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Sony to add Blu-ray and DSD to Vaio

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At a three day press event in Bordeaux Sony this week announced it is going to add Blu-ray and DSD (Direct Stream Digital) to its Vaio series of PCs and notebooks.

DSD is the core HD audio technology that is found at the heart of the Super Audio CD platform that Sony developed with Philips. Supported by over 250 record companies worldwide, SACD is seen as the next generation Compact Disc, although so far it has only carved a niche in the market.

Despite the support for DSD, SACDs can't be played on future Vaios. Sony will not build SACD disc drives into its notebooks or PCs, as Super Audio CD requires the use of high-end receivers and loudspeakers. However, home studio and home audio enthusiasts and creators can achieve the same high definition and surround sound on their PC without affecting background CPU performance, Sony claims.

Sony will also build Blu-ray into its Vaio PCs. A single-layer Blu-ray disc can hold 25GB, which can be used to record over two hours of HDTV or more than 13 hours of standard definition TV. There are also dual-layer versions of the discs that can hold 50GB.

When Blu-ray Vaios will be available is unclear. The new models Sony demonstrated this week at its annual product introduction in Bordeaux didn't contain any of these technologies yet. Nor did the Vaio series in particular stand out. Chris Deering, president of Sony Europe, put the emphasis on Sony's new MP3 Walkman line-up, including the Flash-based NW-E407 and the NW-HD5. Deering admitted that Sony was far behind Apple with the development and sales of slick MP3 players, having concentrated too long on Mini Disc Walkman and ATRAC compression formats. ®

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