The promise of Sony's entry into the 3DTV market has been swirling since last September. Today they're not just dipping their toes in the 3D waters; they're delivering a full-on cannonball, with the launch of seven 3D and "3D-ready" TVs.
Only two of the models - the 52-inch and 60-inch Bravia XBR-HX909 series - feature integrated 3D right out of the box. The other five range from 40 to 55 inches and cost between $US2100 and $US4000. That's before you throw in the Sony active shutter glasses for $US150 a pop and $US50 sync transmitter that make the sets 3D-capable.
It's great to see a new heavyweight entrant in an area that's so far been dominated by Samsung and Panasonic. And Sony's models are coming in at least cost-competitive, although it's a little disappointing that they're not undercutting the competition to the extent that we'd heard. At least they're throwing in a 3D Blu-ray Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Deep Sea consolation prize.
The sets are available for pre-sale now and will be in stores sometime next month.
SONY DELIVERS THE INDUSTRY'S LARGEST ARRAY
OF 3D CAPABLE HDTVs AND HOME AUDIO AND VIDEO PRODUCTS
Pre-sales Begin for BRAVIA 3D HDTVs; 3D Upgrade For Earlier 2010 Blu-ray Models
SAN DIEGO, June 9, 2010 – Sony today announced that its 3D capable BRAVIA® HDTVs are now available for pre-sale at Sony Style stores and that its new integrated Blu-ray 3D™ devices will hit retail shelves beginning this July. Additionally, the company released a free firmware update that activates Blu-ray 3D capability for previously announced Blu-ray Disc models including the BDP-S470 and BDP-S570 players and the BDV-E570 and BDV-E770W home theatre systems.
Sony now offers consumers the most diverse line of 3D capable home entertainment products including 19 BRAVIA® HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc players and theatre systems, and audio/video components that offer various levels of performance and features.
Sony will support the 3D launch with an integrated marketing campaign featuring NFL quarterback Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts, and Grammy® and Emmy® award-winning Jive/Sony Music artist Justin Timberlake aiming to deliver consumer education and eliminate 3D confusion.
"3D is revolutionizing the entertainment industry and only Sony is involved in every stage of the ecosystem," said Chris Fawcett, vice president of Sony's television business. "Leveraging deep 3D expertise from the company's theatrical and professional groups, Sony products are optimised to offer the best possible 3D home entertainment experience."
BRAVIA 3D HDTVs
Focusing on that high quality experience, Sony's 3D capable BRAVIA HDTVs incorporate a frame sequential display with active-shutter glasses that work together with Sony's proprietary high frame rate technology reproducing smooth, full high-definition 3D images.
The line-up includes the 3D integrated BRAVIA XBR-LX900 HDTV, which features a built-in 3D sync transmitter and two pair of active shutter glasses and the 3D ready BRAVIA XBR-HX909 and KDL-HX800 series 3D ready models which offer the option of adding the 3D sync transmitter and glasses at an additional cost.
The line features screen sizes including 40, 46, 52, 55, and 60-inches and ranges in price from around $US2,100 (KDL-40HX800) to about $US5,000 (XBR-60LX900).
Consumers who purchase and register one of the new 3D BRAVIA models will receive a copy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's Blu-ray 3D™ title Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs as well as Blu-ray 3D title Deep Sea. The sets will also include a PlayStation® Network voucher enabling 3D BRAVIA purchasers to download stereoscopic 3D gaming experiences on the PlayStation3 (PS3™) System (sold separately). The titles include PAIN (partial game) and MotorStorm®: Pacific Rift (demo) and full game downloads of WipEout® HD and Super StarDust™ HD.
BRAVIA XBR-LX900 Series Integrated 3D HDTVs
The full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080) BRAVIA XBR-LX900 series features integrated 3D functionality and includes the 60-inch XBR-60LX900 for about $US5,000 and the 52-inch XBR-52LX900 for about $US4,000.
The Monolithic Design, Edge LED backlight models also feature integrated Wi-Fi® (802.11n) for an easy connection to broadband home networks to access Sony's BRAVIA Internet Video Platform and BRAVIA Internet Widgets, as well as Sony's new premium video service, Qriocity.
BRAVIA XBR-HX909 Series 3D Ready HDTVs
The XBR-HX909 series is 3D ready with the addition of Sony active shutter glasses (about $US150 per pair) and sync transmitter (about $US50), both sold separately. The models feature full HD (1920 x 1080p) and Sony's Intelligent Dynamic full array LED backlight. The Monolithic Design concept models include the 52-inch XBR-52HX909 for about $US4,000 and the 46-inch XBR-46HX909 for about $US3,500.
Sony's Intelligent Dynamic LED backlighting improves contrast and dynamic range by local dimming that controls the LED backlight level by area so that detail is maintained in the dark areas, while other areas are driven near peak brightness. The models also include an RS-232c I/0 terminal for custom installation applications.
BRAVIA KDL-HX800 Series 3D Ready HDTVs
Also 3D ready (with the addition of Sony active shutter glasses and sync transmitter, sold separately), the BRAVIA KDL-HX800 series features full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080) and utilizes a Dynamic edge LED backlight with local dimming for improved contrast and dynamic range. The series includes the 55-inch class (54.6-inches measured diagonally) KDL-55HX800 for about $US3,400, the 46-inch KDL-46HX800 for about $US2,700, and the 40-inch KDL-40HX800 for about $US2,100.
Blu-ray 3D Players
Available in July for about $US300, Sony's Blu-ray 3D BDP-S770 model offers built in Wi-Fi (802.11n) for easy access to Sony's BRAVIA Internet Video platform and Qriocity.
Additionally, Sony's BDP-S470 and BDP-S570 Blu-ray Disc players can be upgraded to play Blu-ray 3D with a free online firmware update that is now available. The update also adds Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA®) compatibility to the models.
Blu-ray 3D Home theatre Systems
Also available this July for about $US800, Sony's new full HD 1080p 5.1 channel Blu-ray 3D capable home theatre system (model BDV-HZ970W) features wireless capabilities via the included USB wireless LAN adaptor (802.11n) allowing for easy access to the BRAVIA Internet Video platform and Qriocity.
The model also offers two HDMI inputs with 3D pass-through, HDMI repeater function, and a universal remote.
Sony's BDV-E570 and BDV-E770W Blu-ray theatre systems can now also be upgraded to Blu-ray 3D with the free firmware update. The update also adds DLNA compatibility to the units.
Unique to all Sony Blu-ray Disc players, users with an iPhone® or iPod® touch device can control the players using a free app called "BD Remote" which can be downloaded from the Apple App store. The app, will also be available soon for Android™ devices, allows the device to function as a remote control that includes the ability to access a Blu-ray Disc's details such as jacket artwork, actor, and production information as well as search for additional video clips online.
3D Capable Home Audio Components
Sony also recently announced 3D capable home audio products including the STR-DN1010 audio/video receiver, the HT-CT350 and HT-CT150 3.1 channel sound bars, and the HT-SF470 5.1 channel home theatre system. The models offer consumers flexible solutions to round out the Sony 3D experience and meet the demands of 3D home entertainment.
Additionally, Sony will add 3D capability to the previously announced STR-DH810 and STR-DH710 AV receivers through a firmware update later this month.