Following about a year of hype and more than a few delays along the way, Sony said it has begun shipping its BDP-S1 Blu-ray Disc player to retailers in North America. Sony is the next-gen disc format's chief proponent, although not the first company to ship Blu-ray players. (Sony did release its PlayStation 3 game console in mid-November with an internal Blu-ray Disc drive.)
The 1080p Sony standalone player now being shipped to North America recognizes both pre-recorded Blu-ray titles and standard discs, (it is not a burner.) The company said its BDP-S1 model outputs 1920 x 1080p and supports MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC and VC1. (For set owners without HDMI connections, Sony said it will include analog component outputs for 1080i.) The BDP-S1 will retail for about $1,000 before sales.
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