Sony adds HDTV output to digital cameras

Sony is aggressively promoting high-definition televisions to consumers and soon it will have a range of digital still cameras to match

Sony is aggressively promoting high-definition televisions (HDTVs) to consumers and soon it will have a range of digital still cameras to match.

Many of the company's new Cybershot cameras, which will hit global markets in March and April, offer an output for HDTVs.

Most current digital cameras support the ability to view pictures on a television set, but this is almost always at standard definition, which is close to VGA resolution of 640 pixels by 480 pixels. More often than not, the original image is much higher quality, so a better image could be displayed on an HDTV if the camera were capable of generating such a video image. That's what Sony has enabled its new Cybershot cameras to do.

"We are strongly promoting the importance of high-definition quality," said Kiyoshi Shikano, corporate senior vice president of Sony Marketing (Japan) at a Tokyo news conference Wednesday. "Here in Japan penetration of HDTV is going up every day. It's now almost at 30 percent of households so because of that we're encouraging people to watch digital still camera pictures at the level of high-definition rather than standard level."

An additional cable will be required for the high-definition connection. The VMC-MHC1 cable will go on sale on March 9 in Japan for YEN 4,935 (US$41) and will connect a Cybershot to a component level input on a television. It can also connect the CSS-HD1 docking unit to a television set. While in the dock the battery in the camera can also be recharged.

The HDTV output is available on the DSC-T100, T20, W200, W90, W80, H7 and H9 models.

The flagship model of the range is the T100, which combines a slim body with an optical 5X zoom and 8.1-megapixel class image sensor. It has a 3-inch display and will be available in Japan and the U.S. in March for about YEN 50,000 and about US$400, respectively.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service

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