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Sony names Blu-ray disc kit ship dates

Disc player, internal drive and Vaio PCs detailed

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Sony will today begin taking pre-orders for its upcoming Blu-ray Disc player after yesterday naming the dates on which it will ship the machine and Vaio PCs that incorporate the next-generation optical disc technology. The BDP-S1 will ship in the US in July - two months after the first BD movies are set to hit US stores.

sony blu-ray vaio desktop

The company was more vague with its Vaio timetable. Sony will ship a desktop and a notebook with BD drives by "early Summer", it said. The price tag will be around $2,300, and Sony will pitch the product at professionals and consumers who want to edit and archive HD video.

The BDP-S1 is cheaper: it will retail for around $1,000, Sony said. But that's double the $500 Toshiba is expected to ship its HD DVD players for, though Sony knows it's an early adopter product. Its big Blu-ray push will come in November when the PlayStation 3 launches worldwide.

sony blu-ray bdp-s1 player

The player will be able to deliver 1080p HD content - assuming content providers ship discs with their movies at that resolution, of course. It has an HDMI port, and a 1080i-capable analog output too. Sony said the BDP-S1 supports both VC1 and MPEG 4 AVC Blu-ray codecs, along with MPEG 2 for DVD compatibility. It will handle BD, BD-R, BD-RE, DVD and DVD+R/RW discs.

Sony also said it would ship the BWU-100A internal BD drive later this year. The writer will run at 2x speed and be able to work with both BD-R and BD-RE media, including single- and dual-layer media. The unit will also write single-layer DVD+R/RW and dual-layer DVD+R discs, along with DVD-RAM and CD-R/RW media. The internal drive will ship with an ATAPI interface. ®

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