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Sony is continuing its push to make the Blu-ray player do everything else besides playing a Blu-ray disc, with the company announcing that its latest flagship Blu-ray
offering - the BDP-S780 - will also come with Skype built in.
The new feature is yet
another add-on to convince consumers that they need a Blu-ray player
in the home and adds to the already huge list of “it can also do” features present on previous models from Sony.
Users will be able to plug in any webcam and then talk with friends and
colleagues on Skype via their TV and an Internet connection.
Users of the new BDP-S780 will also get a Full HD 3D-ready
device with the ability to convert any 2D content to 3D as well as the chance to access BRAVIA Internet Video services that
adds YouTube, BBC iPlayer, and Lovefilm into the mix.
that wasn’t enough to woo you to get a dedicated player, rather than the company’s PlayStation
3 that’s the greatest Blu-ray player in disguise,
you’ll also be able to control the device with your smartphone to operate your player or surf the web with the Media
Not content with launching a new flagship Blu-ray player that replaces
the Sony BDP-S570, Sony has also announced
two new 2.1 home cinema systems.
The BDV-EF200 and BDV-L600 will be the names of the two new systems that will come with
S-Force PRO 3D virtual surround sound, IP Noise Reduction technology and two HDMI ports. There’s an iPod/iPhone dock
to allow users to listen to music or watch videos and the new players can be controlled by an iPod
touch, iPhone or Android smartphone once you’ve
downloaded the accompanying app.
The BDV-L600 can be placed horizontally, vertically or mounted on a wall.
All three devices will come with BRAVIA Internet Video that adds
YouTube, BBC iPlayer, and Lovefilm access.
As usual with Sony, it hasn't
yet detailed pricing or availability of the new products.
We will keep you posted. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=
A growing number
of consumer electronics companies are integrating Skype client software into their products. Skype is winning some adoption
on pocketable devices, and could potentially see a lot more growth in the mobile market soon due to the company's recent acquisition
area where Skype is starting to gain some ground is in the living room, on Internet-enabled televisions and set-top boxes.
At the Consumer Electronics
Show (CES) in Las Vegas, we saw Skype demoed on a number of different home theater products. Panasonic and LG introduced support
for high-definition Skype video calling in some of their televisions last year. This year, Sony and Vizio are jumping on the
an effort to enable Skype calling on televisions that don't have the feature built in, Sony and Panasonic are also including
it as a standard feature on on some of their Blu Ray players.
I got to see Skype calling in action on Sony's new Blu-ray player at CES.
The company is laboring to make video calling feel like a seamless part of the product's user experience. In order to take
advantage of the feature, users will need a camera accessory that plugs into the Blu-ray player.
Due to the general awfulness of conference
Internet connectivity, it was a bit difficult to get a sense of how it performs under real-world conditions. Unlike some of
the existing television implementations of Skype, the Sony Blu-ray player doesn't appear to support HD quality for video calls.
The video was a bit grainy when stretched to full-screen, but was suitable for communication.
The user interface was simple and sensible.
You can remain logged in while you are watching television and it will pop up a notification when you receive a video call.
You can also open up your buddy list in a sidebar.
The Skype implementation in Sony's new Blu-ray player was quite nice, but it's a bit disappointing
that Sony hasn't also brought Skype to the Playstation 3 yet. I asked a Sony representative about that possibility during
the demo and was told that they have no plans of that nature to announce at this time.
Given the fact that a growing number of Playstation
users already have a camera accessory for the device, it would seem to be a good fit.
Skype in the living
room makes sense and appears to be increasingly common on Internet-connected home theater devices. Although the quality of
Skype on a television or Blu-ray player doesn't quite rival enterprise telepresence solutions, the technology seems to be
moving forward quickly. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++==