By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Sony has announced the availability of its long-awaited BDP-S300 Blu-ray player and today also confirmed that it will launch a third player, the BDP-S500, to the market in the coming weeks.

First unveiled in June this year at the launch of the flagship BDP-S1, Sony’s first entrant into the Blu-ray player market, the S300 is the company’s first player targeting the general market with a price of RRP $999.

Sony today announced that the S300 is available to retailers and consumers.

Also announced today was the BDP-S500 (RRP $1,299), which will be Sony’s third Blu-ray player to hit the Australian market and will arrive later this month.

It features enhanced support for new audio decoding technologies and is placed for the premium home entertainment market.

“Built with rigid beam construction and a motorised sliding front panel, the BDP-S500 is a videophile’s delight,” said the company in a release today.

“The pristine images from high definition Blu-ray Disc movies and the 1080p DVD upscaling will make your HDTV come alive. Featuring LPCM, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD audio decoding for ultra-realistic sound, this player is not only a treat for the eyes but also the ears.”

Sony is claiming a lead for Blu-ray over rival HDDVD in the Australian market based on software title sales, which according to GfK figures are around 87 per cent in favour of Blu-ray.

Consumers who purchase a Blu-ray player before 31 December are also entitled to choose one Blu-ray movie from each of the five major Hollywood studios supporting the format.