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Press Release: VPL-VW885ES True 4K HDR Laser Projector

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — (CEDIA Booth #4935) Today, Sony Electronics announced pricing and availability details on its newest true 4K HDR laser home theater projector, delivering superior picture quality equipped with the latest innovative technologies. Armed with 2,000 lumens of brightness, Infinite Dynamic Contrast with real-time laser light level control and 20,000 hours of lamp life, the new VPL-VW885ES delivers an immersive yet whisper-quiet environment for an unrivaled home cinema-viewing experience in a compact chassis.

VPL-VW885ES joins the line of Sony’s true HDR projectors with true cinema quality images, creating an unforgettable home entertainment experience. (PRNewsfoto/Sony Electronics)

Press Release: Three New Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — 4:15am (13:15 CET/Berlin) Sony Electronics announced today three wireless headphones with industry leading noise cancellation technology.1 These new additions to the 1000X family enable listeners to escape the noise and focus on the music they want to hear with the headphone style of their choice. The truly wireless style WF-1000X is completely free of wires and fits snugly in-ear while incorporating Sony’s industry leading noise cancelling technology – a first for Sony. The WI-1000X is designed for commuters and others that prefer the behind-the-neck style for listening to music while on the go. And the new WH-1000XM2 is an enhanced version of the popular around-ear style with more options to tailor the sound to your environment.

Go truly wireless with Sony’s new WF-1000X earbuds (PRNewsfoto/Sony Electronics)
Sony’s new behind-the-neck wireless noise cancelling WI-1000X for the sophisticated commuter (PRNewsfoto/Sony Electronics)

Launch Event: Using an Art Installation to Launch a new Sony OLED TV

NEW YORK, May 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Installation by KAZ Shirane, powered by BRAVIA OLED. World renowned artist KAZ Shirane joins Sony Electronics for an immersive audio-visual art collaboration powered by the A1E BRAVIA OLED TV. The site-specific installation, EVOLVE, will be on display at WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC on 262 Bowery, in the heart of the Bowery Arts District.

The interactive art installation is designed by Tokyo-based KAZ Shirane. The artwork, brought to life by the A1E BRAVIA OLED Series TVs, will incorporate various uses of sound and visual effects that engage the mind and work together towards a synergy of technology and art.

KAZ Shirane (Masakazu Shirane) based in TOKYO, is internationally recognized for his work in spatial art, architecture and interior design. KAZ graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts and Universidad Europea de Madrid where he majored in architecture. KAZ also built the concept of an interactive space design method where “the designer of this space is you,” as well as a series of art installations, titled “WINK Space” and “Light Origami.”

“KAZ Shirane’s work in architecture, interior design, and spatial art is a natural complement to the Sony BRAVIA OLED’s innovative collaboration of technology and design. We are thrilled to enable this opportunity for guests to experience both KAZ’s art and the technology of BRAVIA OLED in person,” said Deputy President of Sony Electronics, Toshi Okuda. “Sony Electronics is at the forefront of changing the way television is experienced.”

The invitation graphic for press.

Link to the full press release: https://www.sony.com/en_us/SCA/company-news/press-releases/sony-electronics/2017/sony-electronics-presents-evolve-installation-by-kaz-shirane-powered-by-bravia-oled-may-57-at-westwood-gallery-nyc.html

Press Release: One Signature Sound – Pushing the Boundaries with Ultimate Audio

Sony’s new Signature Series: reference standard MDR-Z1R headphones, NW-WM1Z Walkman, and TA-ZH1ES headphone amplifier. (PRNewsFoto/Sony Electronics)

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — As part of its 70th anniversary celebration, Sony Electronics unveiled today a new line of high resolution personal audio products that have been specifically designed to deliver the ultimate in music performance. All four models – including the MDR-Z1R headphones, NW-WM1Z and NW-WM1A Walkman® players, and the TA-ZH1ES headphone amplifier – have been meticulously crafted to address the needs of the most demanding music enthusiasts.

Designed to complement each other as a “Signature Series”, together the headphones, Walkman® and amplifier bring the ultimate sound quality to listeners’ ears. Taking an unconventional approach to design, Sony brought together the highest quality materials and structures for reproducing the best possible sound. The organic shapes visible in every detail reflect a design based on the laws of physics for creating superior audio quality. All materials have been selected based on the principals of acoustic design.

More Stars than in Heaven

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If you ever find yourself in Los Angeles in the vicinity of Wilshire and Westwood Boulevards (an easy stroll down from my alma mater, UCLA), take an hour out of your busy day to visit the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. A hundred years ago, the cemetery was surrounded by dirt roads and grasslands. Now, as it is entirely surrounded by high-rise buildings and is no longer even visible from the street. It’s a good bet that the vast majority of drivers passing on nearby Wilshire Boulevard have no idea it’s even there. In fact, it’s a bit tricky to find even if you know where it is – it always takes me a couple of tries to locate the alley which serves as the unassuming entrance.

Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.  (Photo credit: Oleg Alexandrov)
Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. (Photo credit: Oleg Alexandrov)

The Westwood Cemetery was established in 1905 as Sunset Cemetery, the burial ground for the sleepy village of Westwood, CA. It is just 2 ½ acres, miniscule by most cemetery standards. By contrast, Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills sprawls over hundreds of acres. If you are into dead celebrities, both are worth a visit. The Westwood Cemetery, however, has more entertainment industry luminaries interred or entombed per square foot than any cemetery in the world.

Marilyn Monroe’s niche in the mausoleum (Photo credit: Tom Laemmel)

When I visited recently with my daughter, we had the place mostly to ourselves. She was impressed by Marilyn Monroe’s niche in the mausoleum, stained pink from all the smooches left over time. She’s a teenager, so recognized few other entertainment industry icons. For my part, it was sobering to realize just how many of the names I did recall. 

Billy Wilder’s tombstone (Photo credit: Tom Laemmel)

Billy Wilder’s tombstone is sure to elicit a chuckle for those that recognize the reference to what is probably the most famous line from his film, Some Like It Hot. Wilder was also the screenwriter of Sunset Boulevard: a movie which famously opens with the screenwriter star (William Holden) floating dead in the swimming pool of a Sunset Boulevard mansion. It seems that Billy Wilder had a sense of humor about his chosen profession.

Marilyn Monroe’s is the most visited gravesite at Westwood Village Memorial Park. Legend has it that Joe Dimaggio had roses sent to her every week for as long as he lived. And Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, is rumored to have purchased the burial spot next to her for his future resting place (it remains unmarked). The second most visited gravesite is probably Natalie Wood’s, who died a tragic death by drowning, and was the star of Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story, and Splendor in the Grass. Just one row down from Natalie Wood’s grave lies Col. Hogan of TV’s Hogan’s Heroes, Bob Crane, (another actor with a tragic Hollywood death). Three rows down is the grave of actor Eddie Albert, star of the Green Acres TV sitcom about a New York lawyer who drags his spoiled wife out to live on a farm (played by Eva Gabor, also buried here). In this same area is the gravesite of actress Donna Reed who won an Oscar in 1955 for her supporting role in From Here to Eternity. She also played Jimmy Stewart’s wife, Mary, in the 1946 Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, but she may only be known to some as Miss Ellie, from her role on the original Dallas TV series.

There goes the neighborhood! (Photo credit: Tom Laemmel)
Rodney Dangerfield’s headstone: “There goes the neighborhood.”

There are simply too many luminaries to recount, giving a new twist to MGM’s claim from the 1940’s that they had “more stars than there are in heaven.” Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, the original Odd Couple, are buried not far apart. Dean Martin, Carroll O’Connor, Brian Keith, Don Knotts, George C. Scott, Burt Lancaster, James Coburn, Karl Malden, John Cassavetes, Robert Stack, Eve Arden, Eva Gabor and John Cassavetes. Rodney Dangerfield’s headstone reads, “There goes the neighborhood.”

Frank Zappa’s Unmarked Grave (Photo credit: Tom Laemmel)

Curiously there are still open plots and crypts, along with evidence of recent internments. How does this place not fill up? There’s the unmarked empty crypt next to Marilyn Monroe and some empty spots in the grass aren’t really empty at all: a blank space just beside Lew Ayers (nominated for an Oscar in 1948 for Johnny Belinda) is where Frank Zappa was buried with no marker. A few yards away lies Roy Orbison’s unmarked grave.

In addition to all the movie stars, Westwood Cemetery has its share of movie moguls, such as Darryl F. Zanuck, authors like Truman Capote, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch (author of Psycho), Sidney Sheldon and the previously mentioned Billy Wilder. Musicians are represented as well; Mel Tormé, Minnie Riperton, “the world’s greatest drummer” Buddy Rich, and Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys are interred here.

By the way, today is Marilyn Monroe’s birthday. She was born June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles and died August 5, 1962 in her Brentwood home, just a couple miles from the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

A version of this article also appeared on the Snackdish users blog — a now defunct social platform for TV and movies which closed its doors in 2018.

Press Release: Run to the Rhythm with the New Smart Trainer from Sony

Sony Smart B-Trainer (PRNewsFoto/Sony Electronics)

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Electronics announced today the new Smart B-Trainer, an all-in-one training device and application that features intelligent music playback based on heart rate1 monitoring, various training plans, and real time voice coaching2. Developed for avid runners, the Smart B-Trainer™ comes in a non-slip, neckband-style housing to provide maximum freedom of exercise movements.

This sports companion integrates Sony’s latest audio advancements with sensor and software technologies to provide a holistic exercise experience. It consists of the SSE-BTR1 headphone-integrated device that is packed with six types of sensors – heart rate, acceleration, GPS, compass, gyro and barometer – and measures, as well as records, eleven  types of running logs – heart rate, burned calories, distance, time, speed, pace, cadence, steps, stride, running route and elevation.

Video: Executive VP, NTT Com

Produced this video of Michael Wheeler, executive vice president of NTT Communications’ Global IP Network at NTT America, discussing the wholesale IP industry move from 10G to 100G – one of the major developments shaping the market today.

I pitched the project, prepared the speaker, scripted the Q&A, selected the production company and worked on the editing. This video is part of a larger NTT Com campaign which will be played out over the coming year.