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Blu-ray Players Get Connected at CEDIA

9 Sep, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

ATLANTA — LG Electronics and Sony Electronics made the first home entertainment splashes at the annual Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) Expo, opening the show Sept. 9, introducing new Blu-ray Disc players and HDTVs.

Sony Electronics introduced its BDP-N460, a networked, wireless Blu-ray Disc player that will retail for $250 in October, and will include both free and premium on-demand content, from services such as Netflix, YouTube, Slacker and more.

Chris Fawcett, VP of home audio and video for Sony Electronics, said that despite the economic downturn, consumers are still spending money on home entertainment.

“Holiday 2009 is starting to look very promising,” he said.

Sony also introduced a new, LED backlit LCD HDTV line, the Bravia XBR10 series, which includes a wireless connection, allowing Blu-ray players and other set-top boxes to be placed away from the TV.

“Bravia is on the cutting edge of television technology, and the XBR10 series pushes the limits of industry-leading, innovative features,” said Jeff Goldstein, VP of Sony’s television business. “Not only will this TV look striking when hanging on a wall, the wireless feature clears the clutter of components and messy tangles of unsightly wires, allowing you to hide components away across the room.”

Available in October, the series will come in 52- and 46-inch sizes, for $5,000 and $4,500, respectively.

Meanwhile, LG Electronics announced it is expanding its partnership with high-definition streaming movie service Vudu to its wireless network Blu-ray Disc player, the BD390 ($399). At the end of September, owners of the player will be able to upgrade for access to Vudu for free. LG’s “NetCast Entertainment Access” set of features also includes Netflix, Roxio CinemaNow and YouTube.

Tim Alessi, director of new product development for LG Electronics’ home entertainment division, said consumers could expect more LG products to include NetCast features in the future. He specifically highlighted the 2,200-plus high-def movies that Vudu offers.

“That’s more high-def movies than are currently available on physical disc for Blu-ray,” he said. “Our intention, as the market continues to grow, is to release more products with connectivity.”

Alain Rossmann, CEO of Vudu, added, “Following the recent launch of Vudu on LG HDTVs with NetCast Entertainment Access, LG’s BD390 Network Blu-ray player provides the perfect opportunity for anyone in the market for a Blu-ray player to enjoy VUDU’s extensive HD movie library in superior 1080p video quality and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound.”

LG brought out “Trading Spaces” interior designer Doug Wilson to highlight LG’s new product announcements, which included the company’s first series of wireless LCD HDTVs, the LED-backlit 55LHX ($4,799) and LH85 (55- and 47-inch, $3,199 and $2,399, respectively). The HDTVs can receive a wireless signal from as far as 30 feet away, using a supplied media box that transmits an uncompressed 1080p signal.

“It’s a given that technology is part of our fabric these days,” Wilson said, praising the wireless HDTVs. “Whether you’re doing country style or a modern flat. By putting a TV on the wall, it becomes an art piece.”

Also introduced were the SL90 LED LCD HDTVs, which are just 1.15 inches deep.

LG also unveiled a new network attached storage model (N2R1) for consumers to back up their multimedia entertainment files. Available with 1TB ($299) or 2TB ($399) of storage, the wireless N2R1 automatically backs up and restores files in the event of a hardware failure.

“Consumers continue to create digital memories, from photos to family videos, and it’s important that these irreplaceable moments are saved in a secure place,” said Peter Reiner, SVP of marketing for LG Electronics. “With LG’s network attached storage, consumers now have a virtual library on command that allows them unlimited access to their favorite memories, whether at home or on the road.”

Interior designer Doug Wilson ("Trading Spaces") shows off LG Electronics' latest line-up of HDTVs and Blu-ray Disc players at the CEDIA Expo in Atlanta Sept. 9.


Tim Alessi, director of new product development for home entertainment for LG Electronics, shows off his company's latest line-up of HDTVs and Blu-ray Disc players at the CEDIA Expo in Atlanta Sept. 9.


Members of the media check out Sony Electronics' new hardware at the company's press conference at the CEDIA Expo in Atlanta Sept. 9.


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