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Sharp Bows 4 Aquos Lines, Second Blu-ray Player

Sharp is using International CES to unveil four Aquos LCD TV model series, highlighted by a “special edition” featuring the company’s best picture quality to date and built-in Internet access.

Also slated are a pair of new DLP projectors and the company’s second Blu-ray Disc player.

The Aquos special-edition SE94 series will include the 65-inch LC-65SE94U, 52-inch LC-52SE94U and 46-inch LC-46SE94U, each of which produces the company’s finest picture quality. The models also offer a new “Cornerstone” design using a textured finish with corner accents, detachable bottom speakers and a detachable table stand.

All three models include Sharp’s proprietary five-wavelength backlight system that is said to produce enhanced color spectrum, resulting in deeper reds and greens than previous models.

Models all include Sharp’s newest Advanced Super View (ASV) panels, with full HD 1080p (1,920 by 1,080) resolution, and a 27,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, the company said.

Other features include a 10-bit panel and Sharp’s Fine Motion Advanced 120Hz frame-rate conversion system. Response time is said to be less than 4ms and the viewing angle is 176 degrees.

The SE94 models include an Ethernet jack, which Sharp calls “Aquos Net capability,” to let viewers link to the Internet through wired or wireless networks and a built-in browser. Using Aquos Net, users can access the Aquos Advantage Live tool, which provides online customer support with the ability to have Sharp agents connect to the TV and remotely optimize picture quality or diagnose problems.

Other features include three HDMI v1.3 inputs supporting xv.color expanded color gamut and deep-color capability, and dual HD component video inputs, all of which are compatible with 1080p signals, Sharp said. The LC-65SE94U will be available in January, and the LC-52SE94U and LC-46SE94U will be available in February at prices to be announced later.

The new D74U Aquos HDTV line features the 52-inch LC-52D74U and 46-inch LC-46D74U. Both will ship in February at prices to be announced.

Both models have 1080p HDTV panels, and produce an 18,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Other features include

Quick Shoot video circuitry for a 4ms pixel response time, and 176-degree viewing angles.

Like the Special Edition models, the D74U units have the Cornerstone design accents and built-in Aquos Net Ethernet connection.

The D74U models use a four-wavelength backlight system for a wider color spectrum and deeper colors.

The Aquos 1080p HDTV D64U series includes the 65-inch LC-65D64U ($8,999 suggested retail), 52-inch LC-52D64U ($3,299), 46-inch LC-46D64U $2,399), 42-inch LC-42D64U ($1,999), 37-inch LC-37D64U (pricing TBA) and 32-inch LC-32D64U (pricing TBA). All will ship in February.

The slim-line design enables a 25 percent thinner depth and a thin bezel that further reduces the set’s footprint. The dynamic contrast ratio is 10,000:1, and response time is 4ms.

For smaller screen sizes, the Aquos HDTV D44U series includes the 37-inch LC-37D44U, 32-inch LC-32D44U and 26-inch LC-26D44U.

Sharp will also unveil its latest DLP front projectors. The Sharp Notevision XR-32X ($1,195 suggested retail) and XR-32S ($1,095) are billed as portable projectors suited for business and home theater applications. The XR-32X offers XGA resolution and a 2,200:1 contrast ratio. The XR-32S is listed with SVGA resolution and a 2,000:1 contrast ratio. Both output 2,500 ANSI lumens of brightness. The XR-32X projector features DVI-D/HDCP and RGB video inputs and an RS-232c port.

The XR-32S offers standard RGB and video inputs, RGB loop-through output, stereo audio input and an RS-232C port. A front-exhaust design with new linear fan control and duct system provides for ultra-quiet operation and prevents the disturbance of air being blown toward audiences. Both weigh 6.4 pounds and will ship to dealers in the second quarter.

Sharp will also take the wraps off its second Blu-ray Disc player, the Aquos BD-HP50U, which is slated for a second-quarter delivery at a price to be determined. The slim-profile player features full digital 1080p video output, and interactive functionality that allows viewing additional bonus content from Blu-ray titles, “including movie trailers, special subtitles/audios and games that can be stored on the unit’s USB memory port,” Sharp said.

The unit includes an HDMI v1.3-CEC output that will allow joint control of a connected Aquos TV set (and other HDMI-CEC devices) using one remote.

Audio format support includes Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD, Dolby Digital Plus and 7.1-channel surround.