updated 11:30 pm EDT, Sun September 4, 2011
Sony N200, VW95ES, BDP-S185 arrive
Home theater viewers received three new choices from Sony at the IFA show. The SMP-N200 Network Media Player updates Sony's early digital-only box and adds support for both 3D and HD video streaming as well as a new 'concave' design. It primarily taps into Sony's own music and video services, but it can take media from DLNA-equipped devices on the local network and supports the 'throw' sharing from the Tablet S.
Most access comes over Wi-Fi, although it can play content locally from a USB drive. Socially included users can update Facebook or Twitter, and those with Android or iOS devices can steer it more quickly than with the bundled remote through a native app.
The VPL-VW95ES replaces Sony's very highest-end projector, the VW90ES. Its performance is close to the earlier model, but it can now convert footage to 3D and has the transmitter for active shutter glasses built-in instead of needing a breakout device. Viewers can also program the lens to automatically move and otherwise adjust itself when different aspect ratios come into play.
Blu-ray players get a new entry model in the BDP-S185. Along with a very compact design that has a less traditional silver color option along with black, its chief upgrade is power. Its newer processing hardware drops the power draw by 47 percent, down to just 10W. Shipping the player takes 40 percent fewer carbon emissions because of the smaller profile, Sony said. As an actual player, it supports the full current Blu-ray spec, including BD-Live online. Just one HDMI out and one USB port provide its core expansion, but it does support Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio for sound decoding.
All three are due to ship in October for at least Europe, but none have been given prices.