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Sony focuses on "Bravia" LCD TVs

Sony has announced a range of high-definition LCD televisions under a new brand called "Bravia", emphasising its belief that liquid crystal displays will supersede plasma sales over the next few years.

Sony has announced a range of high-definition LCD televisions under a new brand called "Bravia", emphasising that liquid crystal displays will supersede plasmas over the next five years.

According to the Japanese electronics giant, Bravia stands for "Best Resolution Audio Visual Integrated Architecture". The new range of Bravia LCD TVs feature a greater viewable colour gamut, faster response rates and wider viewing angles than previous models. Models include 26-inch, 32-inch and 40-inch TVs in the high-end V-Series, and 23-inch, 26-inch and 40-inch models in the S-Series. Each of the Bravias will also include S-Master technology for high-quality sound, according to Sony.

Sony's sales projections for the next five years show a massive uptake in LCD TVs that make plasma sales from the company look comparatively non-existent. It expects its range of LCD TVs to out sell plasmas from next year, even though plasma has traditionally dominated the Australian flat panel market.

"LCD TV shipments are expected to surpass plasma display shipments in 2008," says Sophie Lo, research analyst for consumer digital markets at IDC Australia. According to IDC figures, total plasma shipments accounted for almost 64 percent of the Australian flat panel market in 2004.

Samsung, the world's biggest flat panel television maker, has a joint venture with Sony in South Korea that started producing liquid crystal display (LCD) panels earlier this year. The two companies add finishing touches and customise the panels for their own brands.

Sony will continue to focus on CRTs for the low-end market and rear-projection televisions for larger screen sizes through its Grand WEGA brand. Sony is currently showcasing a 60-inch rear-projection model using Silicon X-tal (Crystal) Reflective Display (SXRD) technology that can display a full high definition source (1920x1080 pixels).

Sony, the fourth biggest TV maker worldwide, was admittedly late to the flat panel market according to Makoto Kogure, senior vice president of Sony's TV group. However, he hopes that refreshing the product line-up with superior technology and launching it at competitive price points will see LCD become the most popular technology in Australia.

Pricing and a release schedule for the new line of Bravia TVs is yet to be confirmed.