Sony announces two new Blu-ray players
This week is Sony’s product showcase in Las Vegas. Along with a staggering 21 new BRAVIA televisions are two new Blu-ray Disc players. The BDP-S350 is the entry level player expected at $399, and the BDP-S550 is the feature-packed version expected at $499. There is no mention of an ES version.
The BDP-S350 will ship as a BD1.1 player supporting all Bonus View material. As a bonus it has an Ethernet port, a USB port and a firmware upgrade will be made available so you can view BD-Live material. You will have to furnish a flash drive with at least 1GB storage however. This means it is “BD-Live ready.” It does have an HDMI 1.3 output for streaming Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD and DTS HD: Master Audio to your capable receiver. It doesn’t look like it will decode these on-board.
If you want more features, look no further than the BDP-S550. This will ship with Bonus View and BD-Live capabilities, but instead of embedding the memory on a chip it comes with a 1GB flash drive. A strange move, but it does allow one to increase the storage if they desire. This player will decode all the next-generation high-resolution audio formats on-board and send them as multi-channel PCM audio over HDMI or over 7.1 analog outputs. It can also output bitstream audio if desired.
These new players look like Blu-ray may be fully matured at last. Sony seems to have quelled the accusations that player prices would rise int he wake of the BD victory as well. Now I want to know what the plans are for the rest of the industry.
First reported by TWICE.