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Friday, March 17, 2006
Sony's Blu-Ray Player Available in July

Sony Electronics debuted its first Blu-ray Disc (BD) products in the U.S., along with details on suggested pricing and availability for some of the new offerings.

These next generation devices include a home player, VAIO desktop and notebook computers, an aftermarket internal computer drive, and recordable/rewritable media.

Headlining Sony's new product debuts are the BDP-S1 Blu-ray Disc player and the VAIO RC desktop computer. The player is targeted to ship in July for about $1,000. The VAIO PC with Blu-ray Disc will be available for about $2,300. Both the VAIO RC desktop and notebook with a Blu-ray Disc drive will be available by early summer.

In April, Sony plans to begin shipping 25GB BD-R (write once) and BD-RE (rewritable) discs for about $20 and $25 each, respectively. The 50GB BD-R and BD-RE dual-layer discs will come in subsequent months for about $48 and $60.

BDP-S1 Blu-ray Disc Player

The BD player delivers a 1920 x 1080p output through an HDMI connection. The player supports various video codecs, including MPEG2, MPEG4-AVC and VC1. Analog component output for 1080i has been included so people who own HD-capable televisions without HDMI can enjoy the Blu-ray Disc experience.

The new BDP-S1 model is compatible with standard DVDs with the added feature of 1080p upscaling through HDMI. BD-Java interactivity has been also incorporated, allowing for the design of interactive features.

The BDP-S1 player offers uncompressed multi-channel linear PCM digital audio output via HDMI, delivering surround sound to an HDMI- equipped receiver. The player also has optical digital audio out and 5.1 channel decoding capability for backward compatibility with existing receivers. In addition, the unit has a separate audio circuit board, finely tuned audio components, rigid beam chassis construction, drive brackets and off center insulator feet.

This BD-ROM/R/RE player supports DVD playback from DVD/DVD+/-R / +/-RW encoded discs, as well as MP3 audio files and JPEG images stored on DVD+/-R / +/-RW discs.

Capture, Edit and Burn HD with VAIO BD-Enabled PCs

The VAIO RC Series computers, Sony's first Blu-ray desktops, combine BD recording technology with high performance, allowing consumers to capture and burn their high-definition content.

Consumers can edit high-definition footage with a suite of software applications. They can then archive and share it on Sony BD-R and BD-RE Blu-ray Discs or down converted to standard definition DVD+/-R / +/-RW dual layer discs.

The VAIO RC Series will be shipped with a 25GB Blank BD-RE (rewritable) blank disc.

Aftermarket Internal Blu-ray Disc Recordable/Rewritable Drive

The BWU-100A, an aftermarket internal Blu-ray Disc drive for computer use, will support recording of 25GB and 50GB BD-R (write once) or BD-RE (rewritable) discs at 2X max speed. They are capable of burning a full 25GB disc in about 30 minutes. The drive will also support recording of standard single layer 4.7GB DVD+/-R / +/-RW, Double/Dual Layer 8.5GB DVD+/-R, DVD-RAM and CD-R/-RW media, making it a true all-in-one "tri-mode" recorder/reader.

The new drive can be installed in a standard half-height computer bay with a parallel ATAPI (P-ATA) interface. Authoring software will be included for capturing, editing, and burning high-definition personal content captured by an HDV format camcorder, keeping the video in native 1080i HD format for playback on a Blu-ray Disc player. Video can also be "down-converted" to standard-definition (SD) resolution for burning onto a DVD disc.

The BD drive will be available this year with pricing to be announced prior to product shipments.

Additionally, pre-orders for the BDP-S1 player will be available through and Sony Style retail stores, beginning on March 17. The player will also be available for pre-order at the same time through authorized internet dealers.

Available Blu-ray Disc Movies

Sony Pictures' Home Entertainment division recently announced it will be shipping eight movies on BD-Rom discs beginning on May 23 with an additional eight titles being released in June, spanning from recent hits to classic favorites. In total there will be close to 100 titles made available by all of the Blu-ray Disc supporting studios by the end of the year.

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