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Sharp Touts LCD, DVD At CEDIA

Sharp used the recent CEDIA Expo ’99 to showcase a range of products that extended beyond the high-end home theater components traditionally displayed at the custom-installation industry event.

Sharp unveiled a laptop DVD player with flip-up widescreen LCD; its first standard-size DVD video player; a second-generation S-VHS VCR; two LCD TV monitors with special mounting brackets for wall or tabletop placement; and an HDTV-capable rear-screen projection set based on Sharp’s continuous grain silicon (CGS) technology.

Sharp’s CGS-LCD rear-projection HDTV was shown in a 60″ 16:9 screen size with new cabinet styling that company executives said would be used for final production models late this year. The exact shipping date and pricing were not disclosed. The technology uses three CGS panels to present a picture at higher brightness and contrast levels than is traditionally possible with LCD-based projection technologies.

Perhaps the biggest surprise at the booth was the company’s first laptop DVD player. Model DV-L70U is scheduled to ship in November at a $1,399 suggested retail price. The unit will play DVD video discs, audio CDs and Video CDs on a flip-up 7″ widescreen LCD monitor.

Features include: adaptive digital gamma correction; advanced Digital Super Picture; three-stage electronic zoom; 96kHz/24-bit audio DACs; Dolby Digital and DTS pass through; 10-bit video DAC; and an onscreen graphical user interface for menu commands.

The new “full-size” DVD player (DV-750, shipping now at a $499 suggested retail price) differs from prior Sharp DVD offerings in its more conventional footprint. Prior Sharp players have been designed as complements to Sharp mini audio systems.

The full-size player includes Sharp’s “exclusive” digital gamma correction circuitry, which enhances dark areas in the picture to make viewable previously unseen details. The player also incorporates Sharp’s Digital Super Picture circuitry, described as increasing the sharpness level of DVD software while reducing picture noise in video CDs and other media.

Other features include component video output, built-in Dolby Digital decoding, universal DVD/TV remote and virtual surround sound. It is also compatible with DTS soundtracks.