Sony will unveil at International CES an integrated TV and A/V products line, including its first 3D-capable products, with full 1080p and 240Hz images delivered to each eye.
For the first time, Sony has used the same design team to design both TV sets and corresponding components at the same time, with a uniform look and feel
Jeff Goldstein, Sony television and projector marketing VP, said the company this year has used customer research “to identify four of five key segments of the TV buying public that it thinks Sony appeals to,” and has created a vertical TV lineup structure instead of traditional horizontal one.
Goldstein said the entire line is structured around customers looking for added-value goods, and the company will not pursue those motivated only by price.
Sony’s four customer segments are divided into those looking for the best of the Sony brand at the premium end, followed by those looking for the best picture (addressed in two model series), those looking for the latest features (addressed in two model series), and those looking for value (addressed in seven model series ranging from basic 720p CCFL LCD sets to 1080p/120Hz models with edge-lit LED panel lighting and Eco Presence Sensor technology).
Sony is launching its first Bravia 3D LCD TVs in the “brand” and “picture” product segments, including the brand-oriented XBR-LX900 series. This class will offer edge-lit LED lighting, Bravia Internet Video with integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity, 1080p resolution, 240Hz Motionflow frame-rate processing, a new Eco Presence Sensor function, and Bravia Engine 3 picture processing. The series will include the 60-, 52-, 46- and 40-inch screen sizes. Pricing on all new models was not available at press time.
In the “picture” customer segment are two series. In the center of the mix is what Goldstein called “family home entertainment,” which is addressed as a fully integrated 3D TV bundle with RealD active shutter glasses that will come bundled with LX series models. The sets have an IR emitter built into the bezel of the sets that will send out signals with alternating, left and right picture angles for reception by the special glasses.
All of Sony’s 3D-capable sets will have full 1080p/240Hz output.
Sony’s 3D-ready XBR-HX900 series will make 3D glasses and emitter available as an option for those who want to add on the feature. Features include full-array LED backlighting with local dimming technology, 1080p resolution, 240Hz Motionflow, Bravia Internet Video and a slim form factor. Screen sizes include 52 and 46 inches.
The LED KDL-HX800 series will also be 3D capable. The series features a similar cosmetic to the HX900 but with a thinner screen profile, edge-lit LED lighting with “Local Dimming Lite” circuitry that offers local dimming characteristics for controlled backlighting emitted from the edges of the screen. The series will also offer 1080p resolution, 240Hz Motionflow and Bravia Engine 3 video processing. Screen sizes will include 55, 46 and 40 inches.
All three series will ship in Sony’s third wave of TV product releases scheduled for the summer.
The “feature” motivated customer segment will also include two series.
Features in the KDL-NX800 include edge-lit LED panel lighting, Bravia Internet Video with integrated Wi-Fi, Motionflow 240Hz and Bravia Engine 3.
The KDL-NX700 will include 1080p resolution, Motionflow 120Hz frame rate processing, Bravia Engine 3 picture processing, edge-lit LED lighting and Bravia Internet Video with integrated Wi-Fi connectivity. Screen sizes include 60, 52, 46 and 40 inches.
The value zone customer segment includes seven model series starting with basic 720p CCFL TVs in KDL-BX300 and KDL-EX308 series (both with 22- and 32-inch screen sizes) and stepping up to 1080p edge-lit LED 120Hz models in the KDL-EX700 series (with 60-, 52-, 46-, 40- and 32- inch screen sizes).
The 2010 Bravia sets will roll out in three waves, with two slated for the late February and early March periods, and a third, which will include Sony’s 3D products, in the summer.
To help narrow the gap between the high-end customer and the mainstream ones, Sony is offering Web tools and Web assets designed to help a consumer “take themselves through the conversation,” while at the same time arming the retailer with the tools needed to help talk a customer through making a Sony choice.
To underscore the “Sony united” directive from CEO Howard Stringer, the company’s home A/V group components and systems — including Blu-ray players and home-theater ensembles — were designed with same cosmetic touches.
Sony is also developing its IP message for TVs and Blu-ray products this year, moving from the initial three content partners at launch to over 25 service partners, including two premium pay per view movie services. On top of that Sony is offering propriety services and “widgets,” Goldstein said.
Sony plans to promote the IP connectivity solutions in its 2010 products through Web advertising and a media campaign, Goldstein said.
The BDP-S370 Blu-ray Disc player will ship this spring and will feature a monolithic design, FullHD 1080p, single-disc Blu-ray disc, AVCHD, DVD, SA-CD, CD player, Bravia Internet Video and BD-Live, and Entertainment Database Browser.