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Sony Bows First 3D-Enabled Blu-ray Player

10 Feb, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Watching 3D movies in the home took another step toward reality when Sony Corp. Feb. 10 unveiled the first Blu-ray Disc player capable of playing the new format.

The new BDP-S470 ($200), along with the previously announced BDP-S570 model ($250) and the BDV-E770W and BDV-E570 Blu-ray Disc home theater systems, will be 3D capable with firmware updates available this summer.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and DreamWorks Animation all are releasing 3D movies on Blu-ray Discs this summer.

With 3D theatrical revenue topping $1 billion, or more than 9% of the 2009 total domestic box office, the renaissance of a former 1950s optical gimmick into the next great studio evolution could generate $1 billion in home entertainment revenue, according to Ralph Schackart, digital media analyst with William Blair & Co. in Chicago.

“We believe the in-home 3D market is developing faster than is widely known,” Schackart wrote in a report.

In addition to Blu-ray 3D playback, all of the new models stream movies, videos, music, and more from Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube, Slacker Internet Radio, Pandora (coming in the spring), NPR, Sony Pictures, Sony Music and other content through the Sony Bravia Internet video platform.

The models also feature Sony's entertainment database browser (including IMDb.com) using Gracenote technologies that allow users to browse actor and production information from a Blu-ray Disc and access content found on Bravia Internet video link.

Users with an iPhone or iPod Touch can control the BD players using a free app called "BD Remote" that can be downloaded from the Apple App store. The app allows an iPhone or iPod Touch device to function as a remote control that includes the ability to access artwork, actor, and production information, as well as search for additional video clips online.

"Consumer excitement for 3D is unbelievably high, and Sony is poised to deliver the best possible in-home experience," said Chris Fawcett, VP of Sony's home division. "Involved in every facet of the 3D chain from professional equipment to content production and hardware, Sony is the one company that can lean on its broad expertise to deliver 3D to the home that truly captures consumer imagination."

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