We had a Sony recently for an ill-advised publicity photo that featured a half-naked model as its main focus, rather than a piece of technology. That shouldn't detract, however, from 2009 being a good year for Sony TVs in terms of innovation.at
There are a number of new models due, so let's have a quick stroll around the telly orchard and munch on the fruit of flat-panel technological advancement. The mesocarp (yes, this fruit analogy will continue until it's truly putrefied) of Sony's advancement is Bravia Engine 3, which will ensure the best possible picture quality and smooth motion. Truly, this is enough to tempt Adam, Eve or even some serpent to part with their hard-earned cash.
We've previously seen Sony's idiotically named XrossMediaBar and found it to be a smart enhancement to usability, offering a logical way to navigate through the TV's various menus. The company has now added to its roster of badly titled features the ludicrously monikered AppliCast, which is its version of the. The idea is that you can access RSS feeds, weather forecasts (crucial for harvest time) and even horoscopes, if that's your poison.
In terms of the models, top of the tree is the W5500 range. Featuring both Bravia Engine 3 and AppliCast, the TV comes in 32-, 37-, 40-, 46- and 52-inch screen sizes. It's followed by the E5500 range, which comes in both 32- and 40-inch sizes and has the popular picture-frame design we rather liked last year.
The V5500 line is available in 32-, 37-, 40-, 46- and 52-inch screen sizes. Sony describes it as being your 'digital hub', and it's designed to get media from DLNA-certified devices and allow you access to information via AppliCast, like a kind of media fruit basket.
In the value-for-money category sits the well-ripened S5500 range. Available in 22-, 32-, 37- and 40-inch screen sizes, these TVs are aimed at people who want a Sony, but don't want to cough up the cash for one of the higher-specified models. The 37- and 40-inch models will both be 1080p panels, with the smaller screens being HD Ready.
Sony is prioritising matters of the environment this year too. Its WE5 range uses backlight technology that the company claims will reduce power consumption by 50 per cent. These TVs also feature something called 'intelligent presence detection' which will turn the TV off if you leave the room. Juicy stuff.
Taking eco protection further, all of its televisions are designed to consume as little power as possible and most of the range use 0.19W in standby. An automatic shut-off mode means that a TV left without an input signal or not used for a long period will turn itself off to save power. The company is also aiming to reduce CO2 emissions from shipping, make parts used in the construction easier to recycle and increase its use of renewable energy. All very laudable, we're sure.