updated 01:00 am EDT, Thu September 4, 2008
New Sony Blu-Ray products
Sony today announced several new Blu-Ray products, the BDP-S5000ES player and two complete home theater systems, the BDV-IT1000ES and BDV-IS1000. The BDP-S5000ES features new "HD Reality Enhancer" and "Super Bit Mapping" technologies claimed to further sharpen and enhance picture quality. Like many of the players coming out recently, this is compatible with Profile 2.0, allowing BD Live access through an Ethernet connection. An external port allows connection with flash memory, and Sony has included a 1GB Micro Vault storage device.
The "Elevated Standard" ES series of products represents the highest levels of technology that Sony has developed. The start up time for the BDP-S5000ES is claimed to be around 6 seconds in Quick Start mode, which would be much quicker than the older models. A 14-bit HD video processor allows the HD Reality Enhancer to sharpen edges and reduce film grain, according to Sony. The new bit mapping technology is said to produce better color gradation, allowing true 14 bit color from 8 bit sources.
The audio board uses isolated analog circuitry, with construction designed to minimize reduce vibration. A low-leakage R-core transformer also reduces interference. Sony is employing technology common to audiophile level products with the ES series. Audio formats including 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS-HD High Res. are all supported. Advanced Current Segment D/A converters allow compatibility with legacy decoders.
A backlit remote control allows control over this device and any Bravia Synced connected components. Shipping is scheduled for November, with a suggested price of $2,000.
The complete Blu-Ray home theater setups will be a first for Sony. The BDV-IT1000ES and BDV-IS1000 both support 5.1 channel surround, with S-Air wireless technology to communicate with the rear speakers or across rooms. The BD-IS1000 includes five small speakers the approximate size of golf balls.
The ES model allows 7.1 channel support, and features thinner speakers 3/4-inch wide and 22 inches long, driven by neodymium magnets and composite drivers. Each of the seven speakers is complimented with a 100W subwoofer. Additional bass response is delivered with a 200W dedicated subwoofer.
Both theater systems are also BD Live compatible, with "Precision Drive HD" technology to reduce wobble of damaged discs. The full range of Dolby HD audio formats are supported, and 1080p output through HDMI connections. Ports can be purchased for docking with media players including iPods.
Both home theater systems will ship in October, right in time for the holiday shopping for Sony to celebrate the Blu-Ray victory in the format war with HD-DVD. The BDV-IT1000ES will cost $2,000, while the BDV-IS1000 was priced at $1,000.