Sony Unwraps New Connected HDTVs
Following up new HDTV models announced at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Sony today unveiled its Bravia W-Series HDTVs. These new 1080p-resolution LCD TVs follow some of the trends we spotted at CES, such as faster refresh rates and Internet connectivity.
The Bravia W-Series comes in three screen sizes—40, 46, and 52 inches—and boasts 120 Hz refresh rates, resulting in smoother fast-motion image quality. 120 Hz technology has become increasingly common in the past year, going from a high-end feature to one found in many mainstream LCD-based HDTVs (and TVs with even higher refresh rates are in the pipeline from Sony and other vendors).
But the big news is Internet connectivity (so-called "connected TVs"). The W-Series are not Sony's first Internet-friendly TVs--Sony announced a number of connected TVs at CES--but they shows that Sony is making a concerted effort to bring online entertainment to your home theater. Some connected TVs were available last year, but CES was a coming-out party of sorts, with many vendors announcing Internet-connected TVs. Connected TVs generally support streaming video from services like Netflix and news feeds through widgets (such as though Yahoo Widget Engine).
The W-Series does both through Sony's Bravia Internet Widgets (based on Yahoo Widget Engine) and Bravia Internet Video services. Bravia Internet Widgets can track news, sports, finance and weather--the usual suspects--as well as photos posted on Flickr. The Bravia Internet Video service allows you to stream video from Sony's various content providers (including Amazon, YouTube, and Yahoo, among others).
Sony has yet to announce pricing on the W-Series, but you'll be able to purchase one this Spring directly from Sony and from authorized Sony retailers.