June 06, 2008 by Rebecca Day
Sony unveiled a range of new audio/video products at a press event in New York this week. Seven new Sony Bravia XBR TVs will be in stores this fall highlighted by a 70-inch LCD model in the XBR7 series and 55- and 46-inch models with LED backlighting in the flagship XBR8 line. The 70-inch KDL-70XBR7 is Sony’s largest LCD TV to date, eclipsing the 52-inch that topped last year’s size chart. LED backlighting on the 46- and 55-inch XBR8 TVs showed impressive black levels not typically associated with LCD technology, along with a robust color gamut.
Features include Motionflow 120Hz frame rate technology for improved motion reproduction, x.v. Color support, and Sony’s DMeX connectivity, which provides a digital signal path to add-on modules such as Bravia VideoLink. New to the Bravia VideoLink for 2008 is YouTube content, including the ability to call up your account and view favorites, search for particular themes using an on-screen phone-style keypad and remote control, and a playback feature that automatically advances to the next video without user intervention.
Sony also unveiled two new modules for its DMeX connectors. A wireless module, operating over RF and infrared, sends signals to a TV wirelessly from components stored up to 65 feet away. Sony recommends that the components be in the same room for optimum performance. In addition, an input module offers four HDMI inputs, expanding the number of HDMI components that can be connected to a TV. Sony also introduced a DVD module for connection to the back of a TV.
The company also rolled out the second edition of its Micro Theatre system series which features five satellite speakers the size of golf balls. The HT-IS100 Theatre Micro System ($700) packs a 450-watts amplifier and a subwoofer into a module outfitted with three 1080p HDMI connectors. The module incorporates Sony’s S-AIR technology which enables multi-room listening with the addition of add-on components. Using S-AIR, the HT-IS100 can be configured for wireless rear speakers with a $179 add-on kit.
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