By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
PARK RIDGE, N.J.– Despite the inclusion of Digital Visual Interface (DVI) connectors on 15 new HDTV monitors, Sony Electronics is expected to continue to support the alternate digital connector iLINK (IEEE-1394) in future model digital television sets.
Vincent Clemons, Sony color TV marketing manager, said Sony views iLINK as a conduit for home networking while DVI is an ideal direct digital connection to DTV displays.
Sony unveiled 13 Hi-Scan rear projection and CRT direct-view DTV monitors all of which feature DVI jacks with HDCP copy protection. (February 25, 2002, p. 1). The company also gave a preview of a forthcoming digital set-top decoder box with a DVI-HDCP output.
All seven rear-projection Hi-Scan models include 16:9 widescreen configurations, and all scan the 1080i and 480p formats natively. The monitors also up convert 480i signals to a 960i format and the 720p HDTV format to 1080i. Step-up models add new Digital Reality Creation MultiFunction V1 circuitry, which enables viewers to customize settings of the DRC system to fine tune picture performance of up converted signals.
The system will help to avoid line doubling picture noise introduced by low-quality signal sources.
Models in the MV series include Memory Stick media slots to present JPEG images from a Sony digital camera or camcorder on screen in 1080I format. MV monitors also include a "floating screen" design with a metallic silver wraparound speaker base.
Other features in the series include HD MicroFocus CRT with a smaller beam size for brighter, sharper images; HD Archromatic MicroFocus lens system, for clearer focus and in WV700 models a Uniform Brightness Screen technology for a wider vertical viewing angle.
These new widescreen models also include CineMotion reverse 3:2 pulldown circuitry, Multi-Image Driver-X with Scrolling Channel Index system, Flexible Twin- View 2-tuner picture-and-picture, and SRS TruSurround sound.
Sony's new KP-57WV600 and KP-65WV600 rear-projection televisions will be available in August for about $3,700 and $4,200, respectively. The step-up models KP-57WV700 and KP-65WV700 models also ship in August at anticipated street retails of $4,200 and $4,700, respectively.
New entry level Hi-Scan models include the 51-, 57-, and 65-inch widescreen models, will incorporate many of the high-performance step-up features found on the WV-series. Each set will include the DRC MultiFunction circuitry, a DVI-HDTV interface, HD MicroFocus CRT, HD MicroFocus lens system, HD Detailer wide band video amp, MID-X circuitry and TruSurround sound.
The KP-51WS500, KP-57WS500 and KP-65WS500 models will be available in October for around $2,700, $3,200 and $3,700, respectively.
In plasma, Sony introduced a new 32W-inch screen size to its professional and home theater series. The professional model, FFM-32C1, offers 1024x852 pixel resolution and will retail for $6,000 when it ships in March. It must be connected to an external DTV or NTSC tuner, and will join the 42W-inch PFM-42B1, which features 1024x1024 resolution at an $8,000 retail price. Sony also showed a prototype 50W-inch model, which is expected this summer at a price to be announced.
For its more traditional home theater line, Sony announced the 32W-inch plasma television — model KZ-32TS1 — which will carry a $6,000 retail, and incorporates an NTSC tuner, speakers and a stand. It joins the KZ-42TS1 42W-inch plasma TV. Models include CineMotion and reverse 3:2 pulldown.
The PFM series will display computer input to UXGA levels.
The company said it will carry over the following three 4:3 Hi-Scan rear projection monitors: KP-43HT20, KP-53HS30 and KP-61HS30.
In direct-view CRT, Sony is making a complete transition to flat-screen WEGA picture tubes this year. Six DTV monitors in the line add the DVI-HDCP interface along with Digital Reality Creation MultiFunction, HD Detailer, ClearEdge VM, and new Memory Stick media slots: Also added are two HD component video inputs.
Highlights include the KV-40XBR800 (40-inch, about $3,500), KV-36XBR800 (36-inch, about $2,500), and KV-34XBR800 (34-inch, 16:9 widescreen, about $3,000), all of which ship this fall.
Others include the KV-32HV600 (32-inch, about $2,000), KV-36HV600 (36-inch, about $2,300), and KV-32HS500 (32-inch, about $1,800), which ship in the summer.
New analog Wega models include the 13-, 20-, 24-, 27-, 32- and 36-inch screen sizes.
Models in the entry-level FS series include a new side speaker design, component video inputs, 3-line digital comb filter, and improved audio power.
Shipping will begin in April for most models, and pricing will range from $250 to $1,500.
Step-up FV series models in the 20-, 24, 27-, 32- and 36-inch screen sizes, incorporate ClearEdge VM wideband velocity modulation scanning, and DynaBlack video technology, which expands the black level for accurate contrast.
FV series cosmetics include a new arc design and a 3-D digital comb filter in 27- to 36-inch models. Other features include two-tuner picture-in-picture, auto 16:9 enhanced mode and a SRS TruSurround sound processing with WOW. Models begin to ship in April at street retails ranging from about $400 to $1,700.
In DVD, Sony showed its newest DVD Dream Systems, which now include progressive scan and MP3 playback. Three models include five-disc DVD/CD/ multi-channel SACD changers.
Systems feature slimmer designs, and packages with five speakers, subwoofer and color-coded cable connectors.
Models include the 500-watt DAV-C450, which ships in May at a $600 street price, the 550-watt DAV-C770, which ships in June at $700, and the 600-watt DAV-C990, which ships in July at $1,000. All new DVD decks include MP3 and CD-R/RW playback and start at $150.
The DVP-NS755V, which ships in June at $300 includes progressive scan video, multi-channel SACD and a built-in Dolby Digital/DTS decoding. Added is a Resume Memory feature, which lets viewers stop a DVD at any point, take it out of the player, and pick up a program where it left off later. The function works on up to 40 discs at a time.
New for the Gen Y crowd is the Psyc portable DVD player, model DVP-PQ1, which ships in June at $150. The player offers a silver cosmetic design with a pop-top interchangeable faceplate offering a selection of colors and image designs. The DVD Style3 line, which debuted last year, will soon includes the DVP-F25, which ships in July at $200. Unlike earlier players, which could be positioned vertically, horizontally or mounted on a wall, the new unit can also be played lying on its side. All include component video connectors.
New in mega changers is the 301-disc DVD/CD model DVP-CX875P, which ships in August at $500.
The unit adds progressive scan and 40-disc Resume Memory. The six-disc DVP-NS415 will ship in June at $170 and includes Resume Memory and AV pass-through that enables a VCR and other components to be daisy chained on the DVD player, bypassing Macrovision.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.