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Sharp Bows ‘Largest’ 108” LCD

LAS VEGAS — Sharp Electronics unveiled at International CES what it proclaimed as “the world’s largest LCD TV set” — a 108W-inch 1,080p model — and announced plans to launch its first Blu-ray Disc player in the U.S. market.

The LCD TV set, which will ship this summer at a price to be announced, was the highlight of a string of new LCD TV announcements from the company (see TWICE, Jan. 8, p. 1).

Sharp said its first Blu-ray Disc player will ship in the second quarter at a suggested retail of $1,199.

“We are confident that our Blu-ray Disc player will be as well accepted by our retailers and consumers as our LCD TVs,” said Bob Scaglione, Sharp consumer electronics marketing senior VP. The player is designed to deliver a 1,080p signal source for the previously reported expanded lineup of AQUOS 1,080p LCD TVs in 2007. Exact feature specifications “have not be finalized as of yet,” Scaglione said.

The company also said it is showing here new Network AQUOS PLC LCD TVs designed to wirelessly connect specially enabled AQUOS LCD TVs to an in-home network to access PCs and the Internet. Viewers will have access to a vast amount of video, music, photos and data content through their TV screens.

Network AQUOS TVs are being shown as examples of products that will give CES attendees “a clear picture of where Sharp is taking LCD and AQUOS in the future,” said Scaglione.

The prototypes as designed to let consumers share content with any PLNA network device on their network, he said.

“Sharp is working with the leaders in the Internet and the computer industries to enable consumers to maximize the convenience of their AQUOS,” Scaglione said. “With Network AQUOS consumers can access additional statistics while they are watching a game. They can view movies that are downloaded to their Intel Viiv-equipped PC. The demonstration integrates the delivery of the content through Power Line Communications (PLC), and Sharp is the first manufacturer to show productized PLC adapters, which will be introduced later this year, and will have the ability to carry two HD feeds through a consumer’s existing home wiring.”

In other future technology demos, Sharp is showing a 65W-inch LCD panel with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and the recently announced triple-view LCD technology that shows three images on single LCD screen.