LAS VEGAS – Sharp will use CES to re-enter the rear-projection TV category with new models based on Texas Instruments' DLP technology, and will continue to push the envelope on LCD-TV design with a range of new AQUOS models highlighted by a 65W-inch 1,080p model that is billed as one of the world's largest.
The company will also reveal several new series of AQUOS “LC-TVs,” which will feature new cosmetic design concepts.
In rear projection, Sharp will showcase fully integrated, DLP models in the 56W-inch and 65W-inch screen sizes, according to a company spokesperson.
Sharp plans to have four DLP models, which will be split between those including uni-directional CableCARD slots and those without. Models
The 56WDR650 and 65DR650 omit CableCARD slots and are slated for March deliveries. Models 56WDR750 and 65WDR750 add CableCARD slots, TV Guide On Screen electronic program guides (EPGs) and Sharp scalers, and will ship in April. Pricing was still being determined.
The rear-projection models will have a unique “V” shape design. They will also offer 1,500:1 contrast ratios, and 150-degree viewing angles.
The models will mark a return to the rear-projection television category for Sharp, which used CRT products to launch its original foray into the digital television arena.
The choice to go with a DLP rather than an LCD engine for projection follows the company's successful ventures in marketing DLP front projectors. Sharp was the first U.S. vendor to introduce Texas Instruments' native 1,280 by 720p widescreen chip in a front-projection application.
The highlight of the show for the company will be a 65W-inch fully integrated direct-view LC-TV that includes an ATSC DTV tuner and digital CableCARD slot. The screen will present images in native 1,920 by 1,080p HDTV resolution.
Other features include Sharp's Quick Shoot video circuitry for fast response time, HDMI, 1394 and DVI-I advanced digital interfaces. The panel will be produced at Sharp's new Kameyama, Japan, LC-TV factory.
The HDTV set, which made its world debut at the CEATEC Show in Japan in September, is expected to be delivered in the second half of 2005 at a price to announced.
Another AQUOS model slated for CES introduction is the 37W-inch LC-37GB5U, which includes a built-in ATSC terrestrial tuner, and fixed side speakers. It will display high-definition images at a native 1,366-by-768 pixel resolution on an Advanced Super View LCD Panel using a low-reflection coating for reduced screen glare. The LC-37GB5U will ship in March at a price to be announced.
Among its growing family of fully integrated, digital cable-ready AQUOS models will be two new series of widescreen units, featuring contemporary black side finishes and integrated CableCARD slots for easy connection to digital cable services without the need of a set-top box.
Models in both series have 1,366-by-768 high-definition resolution. Included features are TV Guide On Screen EPGs; Quick Shoot video circuitry for fast response time; HDMI, IEEE-1394 and DVI-I advanced digital interfaces.
The D7U series models will feature a titanium finish with detachable bottom-mounted speakers, while the D5U series will be available in a silver finish with fixed side speakers. Models will include the 37W-inch LC-37D7U/D5U, the 32W-inch LC-32D7U/D5U and the 26W-inch LC-26D7U/D5U/. Both series will ship in first quarter at prices and screen sizes to be announced.
In 4:3 offerings, Sharp will present the B9U and B8U series, which feature new contemporary designs using black finishes along the sides of the cabinet. Highlighted models include the 20-inch LC-20B9U and LC-20B8U, which are positioned as HDTV monitors (1,024 by 768) with PC compatibility. EDTV versions will be available in the 13-inch and 15-inch screen sizes as models LC-13B8U, LC-15B8U and LC-15B9U.
All present 480p images and will scale HDTV to the native resolution using advanced I-to-P circuitry employing 3:2 pull-down techniques. All models offer brightness levels of 480 cd/m2.
The B9U models include the 20- and 15-inch screen sizes, titanium finishes and side-mounted speakers. The B8U models feature the 20-inch, 15-inch and 13-inch screen sizes and are available in silver with side speakers. All models are due to ship in the second quarter at prices to be announced.
The new AQUOS S4U series will include the 20-inch LC-20S4U and LC-15S4U models. Both feature 4:3 aspect ratios, 480p EDTV resolution, bottom-mounted speakers and black side finishes.
The Series incorporates Optical Picture Control (OPC), which automatically adjusts the brightness of the TV based on the room's ambient light. These EDTV monitors feature 480p compatibility for viewing progressive DVDs, as well as 170-degree viewing angles and 500:1 contrast ratio.
The LC-20S4U will be available in the first quarter of 2005, and the LC-15S4U will be available in the second quarter of 2005. Pricing was not determined.
In video introductions, Sharp will present a new DVD recorder/VCR combination unit — model DV-RW600U — that is slated for delivery in February at a $329.99 suggested retail. The unit features progressive-scan DVD playback and enables recording television programming straight to DVD or transferring home videos from VHS to DVD. Features include simultaneous use of the VCR and DVD decks. The DVD recorder records to DVD-RW/-R media, but it will playback discs recorded in DVD+RW/+R formats, in addition to CD-R/-RW discs and MP3 files.