4/27/11 Update and correction

Sony is a legendary name in television. They revolutionized color TV picture quality with their Trinitron picture tubes. From the 1970s to the present, Sony created dozens of innovative designs.

Today marks the beginning of a shift at Sony, the transition from an end-to-end TV manufacturer to a provider of television products that address a variety of different market segments.

According to a report out of Taiwan by Digitimes,

over the past year, Sony began contracting with Foxconn, a major Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, for TV assembly.  Foxconn is now in the process of upgrading their capabilities, in order to become a complete production service that also offers ODM (original design manufacturing).  This initial step will enable them to broaden their role in the production of those entry level Sony TV models that are sold through Wal-Mart, warehouse clubs and other discount chains.

A statement to HD Guru from a Sony Electronics corporate communications spokesperson in the U.S. confirmed that the story “…refers to our strategic decision to produce televisions that compete in the low-price, high-volume market segment in which many of our competitors already deploy models.”

Sony closed and sold off its TV assembly lines during the last few years as part of a company reorganization. The report adds that Sony plans to use Foxconn’s manufacturing and design services to land orders for about 14 million Bravia LCD HDTVs in 2011.

To support other market segments, Sony is in the process of updating its televisions for 2012 and beyond. Its 2011 TV innovations include: greatly expanded Internet content and services with the addition Netflix, Crackle, Yahoo! Connected TV Store, Moshcam, Billiblog and Hulu Plus.

On the hardware side, Sony’s new for 2011 features are: its exclusive X-reality and X-reality Pro signal processing for crisper cleaner images with all sources including streaming Internet content,  Intelligent Peak local LED dimming for deep inky black levels and unique high-end styling with its chiseled “Monolith Design” concept incorporating Corning’s Gorilla Glass, a stronger, thinner, lighter, screen material.

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