Wireless LCD TV
The LocationFree TV system comprises a wireless, rechargeable, 12-inch, touch-screen LCD panel and a base station. Using the display, viewers can watch live TV, view digital photos, and access broadband Web content streaming from the base station, which employs all three wireless-networking protocols (802.11a/b/g) to deliver an optimized and theoretically lag-free signal, thus avoiding the jittery video response of some wireless video-networking solutions. While viewers will also be able to capture screen grabs, the system does not seem to have any TiVo-like DVR functionality, but it can act as a universal remote to control other A/V components. Sony also showed a companion 5-inch "personal viewer" that can be added to the system. Pricing was not announced, but the LocationFree system is scheduled for release later this year. It will directly compete with a similar wireless video panel from Sharp. Cut the rear-channel cord
The DVD-FR10W--Sony's latest Dream System home theater in a box--uses a unique infrared wireless transmission system for broadcasting to the rear-channel speakers. Unlike similar models from Pioneer and Philips
that use RF transmission, the FR10W's infrared technology won't be subject to possible interference from cordless phones, microwave ovens, and home-networking gear. Additionally, the system features an ultraslick design, plays the standard roster of surround sound and audio formats (Dolby Digital and Pro Logic II, DTS-ES, and MP3), and has a five-disc changer that accepts SACDs as well as DVDs. It will be available in September for about $1,000.
DVD recorder upgrades
| | Sony showed off three new DVD recorders, one featuring a built-in hard disk. | |
Sony also showcased three new DVD recorders, the most expensive of which features a built-in hard disk. While pricing, availability, and full model numbers won't be released until spring, it's clear that the company is correcting some pitfalls that marred its initial DVD recorder, the RDR-GX7
. Specifically, the three models will record to all four
disc formats (DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW), and each includes an IR blaster for controlling an external cable or a satellite box. Furthermore, the midrange and high-end models include a built-in, onscreen program guide (EPG). The high-end model can record programming to its 120GB hard disk and archive programs to DVD at up to 24X speeds. And unlike the Pioneer DVR-810H
, Sony is pledging that users will be able to edit content (read: remove commercials) before burning discs.