Sony Hits Its Stride With In-Car Connectivity At Sema Trade Show
Sony’s mobile electronics showroom at the Specialty Equipment Market Association’s (SEMA) annual trade show here is featuring new Xplōd products that bring to life major mobile electronics connectivity trends.
These trends include made-for-iPod head units that charge the device and provide full menu control. Attendees can also see how to make hands-free phone call capabilities and stream music wirelessly with Bluetooth-enabled head units. They can hear higher-quality sounding HD Radio broadcasts and multi-channel, 5.1-Channel surround sound for the car.
“Connectivity is the key trend this year,” said Mike Kahn, director of mobile electronics in the Digital Imaging and Audio Division at Sony Electronics. “Consumers want to listen to their music their way. We are providing head units that offer those options at very attractive prices.”
Plus, attendees can view for the first time at SEMA Sony’s in-car and marine head units that make connectivity a snap. For drivers on a budget who want to listen to their digital music player, satellite radio or HD Radio™ on the road, the company recently unveiled four very connectable Xplod® in-dash head units.
For about $140, the new top-of-the-line CD receiver (model CDX-GT520) provides the most options for connectivity in the car. One of the most economical models is the CDX-GT420IP CD receiver for about $130, which comes with an iPod control interface. The CDX-GT320 unit costs about $100 and provides iPod, HD Radio and satellite radio compatibility. At about $80, the CDX-GT120 CD receiver has front auxiliary input, one pre-out and a detachable faceplate with a blue 13-segment LED screen.
The models (CDX-GT320 at about $100 and the CDX-GT520 at around $140) require additional equipment for satellite radio, HD Radio and iPod compatibility. They work with an iPod adapter (model XA-120IP for about $50) that charges the device and controls it from the head unit. Satellite radio requires a subscription.
For music lovers spending time on the water, Sony launched its first splash-proof, IPx5-compliant, CD receiver with iPod-direct control functionality (model CDX-H905IP). The marine head unit and three new models CDX-M10, CDX-M30 and CDX-M50IP are UV resistant CD receivers. The CDX-M50IP unit has iPod-direct control functionality. The CDX-H905IP, CDX-M30 and CDX-M50IP models offer ways to connect to digital music players and HD Radio and satellite radio. They range from about $130 to $350 and will be available in February.
Sony Xplōd head units, speakers, subs and amps are installed inside five fully laced vehicles, including Sony’s feature build, the Corpala.
“The Corpala has the body of an Impala, but is built to perform like a Corvette,” Kahn said. “We chose this as our centerpiece vehicle because it’s an extraordinary build inside and out.”
Corpala owner Christian Prusia incorporated Sony’s XAV-W1 multi-channel audio/video head unit, as well as Sony’s iPod adapter, two video screens, front and rear speakers, three amps and two subs into the 1963 two-door hardtop Impala.
The Corpala project was built around a simple concept: Accentuate the lines and styling of a classic muscle car (e.g. ’63 Impala), while incorporating the most modern performance drivetrain imaginable. The result is a stunning reinvention of the classic muscle car that rivals the handling and performance of GM’s prized Z06 Corvette.
Including the Corpala, Sony has five vehicles featured in its showcase. Lawrence Weiner designed a 2007 Dodge Ram 1500 as the prototype for limited edition production in conjunction with “Mr. Norm,” the legendary high-performance Dodge dealer from Chicago.
Showing his passion for exotic cars, John Wargo built his fantasy vehicle, a 2008 Lamborghini Superleggera Replica. He installed an XAV-W1 video head unit, six amps, front, rear and trunk monitors, multiple subs and speakers. He also mildly modified a 2004 BMW 770Li luxury sedan by adding three Sony amps, front monitors, two subs and three speakers.
A 2008 GMC Acadia built by Jim Lewis features Sony’s XAV-W1 video head unit, the HD Radio tuner, iPod adapter, subs, amps and speakers. Sony also has a 23-foot Centurion ski boat built by Steve Yiu to display its marine line-up including, head units, subs, amps, remote controls and speakers.
Try It Before You Buy It
The Xplōd Experience Center (located in booth 11066) lets attendees use Sony’s multi-channel, HD Radio and Bluetooth-enabled mobile electronics products. The multi-channel display features the MEX-DV2000 and XAV-W1 head units that provide outstanding picture and sound quality, easy connectivity to MP3 players, and personalization options.
In the HD Radio section, listeners can hear the improved sound quality that HD Radio provides, while using Sony’s HD Radio adapter (model XT-100HD) with CDX-GT series head unit.
In the Bluetooth section, visitors can learn about the convenience of making hands-free calls from mobile phones and listening to music streaming from digital music players through the company’s MEX-BT2500 and MEX-BT5000 head units.
Play Gran Turismo 5 Prologue
Sony Electronics and Sony Computer Entertainment of America have collaborated on this year’s Sony SEMA booth to provide a compelling entertainment experience for SEMA attendees. For the first time in North America, auto enthusiasts will be able to play Gran Turismo™ 5 Prologue, available exclusively for PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™), on one of four kiosks at the booth.
Additionally, Sony will be projecting Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, running in stunning full HD at 1080p and 60 fps (frames per second). Games are being projected on four 10 x 20 foot screens using Sony’s SXRD 4K digital projector. The video is being played back at a resolution of 3840 x 2160, which is four times the resolution of the most advanced high-definition televisions used in home theater systems.
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