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Thursday, September 04, 2008
Sony, Panasonic, Bring New Blu-ray Playes in the U.S.


The competition between Sony and Panasonic continues in the U.S. market with the introduction of the DMP-BD35, DMP-BD55 and the high-end BDP-S5000ES Blu-ray players.

Panasonic DMP-BD35 and DMP-BD55

Announced in Europe at the IFA 2008 trade show last week, both players are coming into the U.S market and are currently on display at the CEDIA Convention.

The DMP-BD35 and DMP-BD55 incorporate the PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus video processor, which promises to offer crisp, vivid colors that are extremely close to the original. A high-precision 4:4:4 function creates video signals in which each pixel of the signal from the Blu-ray Disc is color-compensated, so when the BD35/55 is connected to a Panasonic VIERA HDTV, the colors are even sharper and more vivid.

Both models feature an HD Audio Decoder (Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus and DTSTM-HD Master Audio Essential), which supports the 7.1-channel surround sound newly adopted in Blu-ray Discs. Users can also enjoy 7.1-channel surround even with systems that do not support HD Audio -- as long as the DMP-BD35/55 is connected to a 7.1-channel receiver equipped with an HDMI terminal.

The Panasonic BD55 goes a step further with a high-end audio design and components. Thanks to a 192kHz 24bit audio digital-analog converter and high quality insulators, electrolytic capacitors, copper-foil film capacitors and ultra-low-impedance electrolytic capacitors, the DMP-BD55 delivers the same kind of surround effect and lifelike ambience as today's finest cinemas. The DMP-BD55 can also output analog signals for 7.1-channel sound, so even receivers that are not compatible with HDMI can produce the newest 7.1-channel surround sound by simply connecting to the DMP-BD55.

The high-quality image and sound technologies found in the BD35/55 are incorporated in the UniPhier chip. UniPhier is a Panasonic-created system LSI developed by applying 45-nanometer processing to a consumer product. This single-chip integration technology also contributes greatly to the BD35?s world's slimmest height of 49mm.

Both the BD35 and BD55 feature BD-Live and they are equipped with an SD Memory Card slot that makes it easy to transfer images from an HD camcorder or digital still camera that uses SD Memory Cards. Simply insert the SD card into the DMP-BD35/55 and it plays AVCHD-format video images or JPEG stills in full 1920 x 1080 resolution on your flat panel HDTV.

Sony BDP-S5000ES Blu-ray player

At the same event, Sony today announced the new BDP-S5000ES Blu-ray Disc player.

The model, which is fully BD-Live capable, features an Ethernet connection that allows users to connect to the Internet via their existing service provider to access BD-Live features and easy firmware updates. It also is equipped with an external flash memory port and includes a 1GB Sony Micro Vault Tiny flash storage device.

The BDP-S5000ES also features Quick Start mode, improving boot-up times to approximately six seconds, which is seven times faster than previous models.



Unique to the model is Sony's new 14-bit HD video processor, which improves standard definition and high-definition picture quality with the help of HD Reality Enhancer and Super Bit Mapping technologies. HD Reality Enhancer continually analyzes bit by bit of the original source, sharpening edges and reproducing detail, while reducing the effects of film grain. Super Bit Mapping delivers smoother color gradation realizing true 14-bit equivalent color tone from 8-bit sources connected via HDMI.

The model's analog audio circuit board is isolated from the video board to avoid interference. Additionally, the unit's rigid frame and beam chassis helps to reduce vibration and a low-leakage R-core transformer minimizes the interference of digital noise.

The BDP-S5000ES incorporates Sony's new Precision Cinema HD Upscale technology that converts standard-definition signals (480i) to 1080p and outputs a full HD equivalent resolution signal to 1080p TVs via HDMI. The model even improves analog component video output thanks to 14-bit/297MHz video D/A conversion.

Additionally, the model adds Sony's new Precision Drive HD, which helps to detect and correct wobbling discs from three directions, stabilizing playback of bent or scratched Blu-ray Discs and DVDs.

The model offers 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio decoding and bit-stream output, as well as analog 7.1 channel output with Advanced Current Segment Audio D/A converters for legacy AV receivers and decoders.

The BDP-S5000ES supports Deep Color video output and AVCHD discs encoded with x.v.Color (xvYCC) technology. The players also feature compatibility with an array of video formats, including BD-R/RE (BDMV and BDAV modes), DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW, CD, CD-R/RW (CD-DA format), and JPEG on? BD/DVD/CD recordable media.

The new BDP-S5000ES will be available in November for about $2,000.


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