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Sony launches Blu-ray HTPC, $200 Blu-ray PC drive

updated 10:30 pm EST, Sun January 6, 2008

Sony Blu-ray TP and Drive

Sony has continued its succession of releases with its first major update to the VAIO TP as well as a new Blu-ray drive for computers. The updated TP home theater PC now includes a Blu-ray reader that can play HD movies at a full 1080p when attached to an HDMI-equipped HDTV or computer display; it also becomes the first home theater PC to switch to Intel's 45nm Core 2 Duo and runs a 2.1GHz processor instead of the old 1.83GHz chip. On a premium model, a dual-CableCARD tuner allows it to watch and record cable HD at the same time.

The TP is similarly better integrated into a home theater with support for HDMI's CEC spec that allows the PC to control TVs, receivers, and other devices automatically from the VAIO's remote. Both the basic and premium TPs ship with a dedicated graphics chip and a 500GB hard drive; they ship towards the end of January for $1,600 (in white) and $3,000 (in black).

Sony also touts what it says is the least expensive Blu-ray drive for desktop computers. Rather than try to offer full recording, the company's BDU-X10S is meant as a companion for an existing DVD burner. While it can only read Blu-ray, DVD, and CD, it pushes the cost down to $200, less than half the price of combo or full BD-R burners. It initially ships with Windows PCs in mind and comes with a Blu-ray version of PowerDVD. Shipments start this month for the Serial ATA drive, which needs HDMI or an HDCP-protected DVI connection for full 1080p playback of some copy-protected movies.







By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Titanium Man

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Mar 2001

    +1

    yuck

    A round PC. What a waste of desk space. Sony's industrial designers should be fired.

  1. Commodus

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Feb 2002

    0

    Wrong area, titanium

    It's not meant for your desktop -- it's meant to sit near your HDTV, where the shape may help complement the TV (though it's useless for a home theater stack unless it sits on top).

  1. marcelebrate

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008

    0

    Looks great to me.

    This would look very fine sitting on the shelf under my TV. Kudos to them for literally thinking outside of the box. And as it stands right now, Windows Media Center edition is a much better HTPC front-end solution than Front Row and its incredibly limited capabilities (Apple: that is a challenge). So compared to a MacMini, this is a far better setup for viewing PC content on your TV.

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Sep 1999

    0

    re: yuck

    The iMac G4 was round - did you think that was a waste. I think it looks quite sharp - unfortunately, it runs Windows.

  1. pt123

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    0

    funny

    Yeah, it's funny how something is terrible unless Apple does it, then it is awesome.

  1. mortie

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008

    0

    It's beautiful!

    Kudos to Sony for making a PC design that doesn't suck. Now if Apple can make an AppleTV with a Blu-Ray drive and access to HD rentals, I'll be in line immediately!

  1. mgpalma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2000

    0

    Cool

    I think it is pretty sharp, too. I really wish Apple would make a HTPC, also. Right now I have a Mac mini, Apple TV, and a separate DVR to do what 1 box should do.

  1. legacyb4

    Mac Elite

    Joined: May 2001

    0

    lots of competition

    this should be an interesting year; apple has got to take a pretty aggressive swing at the companies (sony, slingbox, etc.) that are coming out with content to the TV solutions and i'm really hoping to see something on the 14th...

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    comments

    First off, I just wish those people at Electronista, if they're going to pretend to 'run' a web site, would actually fix the bug in the commenting section that causes it to post to other pages. It's really amateurish! I've got things to say that people need to diss, and they get posted to the wrong place!

    A round PC. What a waste of desk space. Sony's industrial designers should be fired.

    So a small square-like form factor like the mini ISN'T a waste of desk space (if either is meant for the desk)? Should we fire Avie?

    (though it's useless for a home theater stack unless it sits on top).

    The AppleTV/mini have the same issue, esp. since, at least with the mini, you're told NOT to put anything on top of it.

    I really wish Apple would make a HTPC, also. Right now I have a Mac mini, Apple TV, and a separate DVR to do what 1 box should do.

    Just curious, but what does the AppleTV do for you that the mini can't, and at least have just two boxes?

  1. JackWebb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    0

    testudo

    Avie Tevanian was a software engineer and he's already "fired". Jonathan Ive is Apple's industrial design. Drink more coffee!!!

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