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Sharp To Ship Aquos LCD/Blu-ray Combos

12/15/2008 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Sharp will ship in January a pair of HD Aquos LCD TVs with integrated Blu-ray Disc players, according to Mike Troetti, Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America (SEMCA) president.

The first sets will have screen sizes of 32 inches and 42 inches. The 42-inch model will feature 1080p Full HD resolution and 120Hz frame-rate processing. Both will include a multi-slot loading mechanism for playback of Blu-ray, DVD and CD discs.

Troetti said the products will be targeted at consumers looking for wall-mounting applications and those who need less clutter on tabletop placements and in secondary rooms such as bedrooms and dorms.

News of the sets was first hinted at during a press conference in Japan last October, when Sharp announced the launch of a new series of Aquose sets with integrated Blu-ray Disc recorders for the Japanese market.

Pricing on the U.S. combo players was not available, although the 42-inch model is expected to see a suggested retail of less than $2,000.

Meanwhile, Sharp kicked off the holiday season by unveiling "the Aquos Experience" display — a Christmas tree composed of 43 different Aquos LCD TVs in screen sizes from 19 inches to 52 inches — as part of the Kaleidoscope Light Show taking place through the month of December in Grand Central Terminal, here.

Sharp is a presenting sponsor of the laser-light show, which projects holiday-themed images synched to Christmas carols on the train station's massive walls and arched ceiling.

Sharp is also contributing up to $100,000 toward The Hope Program, which helps impoverished, unemployed individuals in New York City find jobs.