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Friday, October 15, 2004
Sony launches line of WEGA micro-display HDTVS and HD digital video recorders


Sony Electronics will soon ship six new Grand WEGA? rear projection HDTV sets that will be fully integrated Digital Cable Ready (DCR).

In addition, the company recently announced two high-definition digital video recorders, featuring an integrated hard disk drive for recording and control of live broadcasts, as well as the TV Guide On Screen? interactive program guide for easy program searching and automatic scheduled recording. These new products expand upon Sony's comprehensive DCR lineup.

The Grand WEGA micro-display LCD rear projection television category consists of six new fully integrated HDTV models, in addition to the two models currently available. Available in a range of 42-, 50-, 55- and 60-inch screen sizes, these televisions utilize a proprietary LCD Optical Engine with Sony's WEGA Engine? system to deliver detailed picture quality from any compatible video source by minimizing the digital-to-analog conversion process. These Grand WEGA models are based on a 3LCD panel technology, providing natural colors and high brightness.

The new Grand WEGA offers:

An integrated ATSC/QAM/NTSC tuner for access to over-the-air digital high definition broadcasts, as well as digital cable programming;

HDMI? technology with HDCP (High Definition Multimedia Interface with High Definition Copy Protection) technology, which is the latest interconnect between digital sources, supporting both uncompressed high definition video and multi-channel digital audio through a single cable. HDMI is an enhanced version of DVI-HDTV and is backward compatible;

Digital Reality Creation? MultiFunction circuitry, which provides control over the level of DRC? circuitry depending on quality of input signal, displaying clear, stable images;

WEGA Engine technology with MID-X Multi Image Driver, which maintains the integrity of a converted signal by minimizing image loss in the scaling process and provides flexible Twin-view? picture and picture features;

CineMotion? reverse 3:2 pulldown circuitry for optimum film-based video source display; and

A Memory Stick? media slot for convenient JPEG and MPEG1 file playback. It can also display customized slide show with MP3 file background music. The new sets are compatible with Memory Stick PRO? and Memory Stick Duo? media formats.

The Grand WEGA line consists of the KDF-42WE655, KDF-50WE655, KDF-55WF655, and KDF-60WF655 models. These sets will be available this month for about $2,800, $3,300, $3,700 and $4,000, respectively, while the step-up KDF-55XS955 and KDF-60XS955 models will be available later this fall for about $4,000 and $4,400.

High-Definition Digital Video Recorders

For the 10 million existing HDTV owners seeking access to digital cable high definition content, Sony is also announcing a new line of HD digital video recorders. The new recorders, the DHG-HDD250 and the DHG-HDD500, will provide access to encrypted high-definition and standard-definition digital cable services when paired with a digital decoder device and a digital cable subscription. They also provide access to analog cable services, as well as such non-subscription services like high definition digital terrestrial and analog broadcasts.

The DHG-HDD500 digital video recorder can record and store up to 400 hours of standard definition (SD) programming or at least 60 hours of maximum bit rate high-definition content with its 500 GB of storage capacity. The DHG-HDD250 will record up to 200 hours of SD programming and at least 30 hours of HD content on its internal 250 GB hard drive.

The DHG-HDD250 and the DHG-HDD500 digital video recorders will be available this fall with MSRPs of about $799 and $999, respectively.


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