Sony To Debut Internet-Enabled Blu-ray Players

NEW YORK – This summer, Sony will debut the first Blu-ray disc player that can download bonus materials like trailers and games from the Internet.

Dubbed the BDP-S350, the player will retail for about $400. The player will also feature an Ethernet port, which will allow it to link to a home broadband connection. The company noted that the player won't be able to access Internet content when it ships, but that a software upgrade will be available later to enable that feature, known as BD-Live.

In the fall, Sony will debut a second player, the BDP-S550, that will be BD-Live-capable when it ships. This player is set to retail for about $500.

The new players will be able to show picture-in-picture content and will be the first Sony Blu-ray players with this feature other than the PlayStation 3 game console, which gained this feature through a software update last year.

The feature, called Bonus View, can be used to show director or actor commentary in a small window while the movie plays.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., parent company of Panasonic, has also introduced a Bonus View player in late 2007 and has announced it will ship a BD-Live player sometime spring.