CEDIA 2009: Sonys First Wireless Blu-ray Player

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Tacitly acknowledging that many consumers don’t have an Ethernet connection anywhere near their TV, Sony introduced on Tuesday its first Blu-ray player that can connect to the Ethernet wirelessly.

Additionally, the company announced two new TVs that also can connect to the Internet without a cable.

But the feature comes with a price: about $80. That’s what you’ll pay at Amazon for the awkwardly named Linksys by Cisco Wireless-N Ethernet Bridge that Sony recommends you use to get the broadband signal into the Blu-ray player and the TVs. (The Bridge, once plugged in to the units, picks up a signal from your home’s wireless router. Other brands of wireless bridges can also be used.)The $250 Blu-ray player, BDP-N460, will be available next month. It is also Sony’s first Blu-ray machine to incorporate its Bravia Internet Video service, a collection of broadband-based video on-demand services that, like similar services from Panasonic, Sharp, Vizio and others, extends the set’s program offerings. Later this year, that will also include the ability to stream videos from Netflix (if you’re a Netflix customer).

By adding the Bravia service to a Blu-ray player, consumers can now receive the programming even if they don’t have a Bravia-equipped Sony TV.

In televisions, Sony has slimmed out its line with two new LED edge-lit LCD sets, each of which is less than three-quarters of an inch in depth. Because the sets are too thin to incorporate all the electronics and inputs, the new 46- and 52-inch XBR10 models ($4,500 and $5,000) use separate media control boxes which send the HD signal to the sets using wireless line-of-sight technology.

The sets can receive a signal if the box is up to 30 feet away; but because it requires on a line of sight, the box cannot be enclosed within a cabinet; however, it will work even if the two devices do not look directly at each other, as the signal can bounce off adjacent walls.

More information on this blu-ray model:

Offering the best of full HD 1080p and streaming Internet video, Sony today introduced the BDP-N460 networked Blu-ray Discâ„¢ player.

Beside playing Blu-ray Discs and DVDs, the device instantly streams one of the largest collections of premium and free on-demand entertainment from the BRAVIAâ„¢ Internet Video platform including thousands of movies, TV programs, and music from YouTube, Slacker, and, later this fall, Netflix.

“Whether its Full HD 1080p or streaming video and audio from the Internet, entertainment comes in so many flavors that consumers want choice,” said Chris Fawcett, vice president of Sony Electronics’ home audio and video business. “Leading the entertainment experience, Sony brings the best of both worlds together in one player that offers more content than other stand-alone devices on the market.”

The BDP-N460 Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD player delivers full HD 1080/60p and 24p True Cinemaâ„¢ output, decodes the latest advanced audio codecs, and is BD-LIVEâ„¢ capable with your broadband internet connection and purchase of external memory.

The BDP-N460 also features built-in software specially designed for use with the Linksys by Cisco Wireless-N Ethernet Bridge with Dual-Band (WET610N, sold separately). The bridge helps ease the connection between the Ethernet–enabled player and a wireless router in either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz radio band for optimal streaming.

The model also features a cross search function to make finding Internet content on the BRAVIA Internet Video platform easier.

Since many consumers own extensive DVD movie libraries, the BDP-N460 incorporates Sony’s Precision Cinema HD Upscale technology that converts standard-definition signals (480i) to near HD quality.

Additionally, the model features Sony’s Precision Drive™ technology, which helps to detect and correct wobbling discs from three directions, supporting stabilization of warped or scratched Blu-ray Discs and DVDs during playback.

The BDP-N460 can decode the latest advanced audio codecs including 7.1 channel Dolby® TrueHD and Dolby® Digital Plus, DTS®-HD High Resolution Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio. The model can also output 7.1 channel L-PCM via HDMI after decoding.

It supports Deep Color video output and x.v.Colorâ„¢ (xvYCC) technology. The model is compatible with an array of video formats, including BD-R/RE (BDMV and BDAV modes), AVCHD, DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW, CD, CD-R/RW (CD-DA format), and JPEG on BD/DVD/CD recordable media.

The model features an external port for local storage so users can add a USB flash storage device required for BD-LIVE content. A front USB port can be used to display digital photos.

Available in October, the BDP-N460 will be offered at Sony Style stores, online at www.sonystyle.com, at military base exchanges, and at authorized retailers nationwide for about $250.

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Through out my years, Sony has been a passion of mine.

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