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CEDIA 2008: Sony Adds ES BD Player, Projectors

CEDIA News Denver — Sony offered a few surprises at its CEDIA Expo press conference here Wednesday, including a pair of SXRD projectors and a host of Blu-ray Disc player solutions with the company’s first models in the high-end ES series.

The products joined a pair of Bravia LCD TVs, and an open distribution Blu-ray player, previously reported here.

Highlighting the new Blu-ray offerings was the BDP-S5000ES Blu-ray Disc player, featuring the company’s newly developed HD Reality Enhancer and Super Bit Mapping technologies for enhanced image detail.

The model, which Sony called fully BD-Live capable, features an Ethernet connection that allows users to connect to the Internet via their existing service provider to access BD-Live features and easy firmware updates. It also is equipped with an external flash-memory port and includes a 1GB Sony Micro Vault flash-storage device.

The BDP-S5000ES, which ships in November at a $2,000 suggested retail, also features Quick Start mode, improving boot-up times to approximately six seconds, which is seven times faster than previous models.

The model includes a new 14-bit HD video processor, which improves standard-definition and high-definition picture quality with the help of HD Reality Enhancer and Super Bit Mapping technologies.

HD Reality Enhancer continually analyzes bit by bit of the original source, sharpening edges and reproducing detail, while reducing the effects of film grain. Super Bit Mapping delivers smoother color gradation realizing true 14-bit equivalent color tone from 8-bit sources connected via HDMI.

For DVD playback, the unit incorporates a new Precision Cinema HD Upscale technology that converts standard-definition signals (480i) to 1080p and outputs a full HD equivalent resolution signal to 1080p TVs via HDMI. Also included is improved analog component-video output using 14-bit/297MHz video D/A conversion.

Additionally, the model adds Sony’s new Precision Drive HD, which helps to detect and correct wobbling discs from three directions, stabilizing playback of bent or scratched Blu-ray Discs and DVDs.

The model offers 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio decoding and bit-stream output, as well as analog 7.1 channel output with Advanced Current Segment Audio D/A converters for legacy A/V receivers and decoders.

The BDP-S5000ES supports Deep Color video output and AVCHD discs encoded with x.v.Color (xvYCC) technology

The new SXRD projectors both offer full 1080p resolution and are sold under the Bravia brand. Models VPL-VW70 and VPL-HW10 both offer 24p True Cinema technology.

The VPL-VW70 features 60,000:1 dynamic contrast, and 800 lumens of brightness.

The model can accept an external anamorphic lens (sold separately) that, when paired with Sony’s Anamorphic Zoom Mode, allows users to take full advantage of panel resolution and screen size while watching a movie with native aspect ratio of 2.35:1, Sony said.

When anamorphic zoom is selected through the remote, the VPL-VW70, which will ship in November at an $8,000 suggested retail, will output a trigger signal that can be used to activate the optional lens and screen transition to maximize the theater experience with a 2.35:1 movie.

The VPL-HW10, which ships this month at a $3,500 suggested retail, is billed as a high-performance value model featuring a 30,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and 1,000 ANSI lumens of brightness.

Both models are also equipped with a panel alignment adjustment function that aligns each red, green and blue pixel for precise images. The adjustment range is +/-2 pixel in 1/10 pixel steps. The VPL-VW70 takes it a step further with panel zone alignment, allowing users to further calibrate the picture. The model also adds a unique automatic lens cover that helps protect the lens from dust.