By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LAS VEGAS — Sharp underscored its leadership in big-screen TV at International CES by introducing 21 60-inch plus Aquos LED LCD TV models, more than half of which will incorporate the company’s proprietary Quattron quad-pixel technology.
In addition, the company gave attendees a gander at its upcoming Ultra High-Definition TV plans by unveiling a pair of “4K” (3,840- by 2,160-pixel) models due later this year. The first, called ICC Purios, will appear this summer carrying Sharp’s integrated cognitive creation (ICC) image processor, which was designed to present 4K pictures in the same way a human brain processes them. The 60-inch set is also the first 4K model to receive THX certification.
The second Ultra HD set will carry the Aquos sub-brand when it rolls out in the second half of the year. It will feature a different up-scaling system to display standard 1080p content on the expanded 4K pixel screen.
The set will also have Sharp’s Moth Eye nano-scale conical coating, which is said to simulate the glare-removal aspects of a moth’s eye to minimize reflections on the LCD screen.
For the future, Sharp showed a prototype 85-inch 8K LED-lit LCD TV with 7,680 by 4,320 resolution.
As for the core 2013 Aquos LED LCD TV line, models in 60-, 70- and 80-inch screen sizes are expanding with more feature selections and new slimmer cosmetic designs.
“It’s simple — consumers want big screens with excellent picture quality, something that Sharp is uniquely able to deliver,” John Herrington, Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America (SEMCA) president, explained in presenting the sets.
Models in Sharp’s 2013 7 and 8 series will include Quattron color technology that adds a yellow pixel to the standard red-green-blue sub-pixel structure, producing more than a billion colors, the company said.
The system is said to offer greater detail, smoother lines, brighter yellows, deeper blues and richer golds.
This year, screen brightness is also enhanced to expand room-placement options.
New 8-series models with Quattron introduce Sharp’s Super Bright system, which combines an intelligent contrast engine offering a 50 percent brighter panel with more contrast.
The intelligent contrast engine constantly analyzes the signal and enhances the brightness of bright objects on the screen while maintaining the black levels on the rest of the screen, Sharp said.
All three large-screen series (6-, 7- and 8-series) include smart-TV functionality, using a dual-core processor, web browser and built-in Wi-Fi.
Sharp’s SmartCentral platform, which is enhanced with Flash, HTML5 and expanded apps, provides unrestricted access to web-based content.
This year SmartCentral will include support for Android and iOS remote-control operation, and will feature Sharp Beam, a free app that enables sending content from an iOS and Android smartphone or tablet to the big screen with a flick.
Another SmartCentral feature enables split screens for simultaneous TV viewing and web browsing. Netflix subscribers will be able to search for content on their smartphone or tablet and then select to watch it on their Aquos TV with Netflix Second Screen capability.
The 2013 Aquos slim designs feature a slim screen bezel to fit more TV in less space. The 7 and 8 series include brushed-aluminum frames, with the 8 series adding diamond-cut edges and a silver finish. Roundededge on a new silver-plated O-shaped stand are also part of the 8-series floating-screen design style.
A new Wallpaper mode will allow pre-installed artwork images or the pictures stored in USB memory to display on the screen at a reduced light level that mirrors museum conditions, so the screen blends into the room décor, according to Sharp.
Eleven of the large-screen Aquos models feature Full- HD 1080p active-shutter 3D glasses technology. New for 2013 is the use of Bluetooth 3D glasses that eliminate signal interference.
For sound support, the 6-series models feature 20- watt audio for high fidelity with clear voice. The 7- and 8-series models add Yamaha DSP technology and a 15- watt subwoofer, for a total of 35 watts.
Most Aquos LED TVs are Energy Star 6.0 compliant. In addition, an Optical Picture (OPC) feature helps save power by using a sensor on the front of the TV to detect ambient room light, and automatically adjust the picture for brightness.
Connected TVs have access to Aquos Advantage Live, Sharp’s free remote customer-support program. Using the system, trained advisors remotely connect via the Internet to the TV to assist with setup, troubleshooting and picture optimization.
A live answer component enables a Sharp expert to connect using a dedicated line, 1-87-SEE-AQUOS, for further assistance.
Sharp’s Aquos Quattron 8-series 3D LED LCD TV models include the 80-inch LC-80LE857 (shipping in April at a price to be announced), the 70-inch LC- 70LE857 (April) and the 60-inch LC-60LE857 (March).
All offer “Super Bright” pictures, 1080p resolution, dual-core processor, built-in Wi-Fi and web browser, Aquomotion960 with a 240Hz panel, Active 3D with two Bluetooth 3D glasses supplied, 35 watts of audio, built-in subwoofer, ultra-slim silver aluminum frame with diamond-cut edges and O-shaped matching stand, and wallpaper mode.
The 7-series models include the 80-inch LC-80LE757 (May); the 70-inch LC-70LE757 (April); the 60-inch LC- 60LE757 (April), LC-60LE755 (February), LC60C7500 (March); and the 70-inch LC-70LE755 (March).
The Aquos 6-series models include two LE657 models with active 3D in the 60-inch (March) and 70-inch (March) screen sizes; the LE650 non-3D models in the 60-inch (February), 70-inch (February) and 80-inch screen sizes (May); and the 6500 models in the 60-inch (Q1), 70-inch (Q1) and 80-inch (Q1) screen sizes.
Pricing on all models will be announced later.
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