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Sony Still In High-End

By Ty Pendlebury | Tuesday | 31/01/2006

Despite last week's announcement that the QUALIA brand will be phased out, Sony Australia today said it was still committed to releasing high-end products.

At last year's launch of the Bravia range, Sony displayed a 60-inch rear-projection screen, based on the SXRD display technology that QUALIA introduced, and said it would arrive sometime in 2006. Until December, representatives of Sony Australia had said the product was still coming, but were uncertain whether the product would be badged as a Bravia or QUALIA.

In the meantime, Sony released a 60-inch SXRD display in the US in September - the KDS-R60XBR1 under the Grand WEGA name for US$5,000, and which is now available for $4,499.

Sony spokesperson Lesley White today was unable to comment on whether that specific model would ever make it to Australia, but said: "SXRD is an exciting technology, initially seen on the high-end QUALIA projector. It will become increasingly available on high-end consumer products, and is already available in Australia on the VPL-VW100 projector".

The VPL-VW100 projector was released this month at an RRP of $14,999, and will replace the $40,000 QUALIA 004 projector.

The challenge for Sony as a consumer electronics company, White said, was to manufacture products that are meeting the demands of customers.Despite the fact that some of its more esoteric lines - such as AIBO and QUALIA - were being phased out, White 'strongly disagreed' that it meant Sony would now spend less money on research and development.

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