Although Toshiba's 20-model announcement takes the cake for sheer flat-panel LCD quantity so far at CES, Sony's surprise decision to divulge details on its own Bravia LCD sets at the show--17 in all--come pretty close. Usually "The Big 'S'" waits until its dedicated Las Vegas line show in February to announce anything substantive regarding its television plans for the year, but for whatever reason the big Bravia news comes early. While Sony did deign to announce an availability of "spring," unlike Toshiba it did not see fit to mention any pricing.
Although Sony introduced its 11-inch OLED HDTV in Japan already, the company's big splash announcement at the 2008 CES is that the model, dubbed XEL-1, is now available stateside, for the cool price of $2,500. While the relatively tiny, exorbitantly expensive HDTV itself won't attract many buyers, it represents an important milestone by shepherding in the latest flat-panel TV technology, which may eventually replace plasma and traditional LCD.
OLED, short for Organic Light Emitting Diode, promises better picture quality, smaller size (the XEL-1 measures just 3mm thick) and more efficient operation. Sony claims a contrast ratio of … Read more
Sony's camcorder lineup might be very DVD- and hard-drive-heavy this year, but budget-minded tape lovers are still getting some love. The company just announced two new miniDV camcorders, offering inexpensive alternatives to its myriad DVD and HDD camcorders.
While the Handycam DCR-HC52 and DCR-HC62 don't seem nearly as impressive as the upcoming high-def HDR-HC9 DV/HDV camcorder, their much smaller price tags and simpler designs should appeal to frugal users. The HC52 uses a 680,000-pixel CCD and a 40x optical zoom lens, while the HC62 uses a 1-megapixel CCD and a 25x zoom lens. Though only $50 … Read more
Do you remember earlier this week when I told you that step one of ending the high-def format war relied on Sony's ability to get Warner on its side? Luckily for us, it happened (and yes, I'll take the credit for it).
Is this the most significant development of the entire high-def format war? Sure. But now that we know Warner is backing Sony, I can't imagine Toshiba is feeling good about itself. Not only did it cancel the big HD DVD party here at CES, but we have yet to hear any true official response. If you ask me, the company is in crisis mode right now and desperately trying to justify itself to Paramount.
And while all this is going on, I can't help but not care.… Read more
To everyone who has ever griped about music locked up in copy-protection software, it appears that the technology is on its way out.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment, one of the top four music labels, is preparing to offer part of its catalogue without Digital Rights Management software, according to a story in BusinessWeek.com, the online publication of BusinessWeek magazine.
According to BusinessWeek, Sony BMG plans to reveal its plans sometime in the first quarter. Citing an unnamed source, the magazine reported that Sony BMG, a joint venture between Sony and Bertelsmann, will participate in a song giveaway as part … Read more
Looks like the first (and easiest) of my 2008 predictions is more or less coming true by the end of March. According to a story in today's Business Week, unnamed sources at Sony BMG have said that the company will sell at least some songs without DRM by the end of the first quarter. We've heard this rumor before: apparently Sony BMG will participate in a promotion sponsored by Pepsi in which soda buyers get free MP3 downloads from Amazon's music store.
This would be a remarkable turnaround for a company that didn't even let its … Read more
In a recent New York Times article, Nintendo was heralded for its immense success with both the Wii and DS. But the most important part of that piece had nothing to do with the Wii and everything to do with the DS.
According to the report, the Wii and DS will work much closer with each other in the New Year. Nintendo contends that complete or demo DS games will be made available for download on the Wii and can then be transferred to the DS wirelessly.
And while this sounds somewhat like Sony's ill-conceived idea of PSP integration with the PS3, Nintendo's idea is not only a far more important step forward, it's the epitome of what the company is doing right -- bringing a convenient and all-around superior experience to its mobile platform. And as long as it continues to do that, Nintendo will have a system on its hands that will last as long as it wants it to.… Read more
How many times over the past few months have you heard that "the worst is over" and the chances of the high-def format war finally coming to a close were increasing by the day? If you haven't heard it at least once, you're probably not reading the right stories.
But with all that going on, the war is officially a quagmire for both sides and the chances of getting out of this quickly are diminishing at an astounding rate. Consider this: as it stands, the Blu-ray camp commands roughly 49 percent DVD market share, while HD DVD is trailing slightly behind. To make matters worse, some reports suggest HD DVD may be gaining strength, although most buyers are sitting out.
So what's really going on with this war? Is there an end in sight? Even better, is there a solution in sight that can finally put this to rest? If you ask me, I think this could be over in a month if the Blu-ray camp follows three steps.… Read more