE VERDICT
This handsome DSD-capable audio player with built-in storage takes the pesky computer out of computer audio—and it’s way more fun to use.

Sony made waves when they announced their intention to market three high-resolution audio (HRA) products built around the company’s DSD file format. True, there was a nascent HRA movement before Sony made the move, with loads of network audio players and USB DACs flooding the market. But somehow the Sony announcement provided the extra momentum that finally made HRA seem not just promising but inevitable. That the Consumer Electronics Association has also launched an HRA initiative is icing on the cake.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jan 07, 2011 0 comments
An intriguing part of Sony's enormous booth in the Central Hall discussed the "Monolithic Design" philosophy, which gives Sony Bravia TVs a commanding "on/off presence" -- in other words, they look cool whether the screen is active or dark. One aspect of the philosophy in action is a six-degree tilt that suits "low, contemporary furniture."
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jul 09, 2010 0 comments
Sony is about to launch two movie channels. One, Sony Pictures Movies HD, would be the first channel completely under Sony ownership. The other, FearNet, is a joint venture with Lionsgate and Comcast.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 03, 2014 2 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $800 (updated 12/10/14)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
HDMI 2.0 and lossless surround decoding
7.1 channels of amplification
Fairly deep response
Upward-angled rubber feet
Minus
No HDCP 2.2 DRM

THE VERDICT
The Sony HT-ST5 provides up-to-date HDMI 2.0 connectivity along with great-for-a-bar sound, including excellent subwoofer integration.

OK, I admit it. When I signed up for audio-critic duty in the late 1980s, about a decade into my tech-journalism career, I envisioned a glamorous world of gleaming waxed wood-veneered speakers, precocious multitalented receivers, and dressed-to-kill home theaters designed by Theo Kalomirakis. Soundbars weren’t even on the horizon then. Even so, step by step, I have committed myself to the conceptual principles underlying soundbars: audio-for-video, compactness, minimal footprint, maybe a little surround magic, and user-friendliness, that last item being glaringly absent from AV receivers.

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Dec 10, 2013 0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $1,299

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Well made metal bar
Wireless sub, Bluetooth
Solid performance
Minus
Pricey for a soundbar

THE VERDICT
A high-performing soundbar with HDMI connectivity and lossless-surround support.

Like a pilot fish feasting on a shark’s leftovers, the soundbar has occupied a secondary role since its inception. You might imagine a TV without a soundbar but never a soundbar without a TV. Even so, secondary doesn’t necessarily have to mean second-rate. What if your soundbar were as good at producing audio as your TV is at producing video? What if it were better than your TV?

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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Sep 09, 2009 0 comments
The Sony BDP-N460 is a reasonably priced Blu-ray player, at $250, with built-in software designed to accommodate the Linksys/Cisco Wireless-N Ethernet Bridge with Dual Band (optional). Since a broadband connection is a must for a Blu-ray player with BD-Live capability, this wireless option may make streaming easier, operating in either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands. Blu-ray players are increasingly becoming networking machines and Sony doesn't want you to miss any of the internet content provided by its dozens of licensed partners.

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