Sony unveils its new series of HDTV’s

Sony today introduced 12 new series of HDTVs for the coming year. The new models will start rolling out in spring and continue in summer with the company’s first 3D offerings.

Among the trends: LED backlighting picks up steam, with just four of those 12 series use CCFL backlighting. Likewise, four of the 12 series (the EX600, the EX500, the EX400, and the EX300) use Sony’s Bravia Engine 2; the others have the newest image processing, the Bravia Engine 3. All but the BX300, which at $500 for a 32-inch model and $380 for a 22-inch model, support USB and DLNA photo/music/video playback. And just two series, again the EX308 and the BX300 (each available in 32- and 22-inch versions), are 720p resolution. An interesting omission this year: No big-to-do over eco-friendly televisions.

Four of the 12 series feature Sony’s new “monolithic design”—a mouthful of a term to describe these models’ sleek design and edge-to-edge glass. Even the base is a study in modernist classicism, a flat brushed metallic surface that’s functional and unobtrusive. The front panel lacks disruptive inputs; instead, it has touch-sensitive buttons (or, you have to reach around the side to access the inset control panel).

At the top of the heap is the Bravia XBR-LX900 series. Available in 40, 46, 52, and a whopping 60-inch sizes, this model has the monolithic design, uses edge LED backlighting, has Motionflow PRO 240Hz smooth motion technology, an intelligent prsesence sensor, and integrated Wi-Fi. This series is the only of Sony’s three 3D models to include two pair of active shutter glasses (by RealD) and to integrate the emitter for the glasses.

The Bravia XBR-HX900 series, in 46-inch and 52-inch screen sizes, uses intelligent dynamic (local dimming) LED backlighting, has the monolithic design, and has an optional USB wireless adapter. The third 3D series, the Bravia HX800 uses dynamic edge LED backlighting, also has an optional USB wireless adapter, and comes in 40-, 46-, and 55-inch varieties. All three 3D series are due in summer.

Sony’s top-of-the-line series (outside of its 3D models) will be the Bravia KDL-NX800. These edge LED backlit TVs start at $2800 for the 46-inch model (52-inch model will cost $3400, and the 60-inch model $4600). All feature the monolithic design, Motionflow 240Hz, and integrated Wi-Fi.

The Bravia KDL-NX700 (40inch model, $2100; 46-inch, $2600) has edge LED backlighting, monolithic design, Motionflow 120Hz, and integrated 802.11 wireless.

The Bravia KDL-EX700 series is also edge LED backlit and 120Hz, and it comes in a wider array of sizes (32-inch, $1100; 40-inch, $1700; 46-inch $2200; 52-inch, $2800; 60-inch, $3900). This series has both a presence and ambient sensor; but, it lacks the NX700’s integrated Wi-Fi.

Other lines introduced are the KDL-EX600 (32-inch, 40-inch, and 46-inch); the KDL EX500 (in 32-, 40-, 46-, 55-, and 60-inch screen sizes; the KDL-EX40B (32- and 40-inch); and the KDL-EX400 (32-inch, 40-inch, and 46-inch). The company’s two low-cost 32-inch 720p models are the KDL-EX308 (which has Bravia Engine 3, Bravia Internet Video, USB and DLNA multimedia support, and an included Wi-Fi adapter) and the KDL-BX300. Both 720p models are also available in 22-inch sizes as well.

All Sony models but the 3D ones are expected in spring 2010



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