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While the Grand Wega had, well, a “grand” image, it still paled in comparison to Sony’s latest KE-50XBR900 50” and KE-42XBR900 42” Plasma Wega televisions. With the 50” going for about $15,000, these rather expensive flat panel displays sport a crystal clear 1365x768 resolution (odd that they didn’t do 1366x768). Sony was showing a HDTV golf tournament on all of their displays, and the detail level on this particular unit was positively stunning. The new model includes an DVI-HDTV interface, Multi Image Driver XU, Cinemotion 3:2 pull-down, Memory Stick interface, Twin View side-by-side picture and a 40 watt audio system.
But what’s neatest of all is the physical design: all plasma displays are thin, but this model also incorporates a transparent glass frame, with the speakers seemingly suspended in thin air. Plus, the Sony logo is etched into the glass and illuminated by a small light. Nifty, if somewhat extravagant.
Also shown at CEDIA were new, inexpensive LCD home theater projectors. The $3,000 VPL-HS10 and $1,800 VPL-HS2 models join the recently introduced $6,500 VPL-VW12 unit, filling out Sony’s front projection offerings. The VPL-HS10 incorporates a 16:9 panel with 1366x768 resolution, 1200 ANSI lumens and a 700:1 contrast ratio, while the VPL-HS2 uses a 4:3 854x480 panel with 1000 ANSI lumens and a 600:1 contrast ratio.
The higher-end VPL-HS10 includes a DVI-HDTV interface, Memory Stick slot, CineMotion 3:2 pull-down and SideShot2 digital keystone correction. While the economic VPL-HS2 model lacks many home-theater features, its compact size and ability to display on screens as large as 150” make this a great informal home entertainment or video game device.
Other interesting things shown at Sony’s booth include the new SAT-HD200 DirecTV and HDTV receiver ($900), new ES receivers such as the STR-DA7ES which produces 120 watts into seven channels along with a full complement of the latest audio decoding formats ($2,300), the new high-end DVP-NS999ES DVD/SACD player ($1,200), the SVR-3000 80-hour stand-alone TiVo recorder ($500) and, finally, the DVP-CX875P 301-disc DVD changer with progressive scan output ($500).
Unfortunately, the remote control division wasn’t showing at CEDIA, so we were unable to find out what new products they might have planned.