Last year Gordon reported on Sony's RHT-G800, which managed the neat trick of combining an attractive home cinema stand with a 5.1-channel sound system. A year or so on, and Sony's at it again with the RHT-G500, this time packing 3.1-channels of speaker and using virtual surround technology to make up for lost rear speakers.
Those speakers are arranged left, right and centre with a sub making up the point one. Virtual surround comes courtesy of Sony's S-Force PRO technology, which so far as we can gather works in pretty much the same way as any other manufacturer's equivalent - bouncing sound off of walls to place it behind the viewing position.
More importantly, perhaps, connectivity is good, with a trio of pass-through HDMI inputs and a single output to connect to any supported (literally) TV. These ports capable of 1080p, 24fps and Deep Colour - or in other words they're up to the HDMI 1.3 spec. Incidentally, Sony recommends the RHT-G500 for set up to 40in, with the intention presumably being you buy a larger (better?) stand with a bigger TV.
A Digital Media Port is also sported for which Sony supplies a rane of adaptors, from enabling Bluetooth and WiFi connections to media player dock connectors. All in all it's a pretty neat package and the fact that the RHT-G500 also looks good is just the icing on the cake.
Pricing and availability isn't known right now, in true Sony style. Sony says the RGT-G500 is intended to slot just under the RHT-G900 which sits around the £550 mark currently, so that should give a rough indication of the G500's likely cost.