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Sharp Debuts 'Spectacularge' 70-Inch TV

4/18/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK – Sharp Electronics officially launched
sales of its first 70-inch class Quattron Full HD
1080p LCD TVs through an expanded retail distribution
network encompassing more than 7,000 outlets
around the country.

At a press event last week Sharp said it has added
more than 1,300 retail outlets to carry the behemoth
set, which the company calls the largest LCD TV available,”
in the last 90 days, due largely to the excitement
the massive screen size is bringing to sales floors.

The TV will be supported by an extensive consumer ad
campaign (budget numbers were not disclosed) emphasizing
the 70-incher’s size including the use of creative
superlatives like “jumbowhelming” and “spectacularge.”

Sharp has already started deliveries of the LC-
70LE732U ($3,800 suggested retail) 70-inch model
with greater quantities scheduled to ramp up over the
next several weeks. The first of what will be four model
classes for the 70-inch LED-backlit LCD screen
size will offer full 1080p resolution, a 120Hz refresh
rate and IPTV connectivity.

Later this summer the company will add three more
70-inch step-up models, including units that add
240Hz refresh rates and a top-of-line model with active-
shutter 3D capability.

Sharp Electronic Marketing Co. of America (SEMCA)
president John Herrington said the company
will make another announcement later in the year for
the planned use of the Elite brand it is licensing
from Pioneer.

Herrington said Sharp will use the 70-inch screen
size to maintain its No. 1 market share position in
large-screen LCD TV (a position Sharp said it has held
since 2008). Currently, Sharp defines large-screen TV
as screen sizes measuring 60-inches and larger.

“U.S. consumers are clearly voting for large screen
television,” said Herrington. “It is the fastest growing
segment. Consumers are demanding big, they are
looking forward to big and they want bigger.”

The 70LE732U shipping now joins a number of
Sharp Aquos 60-inch class Quattron models already
on retail shelves.

All of the large screen sets feature Sharp’s exclusive
Aquos Quattron quad-pixel LED technology,
and Sharp’s connected IPTV system with built in Wi-
Fi offering access to Vudu, Netflix, Blockbuster and
CinemaNow streaming video services, in addition to
Facebook and other apps.

But the highlight of last Wednesday’s launch was
the new massive screen size which gives Sharp a bigscreen
LCD TV that can compete in both size and
price with super large plasma displays.

At 70-inches the new sets offer 62 percent more
viewing area than a typical 55-inch model.

To support the rollout, Sharp’s national advertising
campaign leverages TV, print, Web and in-store promotional
vehicles. The campaign’s tag line is “‘Big’ is
too small a word,” referring to the size and viewing experience
the new model delivers, so Sharp is turning
to the newly-coined aforementioned words to describe
the screen.

TV spots will target key programming including
sporting events that tend to draw males between the
ages of 35-54 years old – the prime audience (or
“sweet spot”) for the 70-inch screen size, said Mark
Viken, SEMCA marketing VP.

Separately Sharp’s recent decision to temporarily
suspend production at two of its largest LCD panel
plants in Japan due to shortages of materials from the
recent earth quake there, is unlikely to have any impact
on supplies of Sharp-branded TVs in the U.S.,
said company chairman Kozo Takahashi. Sharp has
suspended operations until May 6 at its LCD factories
in Osaka and Mie prefectures.