Sony announced that it will be adding two new Blu-ray Disc
players to its roster of high-definition movie players. Joining the $499 entry-level BDP-S300 sometime
this fall will be two higher-end machines.
The BDP-S500, set to retail for about $700, features full 1080/60p
and 24p True Cinema output, 7.1 channel linear PCM and Dolby TrueHD, Dolby
Digital Plus, as well as DTS-HD High Resolution Audio bitstream output via HDMI
The new players also support AVCHD discs encoded with
x.v.Color (xvYCC) technology, an international standard for wide color space.
The standard expands the current data range of video by about 1.8 times,
allowing the players to output more natural and vivid colors.
At the very top end of Sony’s offerings is the BDP-S2000ES –
the first Blu-ray Disc player in the company’s "Elevated Standard"
(ES) line. Interestingly enough, this $1,300 player shares the exact same
feature set as the cheaper BDP-S500, but does boast several differences in
construction that could lead some of the most dedicated home theater buffs to
spend the extra cash.
Setting itself apart from the BDP-S300 and BDP-S500, the
BDP-S2000ES model features “dual shield construction,” to prevent dust from
collecting on the disc drive, along with a rigid drive bracket to minimize
vibration. The player also sports a rigid beam chassis that reduces internal
vibration, possibly providing more stable playback.
Similar to other Sony ES products, the unit's aluminum
insulator feet help isolate the player from external vibrations, while separate
audio and video boards deliver better sound and picture quality, according to
comments from Sony. The unit also includes the IR-in feature for custom
"Consumer support of Sony's Blu-ray Disc products has
been outstanding and the new models are targeted to satisfy the demand of those
who crave an even greater level of entertainment and performance," said
Chris Fawcett, vice president of marketing for Sony Electronics' Home Product
Division. "From the enthusiast level of our ES line down to the
entry-level models, our commitment to the finest quality video and sound
delivered by the BD format has never been stronger."