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Sharp Shows LED Aquos LCDs, BD Players

Sharp is using CEDIA Expo to usher in its fall launch products, including new three Aquos LCD TV series and a pair of Blu-ray Disc players.

The Blu-ray players include the BD-HP50U ($549 suggested retail), which was first announced at International CES, and the BD-HP21U ($449). Both are shipping now.

The BD-HP50U is billed as a slim-profile player featuring full digital 1080p/24Hz 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. It also offers a Quick Start playing time of less than 10 seconds.

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.

Tbe Aquos BD-HP21U is also a slim-profile unit with 1080p/24Hz video output and the ability to access additional content from Blu-ray titles, including movie trailers, special subtitles/audios and games. It also includes Quick Start playing time, JPEG digital image support and multichannel audio output via HDMI. Supported audio formats include: bitstream output Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD. It also decodes Dolby Digital Plus.

New LCD TVs include the Aquos HDTV LE (Limited Edition) series with LED backlighting in three screen sizes — 65 inches (LC-65XS1U-S), 52 inches (LC-52XS1U-S) and 42-inches (LC-42XS1U-S). All ship this month at pricing to be announced.

Models in the series include a cabinet depth measuring less than 1 inch at its thinnest point. Features include 10-bit Advanced Super View 1080p LCD panels, and Fine Motion Enhanced 120Hz frame rate conversion with a 4ms response time for smooth motion sequences.

Sharp claims a high-contrast performance level using its new LED back-lighting system, which employs Spectral LD (Local Dimming) technology in conjunction with an ultra-high performance RGB LED backlight for an improved color gamut and deep black level reproduction. The technology, which adjusts brightness levels across different segments of the screen, is said to save on energy consumption by reducing overall brightness output.

To achieve the thin cabinet design, the LE series has a separate AVC system set-top box for all input terminals. The box then connects to the screen via an included HDMI cable or with an optional wireless HDMI connection to eliminate cable clutter. Source inputs include five HDMI connections as well as dual HD component terminals, all of which are compatible with 1080p signals.

Sharp will also introduce its D85U HDTV series models in the 42-inch, 46-inch and 52-inch screen sizes.

The LC-42D85U ships in November at a $1,899 suggested retail. The LC-46D85U and LC-52D85U both ship in October at suggested retails of $2,599 and $2,199, respectively.

All offer 1080p resolution and Fine Motion Enhanced 120Hz frame-rate technology and use Sharp Advanced Super View panels with a Spectral Contrast Engine UD (Ultra Dark), providing a high Dynamic Contrast ratio. Quick Shoot video circuitry is said to drive pixels at a 4ms response time. Inputs include five HDMI and two HD component terminals, all of which are compatible with 1080p signals from Blu-ray and other new devices, in addition to RS-232C for custom installations and a dedicated PC input.

Also being shown is the Aquos D65U LCD TV series featuring the 42-inch, 46-inch and 65-inch screen sizes. All offer 1080p resolution and Advanced Super View/Black TFT panels with Spectral Contrast Engine UD (Ultra Dark) delivering a high dynamic contrast ratio. Pixel response time is said to be 6ms. Inputs include five HDMI and two HD component video, an RS-232C input for control and a PC input so the TV can be used as a PC monitor.

The LC-52D65U and LC-46D65U will ship October at suggested retails of $2,399 and $1,899, respectively. The LC-42D65U ships this month at $1,599.