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Sony announces next-gen HD reciever

The SAT-HD300 is a fully integrated, advanced high-definition receiver that delivers DIRECTV® standard and high-definition programs, digital and analog terrestrial HD signals, as well as unscrambled analog cable broadcasts.

One of the key benefits of the new receiver is to deliver HD broadcast content in the original format intended by the content creators, which results in the faithful reproduction on a high definition television. The SAT-HD300 accomplishes this by implementing a new “native” variable format mode that seamlessly passes video to display devices from the original resolution format. Programming broadcast in 480i, 480p, 720p or 1080i formats is output to the display device in its native resolution via the receiver’s component or the DVI-HDTV connection.

In addition, the new receiver supports a variety of HD monitors and video formats by offering three other variable format settings, four fixed format settings, as well as a variable “Auto DVI” setting for displays equipped with DVI-HDTV digital interface.

“The SAT-HD300 is a powerful tool in completing the high-definition home theater viewing experience and exemplifies Sony’s commitment to DTV transition,” said Tim Baxter, senior vice president of marketing for Sony Electronics’ Visual Network Products Division. “Versatile and sophisticated features like the multi-format modes flawlessly deliver the thrilling action and drama into the viewer’s home the way high-definition pictures were meant to be seen.”

To handle the proliferation of widescreen format TV sets and expanded HD programming in a variety of aspect ratios, the new receiver has 11 aspect ratio settings, including a new Cine-Zoom feature with 16 discrete image control steps. It also has two new temporal high-definition only aspect ratio settings that are designed to minimize the impact of programs that are broadcast in non-standard high-definition aspect ratios.

The receiver’s expanded convenience features include an updated IR/RF Universal Remote Commander remote control for convenient multi-room operation, as well as a Multi-Freeze function with a screen “freeze” capability that can magnify and pan “frozen” images.

The unit also provides up to seven days of Advanced Program Guide