Primary Blu-ray backer Sony Electronics announced today that it will release its first web-enabled Blu-ray players later this year.
Priced at around $400, Sony's BDP-S350 Blu-ray player is due this July, while its BDP-S550 player (priced at around $500) is expected to ship this fall.
Both players will be Bonus View (aka Profile 1.1) and BD-Live capable, although according to Sony's press release, the BDP-S350 will require a firmware upgrade to enable the player's BD Live functionality. (For more information about Bonus View and BD-Live, see Josh Zyber's column, "High-Def FAQ: Blu-ray Profiles Explained.)
Each of the two models are also set to include an external port for local storage, allowing users to add USB flash-based memory. The higher-priced BDP-S550 will ship with a 1GB storage device.
Both players will support 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus decoding and bit-stream output, as well as dts-HD High Resolution Audio and Master Audio bit-stream output. The BDP-S550 adds dts-HD High Resolution Audio and dts-HD Master Audio decoding as well as 7.1 channel analog audio output.
"Sony’s next-generation Blu-ray Disc models bring exciting interactive features to life and offer consumers a ground-breaking experience," said Chris Fawcett, vice president of marketing for Sony Electronics’ Home Product Division. "These new devices bring home movie experience beyond the cinema and into a whole new realm of entertainment."