Sony LCD TV, Home Audio Announcements

Sony [NYSE: SNE] rolled out a fistful of sweet-looking home entertainment products today, starting with some uber-thin LCD televisions that were first leaked in April. Never ones to name anything with actual, memorable words, Sony marched out the XBR8 series, the flaships of which are the 55-inch KDL-55XBR8
and the 46-inch KDL-46XBR8, which both make use of Sony’s Triluminos three-color LED backlight, as well as much-sought-after 120Hz refresh rate, the Bravia Engine 2, and 10-bit processing.

Also in Sony’s quiver were the new 70-inch KDL-70XBR7 and 40-inch KDL-40XBR7, which are a part of the XBR7 series. Below that series comes the XBR6 crop, which feature 32- to 52-inch sets. These new TVs represent the best of Sony’s efforts to date, and reportedly feature improved color reproduction and enhanced black, thanks to a nifty little technology called ACE PRO — it allows different areas of the screen to vary in brightness depending on which colors they’re depicting, reducing unneccessary brightness that can wash out dark colors and blow out highlights. Complementing the new TVs is a little added functionality for Sony’s Bravia Internet Video Link, which now supports YouTube. No word on prices, but Sony claims the LCDs will be available by summer’s end.

In other Sony news, a new home theatre set (the HST-S100) has the tech blogosphere in relative disbelief. Made up of five tiny, strawberry-sized speakers — with no central receiver — the system integrates a 450W amplifier, 3 HDMI ports and Sony Digital Media Port into the back of the subwoofer, making for a pretty clutter-free arrangement. Whether they sound good remains to be seen, but for $700, they should.