Sony preps handheld Bravia digital TV

Sony is packing its Bravia technology into a new handheld TV it plans to put on sale in Japan in April.

Sony is packing its Bravia technology into a new handheld TV it plans to put on sale in Japan in April.

The 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 set includes Sony's "mobile Bravia engine" digital image processor that seeks to improve the picture's color, contrast and brightness for an overall better image.

Like many other OneSeg devices the new TV features the ability to record programs. Users can program recording from the TV's electronic program guide, and there's enough memory for up to 10 hours of video. There's a cradle for charging, and it also has a socket enabling the TV to be hooked up to an external antenna.

The device also includes an AM and FM radio. Battery life is eight hours when watching TV, 27 hours when listening to the FM radio and 34 hours for the AM radio.

It will hit the market on April 10 and cost US$355.

Sony is hoping the device will get a sales kick from the substantial brand it has built up around the Bravia name. Sony has previously used the name on Sony Ericsson cell phones with a TV function as have other TV makers, such as Sharp with its Aquos brand and Panasonic with Viera.

Sony will also sell a second portable TV set on the same day but it doesn't include the Bravia technology. The XDV-G200 has a 2-inch screen and will cost US$281.

The OneSeg TV service is based on the ISDB-T standard that is only used in Japan so the sets won't work overseas.

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