At Sony's recent 'Experience more' expo the message from Carl Rose, Sony's MD was clear - The future is High Definition (HD), and the future is now. From the new line up of 1080i HD Bravias, HD Blu-ray players, Playstation 3, HD camcorders and laptops the High Definition experience is taking the market place by storm. Consumers thankfully, seem to be responding well, with sales of HD related categories representing over two-thirds of total spending, and increasing over 80 percent year on year.
The expo showcased over 1200 of the latest and greatest Sony products. This, coupled with their recent quarterly financial results, where profit doubled to a staggering US$554 million highlights why Sony are still a dominating force in the consumer electronics market.
The latest Benchmark released by Sony Australia reveals that Blu-ray is comfortable leading the HD DVD format in Australia. Of the nearly 6,000 HD movies sold in Australia in Q1 2007, 90.8% were in the Blu-ray format. With the release of the BDP-S300 Blu-ray player Sony intends to take it up a notch. While still on the pricey side ($1099) the S300 is $300 less than the first generation BDP-S1E player and puts Blu-ray hardware in reach of the consumer. With the number of Blu-ray titles doubling by Christmas 2007 and the S300 capable of up-scaling your existing DVD titles a Blu-ray player might be on the top of the your wish list.
Sony are also making a big play in the portable audio space by introducing a compact Bluetooth USB DVD mini system ($799). You can stream music to this system from your mobile phone by using the in-built Bluetooth connection. If you're already happy with your existing audio setup but would like Bluetooth compatibility Sony have also released a Bluetooth adaptor that supports the A2DP profile.
The top selling Bravia TV series has received an overhaul but the press couldn't keep their eyes off the prototype OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) displays. These displays comprise 'Super Top Emission' technology which generate better levels of brightness and high-resolution. The Connect team first saw OLED displays at the Samsung conference earlier in the year. With Sony on board the OLED train expect the technology to go mainstream in the near future.
The new Vaio series of laptops comprises the TZ18 ($4299) - the first notebook from Sony to incorporate a flash-based HDD (32GB), allowing for faster boot-up times and operating speeds. Other benefits include a reduction in read/write speeds for the system, better battery life and a reduction in weight.
The FZ18 ($3999) is the 'must-have' notebook for the HD enthusiast. With a built-in Blue-ray burner you can watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters, and then use your Blu-ray burner to archive up to 50GB of data on one disc.
Sony have just created the worlds smallest compact HD camcorder, called the CX7K. This state-of-the-art camcorder fits in the palm of your hand and records HD footage (with the AVCHD codec) on to Memory Stick media. At a mere 450 grams the CX7K can shoot continuously for six hours and comes with a 4GB Memory Stick PRO duo which stores up to 1.5 hours of full HD 1080i footage.
Along with the CX7K the SR8 features a built in 100GB hard disk that can record an incredible 38 hours of 1080i HD content. All new cameras feature Sony's latest 'Face Index' technology that uses face detection to search for 'people pictures'. There's also a new Film Roll Index that automatically breaks footage down into chapters for easy accessibility.
The new range of T-Series Cyber-shot cameras all feature BIONZ advanced image processing technology which enhances processing speed and automatically optimises exposure and contrast settings for your pictures. As in the Camcorder range, Sony have included face recognition technology that recognises up to eight faces within the frame, and ensures they are always in focus.
The on-screen graphical user interface has also been improved and makes the process of taking great shots even easier, while viewing your shots on a full HD TV is made simple with integrated HD still image output.