Sony has launched two Blu-ray Disc players, including an entry-level model designed to open up the market for the HD format.
The BDP-S300 is aimed at ordinary consumers, while the BDP-S500 is targeted at the high-end HD audience.
"Blu-ray is taking off, and the BDP-S300 player is designed to give many more people a way of joining the party in style," said Hiro Shinohara, director of home entertainment at Sony Europe.
"Whether you opt for the BDP-S300 or the high-end BDP-S500, you will be able to appreciate the unique fidelity to the cinematic original offered by 24p True Cinema technology, something not currently available from all manufacturers."
The two models can output 1080p Full HD through HDMI, currently the highest possible HD format available for consumers.
Both players also support 7.1 channel Linear PCM and Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound audio, and the BDP-S500 also includes Dolby TrueHD decoding and Bit Stream Output for DTS-HD3, Dolby TrueHD audio signals via HDMI version 1.3.
The S300 and S500 models also include 1080p upscaling, improving the picture resolution of poorer quality images.
The players can handle a wide variety of formats and media, including CD, BD-ROM, DVD and DVD video playback from DVD/DVD±R/±RW encoded discs, as well as MP3 audio files and JPEG images stored on DVD±R/±RW discs. The BDP-S500 will also support BD-R/RE discs.
The BDP-S300 will be available from mid-September with an estimated price tag of £399 (€599). The BDP-S500 should hit the shelves at the end of October at £599 (€899).
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