updated 1/12/2005 9:17:57 PM ET 2005-01-13T02:17:57

Sony Corp.'s Creation Box makes images from any TV clearer, flicker-free and more vivid. Users can zoom in on high-definition video without distortion. But at $4,800, it's not for everyone.

The Creation Box, going on sale in Japan this month with no plans to offer it overseas, looks like a black box with a handheld remote control. It uses technology that adjusts TV signals so that images' outlines and textures look sharper and clearer, even on larger screens.

You still need a separate TV display and tuner.

In a recent demonstration using the Creation Box with two 32-inch traditional TV monitors, flickering was negligible. The outlines of distant trees sharpened, glass looked shinier and the sense of landscape perspective was enhanced.

The zoom-in feature is intended to help users edit home videos by letting them adjust images' framing and zoom in on a subject, such as one's child. But viewers can also use close ups on high-definition TV broadcast images without distortion.

Sony officials said the technology is being added to Sony's new TVs.

So why buy the Creation Box? Sony says it can be used with older TVs, as well as far cheaper models from rival brands.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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