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February 08, 2008

Sony Intros Handheld Bravia Digital TV

By Raju Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Sony has put its Bravia technology into a new handheld TV it plans to put on sale in Japan in April. The handheld TV, named XDV-D500, has a 3-inch screen and is compatible with Japan's "OneSeg" mobile digital TV service that provides conventional over-the-air channels at no cost. The picture's color, contrast and brightness are increased with Sony's "mobile Bravia engine" digital image processor and the viewer gets an overall better image.




According to a report in PC World, the OneSeg TV service is based on the ISDB-T standard that is only used in Japan. This makes the set unusable in other countries.

Sony is hoping the device will get a sales kick from the substantial brand it has built up around the Bravia name. In fact, using the well known TV technology is fast catching up with major companies like Sharp with its Aquos brand and Panasonic with Viera. Even Sony has used the Bravia name on Sony Ericsson (News - Alert) cell phones with a TV function in the past.

The new TV features the ability to record programs like many other OneSeg devices. With up to 10 hours of video, users can record from the TV's electronic program guide. The TV can be hooked up to an external antenna with the help of the cradle provided for charging, which comes with a socket.

The device also includes an AM and FM radio. The battery life provides you the option of watching the TV for eight continuous hours and FM radio and 34 hours for the AM radio can be listened up to 27 hours. It will hit the market on April 10 and cost US$355.

Sony is also planning to sell a second portable TV set without the Bravia technology. The XDV-G200 has a 2-inch screen and will cost $280.

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Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

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