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Sony spotlights S2000 LCDs, proffers pro plasma

Sony spotlights S2000 LCDs, proffers pro plasma

Sony's new flat-panel LCD TVs, dubbed BRAVIA for best resolution audio visual integrated architecture, have started making their way onto Web sites and into stores. Since the company's 2006 line show also included mention of the new models--but no mention of SXRD rear-projection televisions--we'll talk about them here. First announced at CES, the new S2000 series includes the 26-inch KDL-26S2000 ($1,500), the 32-inch KDL-32S2000 ($1,900), and the 40-inch KDL-40S2000 ($3,000). Despite their different sizes and prices, the three share most of the same specs, including the following:

In case you don't want the ATSC tuner--or any tuner at all--but would like to save $200, Sony also offers a pair of HD monitors: the 32-inch KLV-32U100M ($1,700) and the 40-inch KLV-40U100M ($2,800).

Since the company didn't include a CableCard slot or a second HDMI input in the S2000 models, we expect these features to be available in a step-up XBR line of flat-panel LCDs, which should be announced later. We hope to have a review of the KDL-32S2000, successor to the KLV-S32A10, by mid-April.

In one unexpected announcement at the line show, Sony proffered a new plasma panel. The company didn't announce any new plasmas in 2005, instead choosing to release exclusively LCDs into the flat-panel marketplace. The new plasma, model FWD-42PX2 ($2,400, April), is a "professional" panel, conjuring comparisons to Panasonic's professional plasmas such as the TH-PHD8UK series. The FWD-42PX2's specs will be familiar to people versed in Panasonic's line: no tuner of any sort, 1,024x768 resolution, DVI-HDCP input, two option/accessory input slots, and picture-in-picture. Sony also touted a network media card accessory to fill one of the slots, the BKM-FW50, which will enable the panel to be controlled via a network and display streaming video and media.