Sony's next-gen Blu-ray machines

To the victor the spoils – and to us these two new Blu-ray spinners, the S350 and S550.Bedecked with suitably partisan blue fascias, the new Son

To the victor the spoils – and to us these two new Blu-ray spinners, the S350 and S550.

Bedecked with suitably partisan blue fascias, the new Sonys bring with them features, including Bonus View (think picture-in-picture, so you'll be able to see a director as they give their commentary). In too goes BD Live for downloading extra online goodies to a connected USB drive.

Both will handle full 1080p and cinema-rate 24p output with aplomb, and perform HD DVD's trick of upscaling old DVDs to lush 1080p. Meanwhile your home cinema set-up will be indulged with 7.1-channel Dolby TrueHD decoding.

The chunkier S550 adds built-in DTS-HD High Resolution and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, as well as 7.1 analogue outs. It also gets 1GB of storage to justify the modestly higher price-tag.

They're both some way off launch, so don't hold out much hope of getting your paws on them before the autumn. Hopefully your HD DVD collection will stretch 'til then.

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Sony BDP-S350, S550

Price: £TBA ($400 and $500 in US)

On sale: TBA

Contact: Sony