Every year Sony manages to set our technological taste buds aflutter with gorgeous new TVs. From its sunny retreat on the Greek island of Rhodes it has announced two new Bravia LCD TV ranges, which offer some tantalising new features.
The D3000 range (pictured) is clearly pitched at replacing the cinema in the lives of film lovers. It's about time too -- while going to the cinema used to be an exciting event, it has, of late, become rather tedious. Crave is sick and tired of paying through the nose only to then be forced to sit through 40 minutes of adverts and have the film ruined by youths providing their own commentary and yelling into their mobile phones.
What makes the D3000 range so good for film fans is its '24p True Cinema' mode, which is a perfect match for movies. Film is shot at 24 frames per second, but UK televisions operate at 25 frames per second. This means that when you watch a movie on DVD, you are seeing it sped up by 4 per cent. This drives some purists nuts, and Sony wants to help. Its 24p mode is designed to work with Blu-ray movies, which are encoded at the same rate in which they were filmed. Sony's first European Blu-ray player will have True Cinema mode when it launches this summer.
Regular TV is well-catered for too, with 100Hz technology, which should make watching standard-definition TV much more pleasant. 100Hz helps to reduce motion blur, which can sometimes plague LCD televisions, and should mean motion seems more natural -- great news if you're a sports fan.
The second range is the S3000, which is aimed at the high-definition enthusiast with its three HDMI connections. It also features Sony's Wide Colour Gamut technology, which it claims will produce the widest range of colours ever seen on an LCD.
Both ranges support Theater Sync, which is Sony's method of controlling all of your home-cinema equipment from one remote control over HDMI. It also places the TV in the correct mode for watching movies from DVD or Blu-ray. You'll need to own all-Sony hardware to make this work properly, though.
The S3000 range will come in two sizes initially, 32 and 40 inches. Later in 2007 it will be joined by more screens, ranging from 20 to 46 inches. -IM