Sony has launched an HD version of its Vaio TP Home Theatre PC.

The new model has turned heads with its round chassis design.

It is being marketed as an entire entertainment centre, where users can watch and record analogue, digital and cable TV, including premium HD channels (although a CableCARD is required for this).

It can also access the Internet so users can play back online TV programming on a compatible big-screen television.

The VAIO HTPC comes in both a standard and a premium configuration. Both versions feature a Blu-ray Disc optical drive.

The premium model comes with two external CableCARD compatible TV tuners so users can view and record two HD television programs simultaneously.

With built-in DVR functionality, each unit can record up to 50 hours of HD television programming and pause and rewind live TV for on-demand playback.

The models connect to compatible HD televisions via an included HDMI cable for playback in full HD 1080 resolution through a single cable.

They also boast integrated Bravia Sync technology, which means that users can power on connected devices, at the touch of a button, eliminating the need for multiple remote controls.

Additional features include built-in wireless LAN technology and a wireless router, a remote control and a matching, wireless keyboard.

The unit is equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor T8100, and is built around the Windows Vista Home Premium operating system.

The VAIO TP Home Theater PC standard model, available in polar white, will start at about $1600, while the premium model, available in piano black, will go for around $3000.

Both will go on sale later this month.