The not so rough guide
Fittingly there are also big changes coming to Sony’s Entertainment Network portal and TV guide this year. The brand has always offered the biggest selection of IPTV services, but navigating them is a nightmare. The new net portal interface (which has more than a whiff of Windows 8 about it) is significantly more intuitive and easy on the eye. A movie search tool will be available to filter content.
New look net TV portal
Perhaps even more intriguing is a radical new TV EPG that allows deep searching using metadata. Developed by Gracenote, viewers will not only be able to see what’s on at a glance, but they’ll be able to search filmographies, genres and other data, courtesy of Gracenote’s content rich databases. Early demos shown to us in Sony’s R&D labs look extremely exciting. Executed well, this kind of connected TV guide could become a game changer.
Sony reckons that twin-screening is also destined to become a major driver for TVs. So both tablets and smartphones can throw content to the new DLNA screens. Everything from video clips and music to web URLs can be lobbed back and forth. But what of Sony’s next generation ambitions? While Crystal LED remains a closely guarded science project, there’s feverish activity behind the scenes to resurrect Sony’s OLED program.
Crystal LED display prototype
The brand was actually the first to launch a consumer OLED TV. Back in 2007/2008, the technically advanced, ferociously expensive, 11-inch XEL-1 enjoyed limited distribution in Japan, North America and Europe before being unceremoniously benched amid a flurry of cost cutting.
The team responsible for the XEL-1 ended up at the Sony’s Atsugi Technology Centre, where OLED development continued under the aegis of the Professional Solutions Group. The result of its endeavours has been a family of professional grade monitors which service pro users and the medical community.
Sony's XEL-1: the first consumer OLED TV
According to Matt Soga, the senior general manager in charge, OLED offers the best performance for this kind of reference grade work. “It’s the ideal device for a master monitor,” he says. “It‘s the only device to give a perfect black.”
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Good to see Sony getting back to what made them so great in the first place...in the pre flat panel days, there was nothing to touch a Trinitron set for picture quality, hell we've got a 32" model at home that still gives the flatscreens a bloody nose in Standard Def. Think it might have to last another year so it can be upgraded to one of these new sets.
*awaits inane comments about rootkits and removing random functions from the PlayStation nobody used*
I remember when "back to basics" was a handy phrase for any project/company/political party.
No Sony, please don't invent more bells and whistles to lure us to your screens. Make it as dumb and good as possible. Make it physically unobtrusive as possible. Then make it as cost similar amounts to Samsung/Panasonic. Simple.
BTW the future isn't streaming via the TV, it'll be streaming to the TV. The TV needs do nothing except turn pixels on and off as it's told. (Seeing as Sony make tablets, phones, STBs and consoles that do just this, it wouldn't hurt their business to slim down the TV features at all.)
I saw Sony's HQ last year from the bullet train, very modern and black. I'm quite pleased with myself that I didn't take a photo, I'm not that sad yet :)
Re: and try and forget the propriety connections
Has a good nose around a LOT of Sony kit
Phono - standard
BNC video - standard for decent kit - also found on Sanyo & Panasonic
Scart - standard
HDMI - standard
Firewire - standard
USB - standard
Micro USB - standard
Headphone - standard
CAM interface - standard for lots of CAMs
Aerial socket - standard
Ah found a few
1) 14pin K socket - you could get adaptors to use 10 pin cameras on 14 pin recorders - NOONE did the other way round - was fitted to the Beta portables, adaptor leads to use better cameras (from JVC or Canon) with best decks (Sony SL-F1).
2) Little specific micro sockets on my HDV camera - well no room for anything standard to get component out.
3) Playstation video out socket - but same between PS2 and PS3
4) PS2 controller port.
Oh and if you bring their formats into it
CD - standard
MD - was pretty popular but overshadowed by MP3
Beta - was best
Video 8 - was a standard
Umatic - standard
Only had a hand in
DV & Blu Ray
My 14" TV is from 1983 I think - last used in our caravan - now have a Relisys LCD TV / computer monitor in it - easier to pack.
It works but not in use, might resurrect it so the children can try some old console games - got a Megadrive somewhere.
My 19" Trinitron is still running great at 23 years old. It's still my main TV.