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Sony Bows SXRD Projector, 52W” LCD TVs

9/25/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Sony unveiled at CEDIA Expo a $4,999 suggested retail 1,080p SXRD front projector and a pair of 52W-inch 1,080p BRAVIA LCD TVs.

The projector, model VPL-VW50, is said to be similar to the previous VPL-VW100, but features a 200-watt UHP lamp instead of a Xenon lamp, and produces up to 900 ANSI lumens of brightness.

Key features include a 15,000:1 contrast ratio with advanced iris in auto mode, and two HDMI inputs with 1,080p/24Hz capability.

Also new is the VW50's 1-chip video processing engine which enables the projector to use a fully digital chassis, eliminating signal noise caused by analog to digital or digital to analog conversion.

The VW50 also features dual HDMI inputs that support both 1,080p/60 and 24p frame rates. Sony said it processes at a direct multiple of 24p to avoid artifacts like judder or flicker when viewing high-definition formats like Blu-ray Discs. Other inputs include component video, RGB, S-video and composite video. An RS-232C connection is included for flexible control options.

Sony said its Advanced Iris 2 function helps the projector produce accurate blacks and a dynamic contrast ratio of up to 15,000:1 when “auto” iris mode is selected. The Advanced Iris 2 also features a variable setting allowing for user optimization.

The projector also features 1.8x powered lens zoom, powered focus, and powered vertical lens shift to adjust the location of the image for flexible installation locations.

The unit's advanced cooling structure produces a low fan noise of 22dB, critical for home theater applications.

The two new 52W-inch BRAVIA models — KDL-52XBR2 ($6,500 suggested retail) and KDL-52XBR3 ($6,800) — are the first in the screen size in the Sony line, and bring Sony's total 1080p LCD TV offerings to eight models.

Both will ship in November and are said to have feature sets that are “very similar to the just shipping KDL-46XB and KDL-46XBR3, but the 52XBR2 does not have interchangeable bezels.”

Instead, that model will feature a fixed silver bezel cosmetic, while the 52XBR3 comes with a high-gloss piano black bezel. Both new BRAVIA XBR LCD TVs also feature floating glass styling designs.

Key features in both new BRAVIA models include three HDMI inputs, wide-color gamut Cold Cathode Fluorescent backlighting, and Sony's BRAVIA Engine Pro video processing.

Other features include DRC Multi-Function version 2.5 circuitry, which will enhance both standard and high definition signal sources.

Rounding out the XBR feature package is a built-in ATSC tuner; a PC input; two high-definition components, one S-video and three composite inputs.

One of the new improvements is Sony's Advanced Contrast Enhancer (ACE). With real-time image processing and optimization of backlight levels, ACE technology builds on the on-screen contrast ratio of 1,300:1 and delivers a dynamic contrast ratio of up to 7,000:1, delivering deeper blacks and better shadow detail.

The company also added two new 1366 by 768p resolution models, the 40W-inch KDL-40S2400 and 32W-inch KDL-32S2400, to the BRAVIA line.

Both are equipped with ACE technology for optimized dynamic contrast ratio of up to 5,000:1 (the on-screen contrast ratio is 1,300:1).

Cosmetics include a narrow, picture frame black bezel incorporating invisible bottom speakers with SRS TruSurroundXT and BBE Digital Enhancement technology. Other features include a built-in ATSC tuner, HDMI and PC inputs, and two high-definition component, two S-video and two composite inputs.

The KDL-40S2400 and KDL-32S2400 models will be available next month for suggested retails of about $2,600 and $1,700, respectively.

To help support the launch of the VPL-VW50 SXRD projector, Sony said it has joined forces with Stewart Filmscreen to promote Full HD 1080p front projection. Stewart announced its Firehawk SST screen with a reflectivity and gain that was specifically designed to optimize the VW-50's performance.

“Our goal is to expand the front projector market by driving the message about the benefits of big screen home entertainment,” said Phil Abram, Sony's TV marketing VP. “To address this challenge, we have joined with Stewart Filmscreen to bring Full HD front projection to a whole new audience.”

The companies will offer a series of cross-promotional initiatives called the “Sony/Stewart Theater” or “SST,” conducting a number of “Full HD” events at leading A/V specialty retailers, Sony said.

Stewart Filmscreen will provide Sony with Firehawk SST screens to demonstrate the VPL-VW50 front projector at select Sony Style store locations nationwide.

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