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 homeâ€™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 Sonyâ€™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 setâ€™s program offerings. Later this year, that will also include the ability to stream videos from Netflix (if youâ€™re a Netflix customer).
By adding the Bravia service to a Blu-ray player, consumers can now receive the programming even if they donâ€™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.
â€œWhether its Full HD 1080p or streaming video and audio from the Internet, entertainment comes in so many flavors that consumers want choice,â€ said Chris Fawcett, vice president of Sony Electronicsâ€™ home audio and video business. â€œLeading 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.â€
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 Ethernetâ€“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 Sonyâ€™s Precision Cinema HD Upscale technology that converts standard-definition signals (480i) to near HD quality.
Additionally, the model features Sonyâ€™s Precision Driveâ„¢ 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 DolbyÂ® TrueHD and DolbyÂ® Digital Plus, DTSÂ®-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.