BDP-S500 Blu-ray Disc player  (Source: Sony Electronics)

The top of the line BDP-S2000ES  (Source: Sony Electronics)
Sony adds two pricey Blu-ray Disc players to its lineup

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 version 1.3.

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 installation market.

"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."

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