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Sony Blu-ray

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The next day at CeBIT the weather had smarted up, making things a bit more pleasant on those long walks between halls.

Sony is such a huge brand that it seemed almost too obvious to go take a look at what they were showing off, but luckily I couldn’t resist, so here are some of the things I spotted.

Pride of place at the stand was a huge 70in rear Grand Wega LCD screen featuring a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 – true high-definition resolution. This is a rear projection LCD based on SXRD technology, and Sony claims it offers higher contrast and lower response time and as it produces all three colours at once it is immune from the rainbow effect that can plague single-chip DLP. The spaces between the pixels are only 0.35 micons eliminating the screen-door effect that LCD can suffer from.

I’m afraid the picture doesn’t really do it justice, but it looked pretty impressive and there was a crowd round it the whole time. The content was from a high resolution version on the Will Smith film, I Robot playing from a Sony Blu-ray device.

This was in MPEG2 format, but next to this was another Blu-ray player feeding a smaller screen playing Spider-Man 2, this time encoded in MPEG4 AVC.

Asking a few questions it seems that the format that Blu-ray will use is still very much up in the air. Conversely NEC told me that rival format HD-DVD will enjoy the release of 100 titles in September. Whether this will make a difference as to which format is more successful is debatable though looking around the show I saw many firms showing working or prototype Blu-ray drives.

As well as consumer Blu-ray drives Sony also has a working external drive for PCs. For those that don't know a single sided Blu-ray disc will old 25GB of data, and a dual-layered disc will hold 50GB.

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