SONY ELECTRONICS WANTS TO MAKE IT EASIER for builders to mass-market home entertainment to owners of new homes in the $200,000 to $500,000 price range.

Earlier this spring, the company started shipping a turnkey home entertainment system that comes with a television screen, a DVD/CD changer, a VCR, and a receiver/tuner. The systems are designed for three, five, or seven rooms and are cable-, satellite-, and HDTV-ready. Pricing starts at $10,000 and runs up to $25,000.

Neil Manowicz, Sony's senior manager of business development and strategy, says Sony will work closely with builders and integrators to develop a customized show-home display and pricing for their local markets.

“What's different here is that there's never been a complete solution from a manufacturer. Usually the integrator does all the work,” says Manowicz. “We're squeezing out the integration costs, instead of every system being a one-off.”

Manowicz says builders and integrators have been limited in what they can sell because the cost of custom integration typically drives the price of many systems to more than $50,000.

“Home theaters don't have to be for million-dollar homes,” says Manowicz.