By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: The new Z-series from Sony goes on sale today, and visual display product manager Jan Ergen told it is the best TV on the market for watching sport.

Enthusiasm for the sports tie-in at Sony is so strong, the iconic CE brand has signed up Everton and Socceroos star Tim Cahill as a brand spokesperson. Despite the recent negative publicity Cahill has received, Ergen was very happy with this arrangement.

“I’m very excited about launching the Z5500, which is the successor to our extremely successful Z4500, which was the world’s first 200Hz LCD TV.

“We’re following it up with the Z5500, which has second generation Motionflow 200Hz. We believe it’s an improvement on the smoothest picture ever and it’s definitely the best TV for the sports lover.”

In a release to all media yesterday, Sony quoted 2-time FA Cup runner-up Tim Cahill as saying, “You need the speed of Motionflow 200Hz to really capture the fast-paced action of the World Cup in 2010. Make sure you have the world’s fastest TV in your lounge room so you don’t miss any of the winning goals or action of the Aussies in this first-class contest.”

When asked why Cahill was chosen for this promotion, Ergen said it was a natural fit for a national public that is known for watching a lot of sport on TV.

“Obviously Australians love to watch sport on a big screen. We’re bringing three screen sizes of the Z-Series, all with 200Hz, ideal for the Aussie who wants to watch sport on TV, and Tim Cahill being such a strong performing Aussie, which we’re all very proud of on the soccer pitch, I think it’s a very good tie-in, and he will act as a very good spokesperson.”

When asked whether Sony’s faith in Cahill had been swayed by recent newspaper stories claiming to document his late night shenanigans at a Sydney bar, Ergen said the brand was not concerned with this negative press.

“What I worry about is Tim’s performance on the pitch, and to be honest with you, he’s performed very well.

“That’s what’s really been the reason we’ve brought him on board as a spokesperson for Bravia. Even going by his last performance in a World Cup Qualifier, where Australia made it through to the World Cup, he scored two goals down at the MCG, so in terms of his performance, we’ve been very happy.”

There are three new Sony Bravia models on sale from today (1 July 2009). The KDL52Z5500 (52-inch, RRP $5,199), the KDL46Z5500 (46-inch, RRP $4,199), and the KDL40Z5500 (40-inch, RRP $3,499). These three panels are all Full HD 1080p, contain the new Bravia engine 3, and feature Sony Motionflow 200Hz.