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MP3 Players

Sony Giga Juke NAS-SC55PKE: Streaming made Japaneasy

Sony sends two big boys into the streaming audio arena: the NAS-SC55PKE and the NAS-E35HD. Both feature hard drives and will pump music around your wireless home network

Sony has just launched two new additions to the Giga Juke family: the NAS-SC55PKE and the NAS-E35HD. Both systems will rip your CD collections to their internal hard drives, will stream content from PCs hooked up to your home network, and hopefully sound pretty good, too. But there's much more Japanese jiggery-pokery going on behind the scenes.

Firstly, the NAS-SC55PKE. It's the mothership of the Giga Juke range, and it looks wholly different from the £500 NAS-50HDE we gave a score of 8 out of 10 to last year. It's a system that comprises two units: the central hard drive-enabled CD-loving hi-fi, and an all-in-one wireless hi-fi that streams from the main system. Should you want music in more than one extra room, the main unit will stream to up to four more simultaneously.

In addition to all this wireless jukebox stuff is an integrated Internet radio function, audio streaming from networked PCs, FM and DAB (DAB is UK-only) radio and some quirky auto-DJ playlists similar to those in last year's Giga Juke. The SC55PKE also boasts a pair of 100W speakers which, if Sony's previous hi-fi systems are anything to go by, will sound powerful, with bass that and triggers London Blitz flashbacks in your favourite grandparents. So good times to be had by all. Except grandparents.

The other new system is the NAS-E35HD, which features the same basic functionality of the SC55PKE -- CD ripping, network streaming, DAB radio -- but in a more affordable package, and with 60W speakers.

No prices have been announced and Sony wouldn't give us any estimates. We'd expect something around the £600 mark for the SC55PKE, but don't quote us on that just yet. You can of course expect a full review as soon as humanly possible. -Nate Lanxon