By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York — Sharp Electronics used the opening day of the CE Week Line Shows trade event to formally unveil its first Ultra High-Definition (a.k.a. 4K) edge-lit LED LCD TV.
The 70-inch set, which will carry a $7,999 price under Sharp's unilateral pricing policy when it goes on sale in August, is the first in the Sharp line to offer as much as 3,840 by 2,160 resolution.
The set is also one of the first edge-lit LED LCD TVs in the industry to carry THX Ultra HD certification.
At International CES in January, Sharp had played up the extra resolution afforded by its latest version of Quattron quad-pixel technology as offering better picture quality than many competitive 4K TVs using 1080p-to-4K up-scaling technology.
“Just when you thought our television viewing experience had reached the pinnacle, along comes Sharp’s Ultra High-Definition LED televisions — a television that re-defines the breakthrough television viewing experience, an experience that redefines possible by revealing an image depth and clarity that is truly mesmerizing and revolutionary,” said John Herrington, Sharp Electronics Marketing Co. of America president.
Jim Sanduski, Sharp strategic product marketing VP, said Sharp’s new 4K set will incorporate a dual-core processor, and an Ultra HD processing chip driven by Sharp-developed up-conversion algorithms to deliver one of the best up-scaled 4K pictures in the industry.
The company will also offer four HDMI 1.4 ports compatible with some Ultra HD content, if and when that arrives, as well as an SD card capable of playing back better-than-4K digital stills and movie clips. It will also include a high-speed USB input compatible with 4K material.
Sanduski said the Sharp 70-inch Ultra HD TV will also incorporate a built-in 35-watt multi-speaker, dual-subwoofer sound system with separate midrange, tweeter and subwoofer drivers built into the front-firing array.
The set also incorporates Sharp’s SmartCentral smart-TV system, with a host of Cloud-based streaming and entertainment apps, an open web browser and split-screen web browsing/TV watching capability. Android and iOS devices can be used to control the TV via a remote control app. Content from the devices can be shared via built-in Wi-Fi.
When not watching TV, wallpaper mode can be used to turn the TV into a 70-inch picture frame.
“This is our best designed TV, ever,” Sanduski said, adding that the “4K format’s ability to reproduce fine detail is best showcased on larger screens.”
The company will distribute the set through UPP partner dealers including local specialty A/V, custom installer and CE chains with regional and national footprints.
The set will offer improved image quality, but Sharp executives were hesitant to say if it would produce the same award-winning black level, contrast and color performance as the company’s Elite branded FullHD LCD TVs, which are on a temporary hiatus.
Sharp marketing VP Mark Viken told TWICE it was too early to say what Sharp’s plans might be for the Elite line later this year or next year.
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