SOURCE: Sony Europe

August 01, 2008 05:00 ET

Great Picture and Sound Quality With Sony's New Blu-ray Players

The New BDP-S350 and S550 Offer Amazing Home Cinema Experience for Blu-ray Movies, DVDs and Music

WEYBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - August 1, 2008) - The latest next-generation BDP-S350 and BDP-S550 Blu-ray Disc players™ from Sony provide movie fans with the ultimate full HD home cinema experience and incorporate an amazing range of innovative new features.

"We called upon our expertise in Hollywood movie production and digital technology to build a machine that movie fans would truly love," said David Walstra, Director, Home Video Marketing of Sony Europe. "An advanced Blu-ray Disc™ player like the BDP-S350 or BDP-S550 is a must for every HDTV owner because it delivers the best possible 1080p high-definition video and incredible sound quality, while unlocking next-generation features that you just won't get from DVD, downloads or video-on-demand."

BDP-S350: the complete Blu-ray High Definition Experience -- with effortless upgrade to full BD Live

The BDP-S350 includes several exciting new Blu-ray features in a slim product design, such as 24p True Cinema, BonusView, Sony's Precision Cinema HD Upscale, Precision Drive HD and BD-Live Ready. Just connect the player to the internet and download the latest firmware, which will be available by October 2008, to access all the qualities of BD live.

The BD-Live and BD-Java firmware enables you to access a range of exciting online services, which allows a rich interactive home entertainment experience. Simply connect the player via an ethernet cable to the internet to join on-line blogs whilst watching the movie, enter online competitions, draws and online games. You can also access special added value content which is not loaded onto the disc but can be downloaded onto an optional USB flash storage device from a special website dedicated to the movie, such as exclusive movie trailers, latest artist or producer interviews.

The BonusView functionality allows you to view a secondary video stream simultaneously from the same BD disc. This amazing technology means that you can view Picture-in-Picture Blu-ray content at the same time as the main movie, providing an out of this world home-cinema experience.

Since many consumers own extensive DVD movie libraries, the BDP-S350 incorporates Sony's new Precision Cinema HD Upscale technology that converts standard-definition signals (480i) to 1080p and outputs a full HD equivalent resolution signal to 1080p TVs via HDMI.

Additionally, the model also adds Sony's new Precision Drive HD, which helps to detect and correct wobbling discs from three directions, stabilizing playback of Blu-ray Discs™ and DVDs.

It has a quick start up mode, allowing you to switch the player on and begin enjoying your favourite movies in approximately six seconds, performance which is unrivalled amongst other products available today.

BDP-S550: The ultimate Blu-ray experience

The BDP-S550 offers all the same great capabilities as the BDP-S350, but has BD-Live and BD-Java firmware already built in and includes 1GB of exchangeable USB storage to save downloaded BD-Live content from the internet.

Also unique to the BDP-S550 is support for DTS-HD Master Audio Decoder and 7.1 Channel analogue audio output, which means that it can be connected directly to a legacy home-theatre receiver without HDMI for the ultimate movie and surround-sound experience.

Both models use Sony's award winning XrossMediaBar, an easy to understand control menu that makes it simple for everybody to use all of the players' functions. BRAVIA Sync technology makes connecting the players to BRAVIA televisions and Home Theatre systems a piece of cake.

The players provide an unforgettable home-cinema experience with Dolby® TrueHD and Dolby® Digital Plus decoding and bit-stream output, as well as DTS®-HD High Resolution Audio and Master Audio bit-stream output.

The BDP-S350 and BDP-S550 support AVCHD discs with x.v.Color™ (xvYCC) technology, an international standard for wide color space reproduction. The standard expands the current data range of video by approximately 180 per cent, allowing the players to output more natural and vivid colors similar to what the human eye actually sees in the natural world. The players also feature compatibility with an array of video formats, including BD-R/RE (BDMV and BDAV modes), DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW, CD, CD-R/RW (CD-DA format), and JPEG on DVD/CD recordable media.

BDP-S350 and BDP-S550 key features

                                        BDP-S350             BDP-S550
                                  -------------------- --------------------
1080p High Definition Picture                      Yes                  Yes
                                  -------------------- --------------------
24p True Cinema                                    Yes                  Yes
                                  -------------------- --------------------
                                       Yes (Precision       Yes (Precision
DVD Upscale                         Cinema HD Upscale)   Cinema HD Upscale)
                                  -------------------- --------------------
x.v.Colour                                         Yes                  Yes
                                  -------------------- --------------------
PhotoTV HD                                         Yes                  Yes
                                  -------------------- --------------------
Video D/A Converter                    12bit /148.5MHz      12bit /148.5MHz
                                  -------------------- --------------------
                                  Component/ S-Video/  Component/ S-Video/
Analogue Video Output                        Composite            Composite
                                  -------------------- --------------------
Dolby TrueHD Bitstream Output                      Yes                  Yes
                                  -------------------- --------------------
DTS-HD Master Audio Bitstream
 Output                                            Yes                  Yes
                                  -------------------- --------------------
Dolby TrueHD Decoding                              Yes                  Yes
                                  -------------------- --------------------
DTS-HD Master Audio Decoding                        No                  Yes
                                  -------------------- --------------------
Audio D/A Converter                       192kHz/24bit         192kHz/24bit
                                  -------------------- --------------------
Analogue Audio Output                        2-channel          7.1-channel
                                  -------------------- --------------------
BD-Live (Profile 2.0)                      Yes (ready)                  Yes
                                  -------------------- --------------------
                                          Yes, USB2.0         Yes, USB 2.0
                                   (USB Flash Memory,   (USB Flash Memory,
Local Storage port for BD-Live           not included) 1GB Memory included)
                                  -------------------- --------------------
BonusView (Profile 1.1)                            Yes                  Yes
                                  -------------------- --------------------
HDMI CEC (HDMI v 1.3)                Yes (BRAVIA Sync)    Yes (BRAVIA Sync)
                                  -------------------- --------------------
Ethernet port                                      Yes                  Yes
                                  -------------------- --------------------
Network Firmware Update                            Yes                  Yes
                                  -------------------- --------------------
AVCHD                                              Yes                  Yes
                                  -------------------- --------------------
JPEG                                               Yes                  Yes
                                  -------------------- --------------------
Disc Drive                          Precision Drive HD   Precision Drive HD
                                  -------------------- --------------------
GUI                                Yes (XrossMediaBar)  Yes (XrossMediaBar)
                                  -------------------- --------------------
                                  GB/ FR/ DE/ NL/ IT/  GB/ FR/ DE/ NL/ IT/
                                  ES/ PT/ DK/ SE/ NO/  ES/ PT/ DK/ SE/ NO/
GUI Language                                        FI                   FI
                                  -------------------- --------------------
Back-lit Remote Commander                           No       Yes (Blue LED)
                                  -------------------- --------------------
Start-up Time                          approx. 6 sec.*      approx. 6 sec.*
                                  -------------------- --------------------
Dimension (W x H x D mm)                430 × 60 × 220       430 × 70 × 220
                                  -------------------- --------------------
Weight                                          2.9 kg               3.3 kg
                                  -------------------- --------------------


* in Quick Start mode

NOTES TO EDITORS

Please note that this press release is a Sony Europe announcement -- for specific information regarding your region please contact your local PR team.

Environmental Information: 3 Ps

Product: Compared to Sony's previous BDP-S300 Blu-ray Disc model, the new BDP-S350 model reduced the overall unit size by 55 per cent, reduced packing material by 49 per cent and reduced the unit's total weight by 31 per cent. The compact size of the finished package allows Sony to reduce the C02 emissions related to shipping by approximately 42 per cent.

In addition, the unit features 21 per cent less power consumption in playback mode and 43 per cent reduced power consumption in stand-by mode.

Process: The BDP-S350 features lead-free solder, all-paper packing and the user guide is printed on 70 per cent recycled paper with Volatile Organic Compound-free vegetable oil based ink.

Planet: Sony is determined to lead the way as a responsible manufacturer. As a company we are focussing on three key areas of investment:

1. Reducing CO2 gas emissions
2. Increasing the percentage of renewable energy used in our manufacturing
facilities
3. Minimising the resources used by our factories in manufacturing

About Sony:

Sony manufactures audio, video, communications and information technology products for the global consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, game and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be one of the world's leading digital entertainment brands. Sony recorded consolidated global annual sales of EUR 55.44 billion (yen 8,871 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008, based on an average market exchange rate for the same period of yen 160.0 to the EUR. It employs approximately 180,500 people worldwide.

In Europe, the Sony Group recorded consolidated annual sales of EUR 12.73 billion (yen 2,328 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008. Sony Europe, headquartered at the Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, is responsible for the company's European electronics business and registered consolidated sales of EUR 9.55 billion for the same period.

For more information on Sony Europe, please visit http://www.sony-europe.com and http://www.sony-europe.com/presscenter.

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