February 26, 2008
| by Rachel Cericola
Sony is reinforcing the Blu-ray brand with two new players that will unleash all kinds of interactive goodies such as BonusView and BD-Live.
Both the BDP-S350 and the BDP-S550 support BonusView, which is a picture-in-picture feature that has been popping up on some of the newer Blu-ray movie titles. The BDP-S350 is BD-Live-ready, with an Ethernet port for firmware updates and access to web-based interactive content. The BSP-S550 will be BonusView- and BD-Live capable when it ships.
Each player also has an external port so that users can add local storage; the BDP-S550 comes with a 1GB storage device.
Other highlights include 1080/60p and 24p True Cinema output, 1080p upscaling via HDMI, 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus decoding and bit-stream output, and dts-HD High Resolution Audio and Master Audio bit-stream output. The BDP-S550 also adds in dts-HD High Resolution Audio and dts-HD Master Audio decoding as well as 7.1 channel analog audio output. Also expect support for a slew of video formats, as well as AVCHD discs encoded with x.v.Color (xvYCC) technology.
Both of the new models also feature fancy new slim designs—an easy add to your overcrowded A/V cabinet.
The BDP-S350 will be available this summer for $400. The BDP-S550 is coming in the fall for an extra $100.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.