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Sony pre-announces Nvidia GeForce 7600 GTL

Media Center PC to incorporate Blu-ray, HDMI too

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Sony has extended its Vaio Digital Media Center line-up with a pair of new models pitched at European consumers keen to embrace HD content with Blu-ray Disc technology. Interestingly, the VGX-XL201 and VGX-XL202 machines both feature an as yet unannounced Nvidia graphics chip.

Both models are based on Intel Core 2 Duo processors and, as such, they're Viiv-branded machines, Sony said. They also contain 250GB or 500GB of unformatted hard disk storage capacity ready for DVR duties - the units incorporate a hybrid analogue and digital TV tuner. Each has 1GB of DDR 2 SDRAM on board. The XL201 has a 1.86GHz CPU - the XL202's is clocked to 2.13GHz.

sony vaio vgx-xl202 hdmi blu-ray media center pc

There's a Blu-ray Disc drive build into the VGX-XL202 though Sony didn't say whether it will also write BD-R and BD-RE media - or, indeed, DVD±R/RW discs. There's an HDMI port for HD TV connections, and 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi for wireless network links.

Sony didn't say whether the VGX-XL200 series machines also support HDCP, but we suspect their Nvidia GeForce 7600 GTL GPUs, each equipped with 256MB of video memory, do. Nvidia has yet to launch the 7600 GTL.

Last month, LG said it was preparing a HD PC with a GeForce 7900 GT GPU on board, which LG explicitly stated has HDCP support on board. Pre-recorded BDs will eventually demand HDCP for full HD resolution playback, so it's a good bet the 7600 GTL has HDCP support too.

Sony didn't say when the media centre systems will ship, or how much they will cost. It did say the machines will be sold in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Austria. ®

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