The phrase "Jack of All Trades..." is usually followed by "...Master of None", but Sony's new display could be about to change all that.
Convergence time again people and on this occasion it comes in the world of displays with Sony’s new HT series.
Designed with versatility in mind, the HTs are multifunction LCDs which come with a built in TV tuner, high definition displays, Sony’s X-Black screen enhancement technology and a myriad of connectivity options. PC, gaming and television in one, so the theory goes.
There is quite a bit to back this up as well. For a start it looks great, silver styling may be the black of the 21st century, but the simple clean lines and thin profile make it more than suitable for front room status. The “Rising Design” means it doesn’t require a conventional stand, while it is still wall mountable and naturally it comes with the obligatory remote.
Getting to specifics, there are two sizes are on offer: the MFM-HT75W (above – I continue to destest Sony’s soulless branding) which is a 17in 16:9 widescreen and the conventional aspect ratio-ed MFM-HT95 (below), a 19-incher for those who like the sides of their TV programs sliced off. Max res on the 17 is 1280 x 768 while the 19 delivers 1280 x 1024, each fine for computing and more than enough to take advantage of those high definition broadcasts which are just around the corner. Other telly enhancements include Picture in Picture (PiP) which offers the neat trick of putting TV in one window and the desktop in the other or console and TV, PC and console, or whatever variant you can come up with.
Audio is also surprisingly well equipped with integrated 3W stereo speaker and, importantly, a 5W subwoofer. SBS WOW Surround Sound technology promises to cheat us into thinking noises are coming from all around us, just the way we like it.
Both the HTs go connection crazy with inputs for games consoles, set-top boxes, cable and satellite TV and digital camcorders. You can take advantage of composite, S-Video, component, and a DVI-D connector. This is HDCP compliant, ensuring that it will be compatible with Sky’s HDTV when it eventually comes into play.
We don’t have UK pricing for these two yet (we’re on the case), but in the US they are great value at $599.99 and $799.99 including VAT respectively. How will this translate to the UK? Most likely pretty badly, as per usual, but we’ve got our fingers crossed a little tighter than usual here. If your anxious, the wait shouldn’t be long: both are scheduled to ship this month.