Sony expands the IPTV connection for its latest Bravias

Like Vizio, Sony announced at CES 2009 that its Bravia line of LCD HDTVs would include built-in streaming Internet capability without a set-top box.

The capability will be present in the XBR9 and Z-series models, which will include an Ethernet connection.

The two companies also announced a similar line of content partners, with Sony mentioning Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube, and Yahoo Widgets. In addition, they will have access to digital photos, music, and video stores through support of the Digital Living Network Alliance specification.

Unlike Vizio, which did not let consumers know how fat a pipe they'd need to support Internet television, Sony warns potential users that a broadband Internet connection of at least 2.5 Mbps is recommended, and that a full-screen display may not be available for all Internet video.

Models of the XBR TVs, which will be available in the spring, measure 32 inches, 40 inches, 46 inches, and 52 inches. Models of the higher-end Z-series measure 40 inches, 46 inches, and 52 inches, plus offer 240Hz Motionflow technology for displaying fast-moving images more smoothly. The XBR TVs support 120Hz Motionflow technology. All of them are compliant with the Energy Star 3.0 specification.

And speaking of the environment, Sony also announced a line of 'green' TVs. The company said the BRAVIA VE5-series models offer almost 40% power savings because of a zero-watt standby power switch, along with motion and light sensors that minimize energy use. Sony's Presence Sensor automatically turns off the picture when no one is present in the vicinity after a user-set timeframe. When the sensor detects motion, the TV turns itself back on.

The VE5 models are also Sony's first to offer a zero-watt standby Energy Saving Switch. When the TV isn't being used, the standby switch can also be manually turned off, cutting power to nearly zero watts. Additionally, the sets feature a light sensor that will adjust the backlight depending on ambient room light.

VE5 comes in 40-inch, 46-inch, and 52-inch models and will be available this summer for undisclosed prices.

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