Sony announced today that its first dedicated Blu-ray Disc player, the BDP-S1 model, has begun shipping to major consumer electronics retailers in U.S.
This next-generation device, which is capable of playing both high-definition Blu-ray Disc (BD) prerecorded titles as well as traditional DVDs is part of Sony?s full HD 1080 line of products, which ranges from BRAVIA flat-panel LCD and Grand WEGA SXRD rear-projection televisions to the new PlayStation 3 game console, Blu-ray Disc enabled VAIO computers, PC drives and recordable BD media.
Sony?s BDP-S1 model outputs 1920 x 1080p (progressive) high-definition video. It is the highest resolution HD signal currently available through an HDMI connection. The player supports various high quality video codecs, including MPEG2, MPEG4-AVC and VC1. For those consumers who own an HDTV set without HDMI, an analog component output for 1080i (interlaced) has been included.
The model is compatible with standard DVDs with the added feature of 1080p upscaling through HDMI, improving the picture performance of existing DVD libraries. Sony?s BD player also outputs its signal at 24 frames per second, reproducing a film like image.
The BDP-S1 unit offers uncompressed multi-channel linear PCM digital audio output via HDMI, delivering surround sound to an appropriately equipped receiver. The player also has optical digital audio out and 5.1 channel decoding capability for backward compatibility with existing receivers. In addition, it has a separate audio circuit board, finely tuned audio components, rigid beam chassis construction, drive brackets and off-center insulator feet, reducing image de-stabilization and unwanted vibration.
The player supports BD-ROM, AVC-HD and DVD playback from DVD/DVD+R/+RW encoded discs, as well as MP3 audio files and JPEG images stored on DVD+R/+RW discs. Sony will be offering firmware updates in 2007 to allow the BDP-S1 model to play back BD-R/RE recorded media and enhanced BD-Java functionality.
The new BD player will be available for about $1,000 at Sony Style stores nationwide, online at sonystyle.com, and at authorized retailers across the country like Best Buy, Circuit City and others beginning next week.