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A WiFi-enabled Blu-ray BD-Live player, at last

That the latest high-tech home entertainment devices – Blu-ray players – should not feature wireless connectivity was seen in many circles as an anachronism, especially as the new format boosts web-connected BD-Live functionality as one of its USP. At IFA in Berlin, Sony brought the hidef disc format up to speed with the introduction of two WiFi-enabled BD BD-Live players.

That will mean that consumers won’t have to fiddle with plugging an ethernet cable into the back of the units, making it easier to take advantage of the much-talked about BD Live features. To date, the uptake of BD-Live has been slower than expected.

The BDP-S560 and BDP-S760 are compatible with the latest high-speed Wireless-n system and also conform to the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) specification that ensures easy connection to other DLNA devices from the likes of Nokia, Sony and Samsung but as yet not Apple. It also means consumers will be able to use Windows functionality to send pictures and video to the players from their laptop.

They BD models have a 6-second quickstart feature that the company claims is "unrivalled by other products available today." The BDP-S760 is the flagship model and in addition to the above functionality contains an "HD Reality Enhancer". This model also includes multi-channel headphone surround for generating a 7.1 experience on stereo earphones.

In May, LG had announced the world’s first DivX HD 1080p Blu-ray player – the LG BD390 – which, apart from offering DivX HD support, can also stream HD content wirelessly from a DLNA server.

Story filed 09.09.09

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