Sony has announced that it is at last launching its first European Blu-ray disc player in the summer. The new BDP-S1E is essentially the same second generation player that launched in the US earlier this year.
The BDP-S1E "represents one of the company's most powerful and intelligent consumer audio and video equipment devices ever developed," according to Sony.
It provides 1920 x 1080p (progressive) high definition video for Blu-ray disc titles. And when playing your existing DVD library on the BDP-S1E, a 1080p video upscaling facility takes your old movies and boosts them to HD resolution.
"Just as Blu-ray disc is set to revolutionise the home entertainment market, this new player sets a fresh aspirational benchmark in the European market," said Jonathan White, head of Sony's UK TV and Home Video Group.
High fidelity sound
The BDP-S1E provides up to 8 channels of uncompressed linear PCM digital audio output via HDMI as well as Dolby Digital Plus. While this is still a very early player, there's a lot inside this one to keep early adopters happy.
Sony hopes that owners of newer Sony Bravia HD TVs will have even more reasons to buy. The player has been developed as part of the 'Sony Bravia Theatre concept', if you connect this player to any Bravia TV or hi-fi system, pressing one button will sync the devices together, doing away with the need for confusing navigation of multiple controls.
We understand that the BDP-S1E will be available throughout Europe from the summer, and although there is no pricing information yet, you can be sure that Sony will set a price just above that of the PlayStation 3. The company wants to make the PS3 as attractive a purchase as possible, and Sony would much prefer that you buy one as opposed to a standalone player.