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Sony working on Apple TV rival, $299 Blu-ray

updated 11:00 am EST, Thu March 6, 2008

Sony Working on ATV Rival

Sony is developing its own response to the Apple TV, the company's Electronics chief Stan Glasgow has said in a roundtable discssion with Gizmodo. The executive notes that his company is "working very hard" on such a device and suggests that it would not necessarily be tied to the BRAVIA Internet Link feature from the company's HDTV sets, which lets them browse a narrow range of content without a dedicated computer or media device. Glasgow declines to provide most details but hints that access to the PlayStation Network will spread "over the next year" to other devices besides game consoles and may not be limited to gaming-related content.

Most of Sony's focus will remain on Blu-Ray, the official adds, though whether an Apple-like media hub would include it has not been mentioned. The company has no concerns about the end of HD DVD putting an end to price drops and expects a dedicated Blu-ray player to sell for $299 by the end of 2008, reducing the price for the format by at least a quarter of its current $399 benchmark.

"Next year $200 could happen," Glasgow says, also predicting that 2009 is when mass adoption will take place.

The senior staffer also notes that the PlayStation 3 will continue to change throughout its lifetime, receiving storage upgrades and other feature updates as technology advances. The PS3 is often considered Sony's current answer to networked media hubs through its support of media playback from a hard drive as well as streaming over a network from nearby sources.

by MacNN Staff



  1. gitcypher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Maybe I've just been

    oblivious to the this, but I didn't think Apple was doing too well with the AppleTV; not just them necessarily. I just thought that having a dedicated media hub hasn't really gained widespread adoption yet. Seeing as though blu-ray has won the war, when it comes down to it, I see this winning over ATV. That's just because it's between a media hub with blu-ray, and one without. Granted, since I'm still quite satisfied with my modded Gen 1 XBOX as a h*** of a hub, I won't be in the market for either of these devices any time soon.

  1. dom2cool

    Joined: Dec 1969


    think your right

    i have seen allot of these kind of products around but they dont seem to take of and neither has the apple tv. maybe when everything is a bit more integrated we will see things take of a bit better

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969



    GitCypher - it would be easy for Apple to respond by adding a Blu-Ray player to the AppleTV, but that would still be something like another $200 on the price (knocking $100 off because the ATV has the decoding hardware in place).

    In Sony's favour, they at least have a hardware/software platform in place with the cell chip/playstation, which puts them a step higher than most CE firms. The question is whether they can re-use that in the same way Apple did with OS X and the ATV.

    The AppleTV hasn't done too well so far, but most people who have seen mine have loved the ability to quickly play YouTube clips from the sofa, and spent hours playing back comedy sketches.

    Once the rental catalog increases, and particularly if they gain iPlayer support in the UK, it will become a very viable box (I actually find myself using iPlayer to watch TV on the Mac rather than using my cable VoD service, to watch the same programs, simply because it is an ordeal of menus on the cable box versus a quick search).

    In the short term - niche market. Long term - it's inevitable we will rent films directly over the net. In the very long term that will be built directly into your set.

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't think AppleTV will be successful in the near term if they keep marketing it as a device that will play tomorrow's content (digital downloads) when that content isn't readily available yet. They need to be able to market it as something with immediate benefit (play my DVDs) now, and also play future content when it becomes available (download and/or blu-ray).

    They really need to treat it like a Trojan horse. Everybody owns DVDs. Get people to buy it as a replacement of their DVD player, not in addition to it. Blu-ray would be even better. Sony won the HD format wars in large part because they included blu-ray in the PlayStation. It was a way to create an installed base of users who were buying it for other purposes (playing games).

    I think the iTunes store would have failed if there hadn't already been an installed base of iPods. And iPods would have failed if you couldn't get your CD music onto them.

    Yes, it would cost more to include the optical drive, but it should be much less than buying a stand-alone blu-ray player since Apple TV already includes most of the hardware you need. And if Sony does it and Apple doesn't, it's going to be an uphill battle for Apple TV.

  1. macbones

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I tend to agree w/ the dvd line. Honestly, I'm pretty happy w/ dvd quality. I think the average shmo is too. Give people tomorrows tech with ability to play todays. I don't think blue ray is that great- they still scratch, etc. Why invest in something that will be gone w/in 10 years/.

  1. mjm7496

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You can watch your DVD's with the Apple TV. All you need to do is rip them with MTR/Handbrake. Both program are free. Trust me... You can rip your library much faster than you can watch it. Use MetaX to tag them and they look just like the iTunes downloads. I've found that I watch a lot more movies since I started doing this then I ever did when I had them on DVD. Not that putting a DVD in is hard work, but it's all about the convenience. Add in things like the ability to rent instantly, buy movies and TV Shows, Youtube, and Podcasts. The Apple TV does everything a DVD player can do as well as stream your music and pictures. The photo slideshow as a screensaver is very addicting. It's funny how often my family sits hypnotized watching those stupid photos scroll by. Blu-Ray is so overrated. Your average person sits 8-10 feet from their TV. At that distance 95% of the people out there can't tell the difference between 720p and 1080p. To upgrade your equipment and library for Blu-Ray is such a marketing fraud. h*** 1080p TV's are a fraud. I'll match my Pioneer 5080HD against just about any 1080 TV out there.

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