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Sony to ship Wi-Fi LCD TV this autumn

LocationFree by name, nature

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Sony will ship its first wireless, Internet-enabled TV this autumn, the consumer electronics giant announced yesterday.

Dubbed the LocationFree TV, the unit is based on an LCD panel and an integrated tri-mode Wi-Fi adaptor. Sony will offer two models, one with a 12in, 800 x 600 display, the other a more portable 7in, 800 x 480 panel.

The former contains all sorts of TV-derived image processing technology to anti-alias jagged lines, provide motion compensation and offer picture-in-picture playback. There's "3D Y/C separation circuitry for clear, vivid picture and colour blur reduction", Sony said. The 5lbs unit also sports its own audio amplifier and speakers, and has its own video input ports.

The 12in model has a MemoryStick slot, while the smaller unit features a Type II Compact Flash slot.

Sony LocationFree screens: 12in and 7in

Both sets will ship will their own base-station which, in addition to sporting an Ethernet connector essential for plugging the unit into a broadband modem, features an analog TV tuner and a pair of inputs for other video sources. The base-station takes programming, digitises it, squirts it over the WLAN to wherever you happen to be sitting with your LocationFree screen.

Linking the two are 802.11b, g and a WLAN options, the first for compatibility, the latter two for optimum video transmission.

In addition to TV reception, the screens can operate as basic web and email terminals when the base-station is hooked up to the Net, either through the broadband connection or an optional analog modem - there's a USB port for the addition of the latter.

Web pages are selected using an on-screen virtual keyboard. The system uses a similar on-screen GUI to change TV channels and access other content.

The 12in LF-X1 will ship in the US this autumn for $1500. The 7in LF-X5 will cost $1000. ®

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