Sharp Unveils First Quattron 3D LCD TVs

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— Sharp is using CEDIA Expo to introduce its first two 3D-capable Quattron 1080p edge-lit LED LCD TVs for the U.S. market.

The company’s new flagship sets, which are part of the LE925 series, will be available prior to the holiday selling season in the 52- and 60-inch screen sizes. Both use Sharp’s exclusive Quattron four-color technology, which introduces yellow pixels along with the red, green and blue primary colors to give the sets brighter picture performance with enhanced color depth, particularly in the yellow and green spectrums.

Bruce Tripido, Sharp entertainment products marketing associate VP, said that one of shortcomings of many 3D products on the market now is a reduced brightness output for a variety of reasons, including the use of shaded activeshutter glasses. Sharp’s technology is allegedly able to get around many of those limitations. “

Quattron dovetails well into 3D because of the brightness element,” said Tripido. “These Sharp 3D panels will be noticeably brighter than the other 3D panels that are on the market. While we were not a part of the initial launch of the 3D medium this year, I think the fact that we are coming out a little bit later but before the holiday timeframe with the best technology, puts us where we’d like to be with it.”

Sharp’s new 3D sets were also engineered to eliminate some of the cross-talk artifact issues that have been noticed in reviews of several competitors’ models, he said.

Both models will ship to dealers in late September at prices to be announced later. Sharp said it will pack two pairs of active-shutter glasses with each LE925-series TV model.

“Our glasses are unique in that they allow you switch over from 3D to 2D mode,” Tripido pointed out. “So if the content on the screen is 3D content, but for some reason one of viewers would rather watch in 2D, they can switch the glasses to 2D mode to watch a clear picture without actually switching the content on the set back to 2D.”

Tripido said Sharp anticipates at some people may find discomfort in watching a 3D image, and this 2D solution will give viewers the chance to continue watching the same program along with others in the room.

The sets also introduce a unique feature called Frame Rate Enhanced Driving, which is said to change out the source drivers used in 240Hz framerate technology to a single-source wiring technology to achieve the same smooth-motion effect.

“Whereas most 240Hz drive circuits utilize two signal lines and have what is called parallel driving, the Frame Rate Enhanced Driving circuit uses single source wiring which lowers the power consumption of the TV,” Tripido said. “At the same time the aperture ratio is improved by 10 percent, delivering higher brightness because there is less circuitry running through the middle of a pixel.”

This, combined with increased brightness from the yellow element in the four-color pixel technology, boosts panel brightness output for 3D and 2D presentations, he said.

The brightness improvement presents no trade off in contrast performance, he said, adding that the dynamic contrast ratio on both models is 8M:1.

“These will be among our highest contrast rated models, ever,” Tripido observed.

Cosmetics in the LE925 models is said to be similar to the 920 series, offering full-front glass across the entire façade of the screen, accompanied by a tempered glass-looking stand.

Distribution on the elite models will be handled through assisted sales environments, including Magnolia, and “Sharp A-channel” distribution partners.

To support the sets, Sharp will also introduce two new 3D Blu-ray Disc players: the BD-HP80 and BD-HP90. Both are 1080p 3D-capable players with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity for BD-Live and streaming media services, including Netflix, Vudu Movies, Pandora music and YouTube video. Both players will be DLNA-compliant via a forthcoming software update, and will be compatible with CDs, DVDs, DiVX format videos, MP3 files and JPEGs images.

Both feature a slim-design style and can be mounted either horizontally or vertically. The BD-HP90 ships with a stand to mount the player vertically, and includes an RS- 232 port for integration control. Both players will ship in late September at pricing to be announced.

Sharp is also unveiling its first 3D capable single-chip DLP front projector – model XV-Z17000, which is slated to ship to dealers in January 2011. It will feature FullHD 1080p resolution, 1,600 lumens of brightness, a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and will ship with two pairs of active-shutter 3D glasses, though these will be of a different design than the glasses used in the Quattron LED LCD TVs, Tripido said.

Further details may be available by the time demonstrations begin at CEDIA.


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