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Sharp Cuts LCD TV Prices, Adds New Line

Sharp Electronics has cut pricing on AQUOS LCD TV models and will market its first line of non-AQUOS Sharp-branded LCD TVs for select distribution channels.

The new Sharp LCD TV line, which is due to arrive in the fall with reduced feature packages from similarly sized AQUOS models, will position the company to better compete with new Far East LCD competitors bringing products to market this year, according to a company spokesperson.

In addition, the company introduced a new 20-inch AQUOS LCD television that will accept both video and PC signals to its line of more than 40 different AQUOS LCD TV models.

The new Sharp-branded LCD TV models “meet the needs of selected distribution channels whose customers want to enhance their TV viewing experience and are seeking flat-panel LCD TVs,” said a Sharp statement announcing the line.

The line will include three 4:3 screen sizes — 13-inches ($499), 15-inches ($599) and 20-inches ($899).

The company did not disclose exactly which distribution channels it will target with the new Sharp-only models.

At the same time, Sharp is slashing prices on AQUOS sub-branded LCD TVs from $50 on a 15-inch LC-15S1U (now $649.99) to $1,000 on the 37W-inch LC-37G4U (now $5,999.99). New pricing on other AQUOS models are as follows: 15-inch LC-15S2U and LC-15B4U ($699 each); 20-inch LC-20S1US/UB ($1,099.99), LC-20S2U ($1,199.99); 22W-inch LC-22SV6 ($1,799.99); 26W-inch LC-26GA4U ($2,999.99); 30W-inch LC-30HV4U and LC-30HV6U ($3,499.99 each); and the 32W-inch LC-32G4U ($4,499.99).

The 20-inch LCD TV — model LC-20B6U-S — is said to be the first in Sharp’s AQUOS line to “offer consumers HDTV and PC compatibility in a smaller body.”

In the past, the company has offered dual PC and TV capability only in larger screen sizes, while choosing to optimize video performance on dedicated LCD TVs.

In announcing the new direction, Sharp said it was adding a model that could perform as a true multimedia display for burgeoning home networking opportunities.

The LC-20B6U-S will be available later this month at a $1,299.99 suggested retail. It features a 20-inch 4:3 screen with 1024-pixel by 768-pixel resolution.