CES 2011 Sony Spreads The 3D, IP TV Wealth


LAS VEGAS - Sony waved its Sony United flag high Wednesday with a synergized press conference showcasing the numerous 3D and Internet TV contributions of its various divisions to the "3D value chain."

Sony chairman Howard Stringer kicked off the event by rolling onto the stage in front of a massive 3D LED billboard display in a tricked-out car from the upcoming movie "The Green Hornet" along with the film's stars Seth Rogen and Jay Chou.

In addition to hyping the upcoming box office release, and full slate of 3D box office releases planned for 2001, Stringer pitched his company's diverse activities in helping to lead the 3D revolution, including the launch of an extensive second-generation Bravia 3D LCD TV line.

In 2010, "we established ourselves as the industry leader because we span the ecosystem," Stringer said, referring to the company producing everything from 3D movies to 3D TVs in the home. "In 2011, 3D becomes personal."

In all, the 2011 TV assortment will include 27 Bravia models, 16 of which will be 3D Full HD LED LCD models and 22 Internet-connected sets.

Also on display as possible technologies of the future were several glasses-free displays including a 56-inch 4K pixel LCD monitor, a 46-inch 2K pixel LCD and a 24.5-inch 2K pixel OLED display.

The company also has worked up prototypes of a head-mounted 3D display and a portable 3D DVD player that requires no glasses.

Sony is offering 3D capability in other CE categories, including a 3D Handycam camcorder, billed as the world's first 3D camcorder to record in "double full HD," an array of digital 3D cameras and a 3D-compatible Vaio PC.

The company also underscored its leadership position in the connected television category through various offerings ranging from the Bravia Internet Video Link platform to its Internet TVs powered by Google TV, introduced late last year.

Sony is to produce an ad campaign this year with the tagline "Television Redefined: Sony Internet TV."

Content partners for Sony's Bravia Internet Video Link sets include previous partners: YouTube, Netflix, HuluPlus, and Amazon on Demand, but now add Sony's Qriocity VOD service and Music Unlimited, which is a multiplatform music service that will launch in the U.S. this year with 6 million songs from all major labels.

Meanwhile, Sony elicited a few gasps from the audience by revealing that Time Warner Cable will deliver its entire video programming lineup to customers with Sony's Internet-connected Bravia HDTVs this year.

Though detail were sketchy, the potential paradigm changer for pay TV service delivery, will bring access to programming delivered over Internet protocol, without the need for a set-top box, said Phil Molyneux, new Sony Electronics USA president.

"Delivering cable content over IP, will allow consumers new found flexibility to view their favorite TV programs on Sony products around their home," Molyneux said.

Sony also revealed the name of the new 3D cable network it is producing in conjunction with partners Discovery Communications and IMAX, will be "3net."


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