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Sharp Introduces UHD TVs

New York – Sharp used CE Week Wednesday to unveil a pair of second-generation Ultra HD TV LED LCD TVs, with improved black levels, expanded color gamut and on-board Netflix UHD streaming.

The new Sharp Aquos UHD models include 60- ($2,999 suggested retail) and 70-inch ($4,499) screen sizes and are part of the new UD27 series. Both are scheduled to ship in September.

The sets will be part of Sharp’s unilateral pricing policy program, but those minimum levels had not been announced at press time.

At the other end of the spectrum, Sharp also introduced a pair of models in the new Aquos 660 HD series with similar delivery timing.

The UD27 UHD sets use edge-lit LED lighting with “Aquodimming” local dimming technology for enhanced black levels and peak whites, but do not include Sharp quad-pixel Quattron technology found in step-up Full HD model series, including the new Q+ models that were the focus of the company’s International CES introductions.

The new UHD TVs do include Sharp’s new Spectros “rich color display” circuitry that is said to expand the color gamut by 21 percent over the first-generation set introduced last year.

Sharp uses a 120Hz LCD panel with proprietary “Aquomotion 480” circuitry for smooth motion images.

The sets also feature a new cosmetic design with thinner brushed aluminum bezel’s and a contemporary stand.

Sharp said the UD27 sets will also support recent standards, including the HDMI standard with 4K/60fps capability, HEVC H.264 decoding, HDCP 2.2 and three USB ports.

They will also include the latest SmartCentral 3.0 platform with enhanced personalized content search capabilities, and support for new Netflix UHD streaming.

Sharp executives said the sets will have wider retail distribution than last year’s UHD product, but the company continues to require accounts with directed sales forces capable of communicating the benefits.

The UD27 models are pending THX certification, which was enjoyed by the first-generation UHD product, the company said.

Like the UD27s, the new Aquos HD 660 series models feature new design styling with thinner black bezels and matching standing. The FullHD sets include the SmartCentral Apps smart TV platform, LED LCD panels with 120Hz refresh rates, dual core processors, and three HDMI inputs.

Screen sizes will include 60 inches ($1,199 suggested retail) and 70 inches ($1,999). Both will be available in September.