Citing "transformation" as its theme for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony Electronics took the wraps off its first Internet-based video system, with content partners like AOL and Yahoo already lined up to provide Internet-based video.
Scheduled to ship by mid-year, Sony anticipates the majority of its nw televisions will be compatible with the Internet-based video service, which will attach as a separate module to the televisions and (via Ethernet) to a user’s broadband home network. Users will control the module with a remote, and will be able to stream high-definition and other Internet video content straight to their televisions without an intervening media center or computer to process the video. On screen, the service relies on Sony’s Xross Media Bar (XMB), the same icon-based interface already found on Sony’s PlayStation 3 video game console and (in a different form) for Sony’s PlayStation Portable. And Sony already has partners lined up for its Internet-based video service, including it own in-house Sony BMG and Sony Pictures (which now includes Grouper, acquired last August) AOL, and Yahoo.
"While other companies struggle with standard definition, Sony has developed a scalable Internet HDTV solution with some notable partners providing content," said Stan Glasgow, Sony Electronics’ President and COO.
The Internet video service will initially be available for Sony’s Bravia S-series flat-panel television in the form of a Bravia Internet Video Link module; pricing and availability details are expected in a few months.
Speaking of Sony’s Bravia line, the company also unveiled a new 70-inch version offering full 1080p resolution, three HDMI inputs, a high refresh rate, and Sony’s x.v.Color technology, which is the company’s new name for xvYCC. Sony also showed a prototype 82-inch LCD display and a 27-inch OLED-based display offering 1080p resolution and an astonishing contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.
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