Sony Adds Car Internet Radio Plans, Car Blu-ray



Sony’s mobile electronics group is coming to International CES to launch its first two head units that control an Internet-radio smartphone app, its first OE-integration product for aftermarket channels, and an expanded selection of A/V heads.

Also in the convention center’s North Hall, the mobile group will:

• demo an unfinished version of its first Blu-ray player, a double-DIN A/V unit. A ship date hasn’t been set.

• and outline plans for 2011 shipment of some of the industry’s first head units with new Sirius XM universal connector, which connects directly to a new hideaway XM tuner and makes it unnecessary to install a separate protocol translator.

Internet radio:

Sony is launching its first two heads with Pandora Link to control a Pandora app on a USB-connected iPhone and -- unlike other Pandora-controlling head units -- on Bluetooth-connected BlackBerry and Android smartphones. Via USB or Bluetooth, the head units control all major Pandora functions, said mobile electronics director Mike Kahn.

Both satellite- and HD Radio-ready heads ship in the summer. Pricing wasn’t announced.

OE integration:

The company’s first OE integration product for aftermarket channels is a system that adds subwoofer, more power, and a USB iPod/iPhone connection to an OEM head. The system comes with dash-mount iPod cradle and 4x50-watt amp with built-in DSP and USB port. The amp connects to the speaker-level outputs of an OEM head and connects to a bundled, enclosed powered sub.

DSP presets tune response to specific types of generic vehicles. The system will probably ship in the summer.

A/V heads:

Three new touchscreen A/V Centers replace two models, and like their predecessors, they feature DSP time-alignment presets to steer the system’s stereo sweet spot. All feature iPod/USB port and are HD Radio- and satellite- radio ready. The $449 XAV-622, $499 XAV-62BT and $649 XAV-72BT ship in April.


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