USA: Sony goes wi-fi and wireless with new Blu-Ray Disc players and systems

Not content with rolling out a complete receiver line-up at its Open House trade show now being held in Las Vegas, Sony has launched two new Blu-ray Disc players. One is complete with built-in wi-fi connectivity, and there's also a pair of BD home cinema systems with wireless multiroom capability.

All four products are BD-Live-capable, but the new $350 (£250) BDP-S560 player (above) goes further than current machines by having 802.11N/G/B/A wireless networking built-in, avoiding the need for a hard-wired Ethernet connection or an add-on wi-fi device.

It's also DLNA-ready, allowing it to access other compliant devices to share digital pictures and show them on a connected TV.

Both this model and the $300 (£215) Sony BDP-S360 (above) have onboard decoding for all HD audio formats, bitstream output of all formats, and 1080p upscaling.

They also have a USB port to which extra local storage for BD-Live content can be added, and the BDP-S560 additionally has a front-panel USB via which photos on memory devices can be delivered, or to which digital cameras can be connected.

Complementing these two players will be an add-on sound system, capable of handling HD Audio codecs via HDMI. The Sony HT-SS360 (above) combines a slimline receiver with a speaker package, and will sell in the States for around $350. Like the two players it'll hit the shops this summer.

Two new Blu-ray all-in-one systems are also on the way – the $600 BDV-E300 (above) and $800 BDV-E500W, both due in June.

The two systems offer BD-Live capability, decoding for all HD audio formats, Sony's automatic calibration and set-up, and the company's Digital Media Port.

They also come with and easy set-up DVD, designed to help purchasers get the system up and running.

The most obvious difference between the two, apart from the larger main speakers of the pricier system, is in the wireless connectivity. The BDV-E500W (below) has integrated Sony S-AIR wireless audio, so you only have to add S-AIR AirStation speaker devices to enjoy multiroom music in up to ten zones around the house, up to 50m from the main unit.

On the less expensive BDV-E300, the S-AIR facility requires the addition of an extra transmitter module.

Still to come: Sony's DVD all-in ones, soundbar surround system and internet TVs

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.