New York — Sony expanded its Bravia high-definition LCD-TV lineup to 30 models, excluding derivatives, with the addition of seven TVs in the top-end Bravia XBR series.
The introductions include the company’s first two LCD TVs with local dimming, and they bring Triluminos three-color LED backlight technology to lower price points, a spokesman said. With the recent shipment of two other XBR models, the 2008 XBR lineup also pushes down other key XBR features to lower prices, including Digital Media Extender (DMeX), Motionflow and x.v. Color support, and it brings Digital Media Port (DMP) technology to the series, company executives added.
When the new XBR models ship in the fall, Sony will offer more Bravia flat-panel LCD TVs than it ever has, the spokesman said. Pricing will not be disclosed until later this summer.
In another announcement, Sony said it added content from YouTube, Wired.com and C-Spot to its Bravia Internet Video Link service, which streams Internet content via a broadband connection to a $300 Bravia Internet Video Link module. The Ethernet-equipped expansion module in turn plugs into the back of DMeX-equipped TVs. Twenty-five Internet content providers now stream to the TVs, including CBS, Yahoo!, AOL, Sports Illustrated and FEARnet.
The new products, all with 1080p display, are due in screen sizes from 40 to 70 inches, joining two XBR models announced at International CES. Those two models, already shipping, are the 32-inch KDL-32XBR6 and 37-inch KDL-37XBR6, priced at $1,199 and $1,499, respectively, at SonyStyle.com. They feature DMP, DMe X, Motionflow, x.v. Color, and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) connectivity to networked PCs to stream photos.
The two models with Triluminos LED backlighting and local dimming, appearing in the top two models in the XBR line, are the 55-inch KDL-55XBR8 and 46-inch KDL-46XBR8. Triluminos LED backlighting expands an LCD TV’s color range by using a cluster of red, green, and blue LEDs to replace a single white LED to backlight the display panel. Local dimming improves video contrast and dynamic range by reducing backlight levels area by area on the display to maintain detail in dark areas of the screen during a scene. The reduced light emissions yield deep blacks and reduce power consumption, Sony said.
In a head-to-head comparison demonstration here against a high-end plasma TV, Sony touted its Triluminos local-dimming models as offering superior contrast.
The two top-end XBRs also feature Motionflow, x.v. Color, DMeX and DMP, and DLNA photo connectivity.
Motionflow 120Hz frame-rate technology uses a proprietary algorithm to identify film-based content to deliver “a clearer picture with smoother motion during sweeping pans without a visible jerking or stuttering,” the company said. The x.v. Color capability expands the range of colors by about 1.8 times when used with sources, such as Blu-ray discs and players, that support the technology. The TVs’ Digital Media Port allows for connection to optional docking cradles for iPods and Walkman MP3 portables, optional Bluetooth modules to play back music from a Bluetooth-equipped cellphone, and the like.
DMeX allows for the use of the Bravia Internet Video Link module as well as other expansion modules due later this year. They include the Bravia Wireless Link module and DVD Link. The former eliminates multiple cables by using wireless HDMI technology to connect the TV wirelessly to four HDMI video sources up to 200 feet away, delivering 1080i picture quality with less than 1 millisecond delay for use in gaming. The DVD Link module adds DVD/CD player to the television.
The two TVs also stream photos from home devices certified as compliant with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard. Inputs include four 1080/60 24p HDMI connections, two 1080/60p HD component inputs, a 1080/60p-capable PC input, Ethernet port and RS-232C.
Two other new XBR TVs are the 70-inch KDL-70XBR7 and 40-inch KDL-40XBR7. Both feature Motionflow, x.v. Color, DMeX, Digital Media Port, DLNA photo streaming, Bravia Sync (HDMI-CEC) and the same input selection as the XBR8 models.
Three new XBR6 models are the 52-inch KDL-52XBR6, 46-inch KDL-42XBR6 and 40-inch KDL-40XBR6, joining the 32- and 37-inch models introduced at International CES. The three new models offer the same features as the KDL-40XBR7, excluding RS-232 and Bravia Engine 2 EX digital video processing. All three offer a space-saving bottom speaker, floating-glass industrial design and optional speaker-grille color accents.