Sony has launched a TV box of tricks combining Wi-Fi and Bravia Internet Video in one package.
The launch comes ahead of its press event on 12 October to unveil its first internet television, which is tipped to run Android.
The SMP-N100, a compact ‘network media player' will offer Wi-Fi connection to a home network and DLNA compatibility to stream audio and video content. Sony said the player is compatible with lots of file formats as well as Bravia Internet Video.
Some commentators may question the timing of the launch, given its forthcoming internet telly, especially as Sony is an important partner in Google's TV ambitions.
The box's built-in Bravia Internet Video gives users access to iPlayer, YouTube and the ability to order film from LoveFilm in the UK, while it also has 1080P video output on HDMI and compatibility for hi def audio codecs so it can connect to home cinema equipment. The box hits the stores in October.
Meanwhile, Sony Pictures, plus fellow film studios Warner Bros and Walk Disney are chatting to cable TV systems about offering films just after they debut at the cinema for a stonking $30 per showing, according to Bloomberg.
Sources told the news service that the studios are in talks with In Demand, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, while Disney is mulling streaming films though the Xbox and PlayStation 3 consoles.
Hollywood execs have been searching for a new way to boost sales as people buy less DVDs and seem to think a premium service designed to beat DVDs or cable channels to showing the new releases could bring home the bacon.
Sony reportedly tested out the idea with its Bravia TV customers in 2008 by releasing a Will Smith film early for $24.95 but has not said it will offer another pricey film via its TV sets.
Meanwhile Time Warner's CFO, John Martin reportedly said Warner Bros will begin tests on a similar service later on this year, with the price expected to be between $20 and $30 per viewing. Another anonymous source told the news service that Disney will probably test out a premium service in Q1 2011 with a single film but has not settled on pricing or how long the film could hit TV sets after its cinema release.
In related internet TV news, Apple has quashed rumours of Apple TV delays as people who have pre-ordered the device have reportedly received notification that the product has been ‘prepared for shipment', Electronista reported.
Speedy shipping should mean Apple will hit its target of pushing its media hub out to its customers in the US by late September.
However, new orders are believed to arrive a few weeks later, although it is not known whether the backlog is down to high demand or a shortage of vital parts.