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SONY'S NEW BLU-RAY DISC PLAYER AND HOME THEATER SYSTEMS GO WIRELESS


New Line Includes Wi-Fi Enabled Player and S-AIR Wireless Theater Systems


LAS VEGAS, March 2, 2009 - Sony is adding four new Blu-ray Disc devices to its lineup today, including a stand-alone player with Wi-Fi® capability for easy BD-Live access and Blu-ray Disc home theater systems with S-AIR wireless audio.

The BDP-S360 and BDP-S560 stand-alone players and BDV-E300 and BDV-E500W BD home theater systems deliver full HD 1080/60p and 24p True Cinema output, decode the latest advanced audio codecs, and are BD-Live capable with your broadband internet connection and purchase of external memory.

"The demands of today's home theater go beyond pristine picture quality and our new Blu-ray Disc product line offers a breadth of technologies that deliver an amazing entertainment experience," said Chris Fawcett, vice president of marketing for Sony Electronics' Home Product Division. "Consumers don't want a living room cluttered with wires and the new Blu-ray Disc product lineup breaks down the wired barriers of the past."

Offering built-in Wi-Fi wireless network capabilities (802.11N/G/B/A), the BDP-S560 can easily connect to the Internet through your existing wireless home network to download and stream BD-Live content including additional scenes, short subjects, trailers, interactive games, and more. It also enables easy firmware updates to assist in keeping your player up-to-date with the latest Blu-ray Disc media and features.

While compatible with most wireless routers, the BDP-S560 also supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup, for a quick and easy connection to enabled wireless routers. Additionally, the player is Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA®) ready, allowing it to connect to other DLNA compliant devices to share digital photos.

Since many consumers own extensive DVD movie libraries, the BDP-S360 and BDP-S560 incorporate Sony's Precision Cinema HD Upscale technology that converts standard-definition signals (480i) to near HD quality.

Additionally, the models add Sony's Precision Drive technology?, which helps to detect and correct wobbling discs from three directions, supporting stabilization of the playback of bent or scratched Blu-ray Discs and DVDs.

The BDP-S360 and BDP-S560 models support 7.1 channel Dolby® TrueHD and Dolby® Digital Plus, DTS®-HD High Resolution Audio, and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding as well as bit-stream output via HDMI.

Both players support Deep Color video output and AVCHD discs encoded with x.v.Color (xvYCC) technology. They 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 BD/DVD/CD recordable media.

The models also offer an external port for local storage so users can add their USB flash storage device. The BDP-S560 features a front USB port for viewing photos from your USB flash memory device or directly from a digital camera.

Shipping this summer, the BDP-S360 and BDP-S560 will retail for about $300 and $350, respectively.

Styled to match the BDP-S360 and BDP-S560 with a black gloss exterior design, the HT-SS360 component home theater system is an integrated A/V receiver supporting full HD 1080p video and high resolution audio. Added to either of the new players, the theater system completes the package with 5.1 surround sound for a true cinematic experience.

The model will be available this May for about $350.


BLU-RAY HOME THEATER SYSTEMS

Sony also launched two new 5.1 channel Blu-ray Disc home theater systems, the BDV-E300 and BDV-E500W. The models are BD-Live capable and support the latest advanced audio codecs including 7.1 channel Dolby® TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus, DTS®-HD High Resolution Audio, and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding as well as bit-stream.

The BDV-E500W features integrated S-AIR wireless audio capabilities. Sony's S-AIR technology transmits audio up to 164 feet from the main system to wireless rear speakers for simple surround sound (signal and sound quality may vary) or up to 10 individual S-AIR AirStation audio devices (sold separately) throughout the home. The BDV-E300 model is S-AIR ready so users can add optional modules, also sold separately.

Both systems include Sony's Digital Media Port, which adds control and connectivity options for music playback through various accessories, including a cradle for iPod® players which is packaged with each system, or an optional Network Walkman cradle, a PC client device, and a Bluetooth® adapter (each sold separately).

The models include an easy set-up DVD, eliminating any confusion during the set up process. Also, Sony's BRAVIA® Sync technology simplifies every day operation with one-button command of compatible home theater components through HDMI.

The models also feature Sony's Xross Media Bar (XMB) graphic user interface for easy menu navigation, Precision Drive technology, Precision Cinema Upscaling technology, and a USB port allowing users to add their external flash memory for BD-Live features. The units ship with an easy set-up DVD for step-by-step instruction on initial set up process.

The BDV-E300 and BDV-E500W ship in June for about $600 and $800, respectively.

All of the new models will be offered at Sony Style stores, online at www.sonystyle.com , at military base exchanges, and at authorized retailers nationwide.


 

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Interesting news.


But let me get this straight - they're adding DLNA support and the extent of the new functionality is sharing photos? With DLNA support and XMB navigation, it could do a decent job as a networked video device.
 

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Sounds good. Looking forward to the reviews on them...
 

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Nice.


Many homes already have a Wi-Fi router in place, but it's a hassle to have to hook up a wired Ethernet bridge of some type for your BD player; that's also what has stopped me from adding a BD player to a second TV.


All for a street price that will likely be a bit lower than that for the 550.
 

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Quote:
The front reminds me a little of the Panasonic BD30/50.

No, like the Sony Recorder in Japan. I like the finish. Much better than the S350 and S550. I will buy the S560, when it´s out.
 

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The big question for me would be if the 560 still has analog output! I've been waiting to pull the trigger on a 550, but would wait if the 560 still retains analog outputs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayWindu /forum/post/15958750


The big question for me would be if the 560 still has analog output! I've been waiting to pull the trigger on a 550, but would wait if the 560 still retains analog outputs.

It looks like the Sonystyle website already has the pictures for this unit. It doesn't look like there is multichannel analog out.
 

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I saw that too doing a compare w/ the 550 on the sonystyle site. So the 560 is $50 cheaper than the 550, but leaves out the analog output. Disappointing...unless there are hardware differences that affect PQ and sound!!???
 

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So basically it sounds like if you want analog outs and no wi-fi, then you should go with the 550. If you prefer wi-fi and no analog outs, you should go with the 560. Am I correct with this assumption?
 

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Wow! I like that, our setup has wires going everywhere even though we try to hide them it would be nice to minimize them as much a possible.


 

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At $350.00 list, I'm buying one anyway to replace my PS3. If this player is a stud performer, I could put one in every room at that price. With its wi-fi capability, less cables.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlund83 /forum/post/15959344


It looks like the Sonystyle website already has the pictures for this unit. It doesn't look like there is multichannel analog out.

I too am disappointed at the apparent lack of 7.1 analog outputs in the S560. The photo of the rear panel on the Sonystyle site for the S560 doesn't seem to indicate any sort of wifi antenna connection either. Is that not necessary? Will the signal work ok with the player in a cabinet assuming the antenna is inside the case somewhere? I confess I am kind of hoping that rear panel picture is actually a S360 . . . why would the 560 require a taller case than the 360 if the rear panel connectors are the same?

Why does it matter if a player can "decode" DTS HD MA internally - if there are no analog outputs? Won't it still either bitstream lossless audio over hdmi or send the core 5.1 digital signal via optical digital?
 

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I just noticed something when comparing both the S560 and S360 spec's. Regarding DTS-MA, it doesnt state it is able decode it. It states it is able to bitstream it. Its specific when being able to decode Dolby TrueHD, but not DTS-MA. Isn't that the way the S550 started out as? Below is a screenshot of what I am referring to.


 

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ALL players from here on out will internally decode DTS MA. This will be a null point in about 2 months as it won't be a "premium" anymore.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich86 /forum/post/15961591


I too am disappointed at the apparent lack of 7.1 analog outputs in the S560. The photo of the rear panel on the Sonystyle site for the S560 doesn't seem to indicate any sort of wifi antenna connection either. Is that not necessary? Will the signal work ok with the player in a cabinet assuming the antenna is inside the case somewhere? I confess I am kind of hoping that rear panel picture is actually a S360 . . . why would the 560 require a taller case than the 360 if the rear panel connectors are the same?

Why does it matter if a player can "decode" DTS HD MA internally - if there are no analog outputs? Won't it still either bitstream lossless audio over hdmi or send the core 5.1 digital signal via optical digital?

To answer three of your questions...


On WiFi, for most applications, an external WiFi antenna is not required. Many (if not most) of the consumer wireless-N routers out there only have an internal antenna. Also, look at the iPhone as an example of a device with WiFi but no protruding antenna.


Regarding the case height, if you look at the photos above, the entire difference in height can be accounted for with the front USB port.


Finally, regarding DTS HD vs analog, with most new hardware moving to (if not already moved to) HDMI, having analog output probably didn't make sense to Sony for their consumer grade product, which the 560 is certainly in the category of. Still, it makes sense to decode any format possible and send it out as multichannel PCM over HDMI in case the downstream device (tuner or TV) is unable to handle that type of decoding.


For me personally, the announcement of the 360 and 560 just stopped me dead in my tracks on purchasing a 350. I was probably within three weeks of making a purchase but for the lower price point and getting rid of that hideous blue finish I can wait a couple more months.
 

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If you need 7.1 analog outputs, the Oppo will be out soon. There are other players that have this feature. I have a modern pre-pro which doesn't require eight expensive analog RCA cables. I have a SACD player that cost less than the cables. This new S560 is just what I need to replace my PS3.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuffOfInterest /forum/post/15962762


To answer three of your questions...


On WiFi, for most applications, an external WiFi antenna is not required. Many (if not most) of the consumer wireless-N routers out there only have an internal antenna. Also, look at the iPhone as an example of a device with WiFi but no protruding antenna.


Regarding the case height, if you look at the photos above, the entire difference in height can be accounted for with the front USB port.


Finally, regarding DTS HD vs analog, with most new hardware moving to (if not already moved to) HDMI, having analog output probably didn't make sense to Sony for their consumer grade product, which the 560 is certainly in the category of. Still, it makes sense to decode any format possible and send it out as multichannel PCM over HDMI in case the downstream device (tuner or TV) is unable to handle that type of decoding.


For me personally, the announcement of the 360 and 560 just stopped me dead in my tracks on purchasing a 350. I was probably within three weeks of making a purchase but for the lower price point and getting rid of that hideous blue finish I can wait a couple more months.

Thanks for the info. I have a 350 - and I'm happy to report that the "hideous blue finish" isn't hideous at all in real life - it is far more subdued than the photos floating around the internet indicate. And it's been a great bargain priced player for me, so far. My interest was in upgrading to a player with analog outs to experiment with lossless audio codecs using my Yamaha RX-V1 (tons of quality power, but no hdmi). It looks like these new Sony models will not serve for my situation, so I'll watch for a bargain priced S550, or some other manufacturer I guess. Or wait and see how the suggested model 760 shakes out.
 
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