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Sharp Splits Pixels To Go Beyond 4K

LAS VEGAS – Sharp executives revealed here Monday that they are not only expanding their 4K Ultra HDTV assortment for the 2015 they are expanding beyond 4K resolution as well.

The company plans to quadruple the number of 4K UHD TVs in its assortment, offering multiple series of 4K UHD and a new flagship model offering proprietary pixel-splitting technology to derive “the highest resolution 4K UHD TV” yet available.

The pixel-splitting Sharp Aquos 4K UHD TV, which the company has dubbed “Beyond 4K,” will use technology similar to that employed in its Q+ line of FullHD TVs last year. The system also employs Sharp’s four-pixel-color Quattron technology for the first time in a 4K UHD quality LED LCD panel.

“This television will deliver the best television experience commercially available in 2015,” declared Jim Sanduski, Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America president. “In resolution, size and form, in every way possible Sharp is reimagining the display using technologies that only Sharp can offer.”

Sharp is also demonstrating at its booth this week an 85-inch 8K LCD display prototype, which is billed as being the first TV compliant with the standards of the first 8K test broadcasts, expected in Japan as soon as 2016.

The company also revealed new adaptations for its large-screen LCD technology in the form of commercial signage; and smaller screens for car applications, smartphones and wearables.

Sharp said it is working with Qualcomm’s Pixtronics unit to develop bezel-free IGZO-MEMs LCD screens that can take virtually any shape or form, a benefit which will have applications for car dash readouts, wearables and other categories.

Meanwhile, the Beyond 4K pixel-splitting  TV, which will launch in an 80-inch screen size, is able to take 4K Ultra HD (3840-by-2160 pixels) screen, split the pixels vertically and boost the sub-pixel structure to what amounts to 7680-by-4320 subpixel resolution.

Sharp said the technology enables each subpixel area to independently create separate color values resulting in 66 million independently controlled subpixels.

Sharp combines this with its Quattron technology, which adds a yellow subpixel to the standard red, green and blue for a billion more shades of color.

The set also includes Sharp’s Spectros Rich Color Display technology, which is an improved LED backlight system that provides a wider color spectrum than conventional LED TVs.

The set employs full array LED backlighting for deep contrast and black level performance that is further enhanced with built in High Dynamic Range Technology.

The set will also support native 4K UHD content streaming using both HEVC/H.265 and VP9 CODECs and Sharp’s new SmartCentral 4.0 platform with Android TV, capable of accessing GooglePlay TV apps.

To underscore the impact of the set’s picture quality Sharp brought out film director Wally Pfister, who said he felt an obligation to give audiences the best picture quality possible in his productions.

“I was blown away by Sharp’s Beyond 4K TV, said Pfister. “The resolution, image clairity and contrast is stunning… As a filmmaker I feel that high standard that we care so deeply about is finely being given its due respect in the living room and the home theater.”

In other 4K UHD TV offerings in 2015 Sharp is adding new thin bezel designs. Sharp will demonstrate “the industry’s thinnest large screen LCD television” in the 70-inch, which it is calling its Super Slim 4K UHD television. With a depth of less than half an inch this TV offers a distinctive design, paired with 4K UHD picture quality. 

By utilizing newly developed material to distribute light more effectively through the LCD panel, the TV can offer large screen sizes with very slim footprints, Sharp said.

This is done with a glass light guide plate that allows the panel to retain high rigidity and a slim design at large screen sizes.

By using this unique, high light-transmissive glass for the light guide plate the Super Slim TV offers a breakthrough design as well as the picture quality, including brightness, wide color gamut and display uniformity.  

Sharp’s core 4K TV lineup will include: the Aquos UB30, UE30 and UH30 model series.

These will include expanded screen sizes, 43-inches through 80-inches and two of the series will feature the aforementioned SmartCentral 4.0 smart TV platform that is enhanced this year with Android TV technology.

The UB30 4K UHD series uses SmartCentral 3.0 platform introduced last year with support for 4K streaming services, and includes the 43- ($729.99 suggested retail), 50- ($949.99), 55- ($1,199.99) and 65-inch ($2,299.99) screen sizes – the largest model will feature local dimming technology.

Meanwhile, the UE30 series will include the 60-, 70- and 80-inch screen sizes and will include AquoMotion 480 fast motion smoothing, AquoDimming technology and the step-up SmartCentral 4.0 with Android TV platform.

The Aquos UH30 series features the 70- and 80-inch screen sizes with slim panel depth and adds THX 4K-certification, Spectros Rich Color expanded color gamut technology, AquoMotion 960 refresh rate and AquoDimming.

The company will also have four series of FullHD TVs, all of which will have smart TV features. Screen sizes will range from 32- to 90-inches. The high-end Aquos UQ series will feature Sharp’s Q+ pixel-splitting technology for stepped up resolution, introduced last year.