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Sony unveils $600 Blu-ray Disc player

Posted: 02 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Sony Electronics? Sony? HDMI? Blu-ray? DVD format?

At its Open House event this week, Sony Electronics Inc. unveiled its second Blu-ray Disc (BD) player which will hit stores by the middle of the year for about $600.The BDP-S300 is 40 percent cheaper than the first BD player released, the BDP-S1, which sells for $999.

Aside from the lower price, Sony claims that the BDP-S300 BD player packs a smaller design than the BDP-S1 and features advanced audio codecs, Bravia Theater Sync and CD playback, furthering the company's move 'to broaden the market' for the technology.

"We plan to continue leading the Blu-ray Disc charge with products for the home that exceed consumer expectations and fulfill Sony's vision for an HD world," said Jeff Goldstein, VP of marketing for Sony Electronics' Home Products Division.

The BDP-S300 can output 1920 x 1080p high-definition video via an HDMI connection. For HDTV sets lacking HDMI connection, the player supports an analog component output for 1080i.

The player supports MPEG-2, MPEG-4-AVC and VC1 video formats. It features 1080p upscaling through HDMI to 1080p-capable HDTVs. The model's output signal of 24fps allows it to reproduce 'film-like' images, said the company.

The BDP-S300 supports AVC-HD discs encoded with xvYCC technology, a new international standard for wide color space (which Sony has branded as x.v.Color). "The standard expands the current data range of video approximately 1.8 times, so the player can now output more natural and vivid colors similar to what the human eye can actually see," said Goldstein.

For audio output, the player offers multichannel linear PCM digital audio output via HDMI, and can decode Dolby Digital Plus. The unit has optical and coaxial digital audio out, along with 5.1 channel decoding capability for backward compatibility with existing receivers.

The player also supports BD-ROM, BD-Java, AVC-HD and DVD playback from DVD/DVD+R/+RW encoded discs as well as MP3 audio files and JPEG images stored on DVD recordable media.

Meanwhile, industry analysts comment that despite the lower price for BDP-S300, the product still costs more than HD DVD players. Reflecting on this, Stan Glasgow, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics, said that the company anticipates the prices for the players to drop to below $500 by Christmas. He added that the players can possibly take the same route "just like the DVD" [players], which now sell for less than $100. But that will come several years from now, Glasgow pointed out.




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