Sharp AQUOS LED-powered LCD Line Debuts
In a world introduction July 7, Sharp took the wraps off a line of AQUOS LED-powered LCD TVs that Michael Troetti, president of Sharp Electronics Marketing Co. of America, said “brings LED technology to the mainstream.”
The new series pairs the company’s LCD technology with Sharp’s proprietary Full-Array LED backlighting, evenly distributed behind optical diffuser sheets for uniformity. Further, it will offer consumers when it ships later this month what he said would be the “lowest power consumption of any LCD TV today.” The sets, in 32-, 40-, 46- and 52-inch screen sizes ($1,099, $1,699, $2,199 and $2,799, respectively) use 10th-generation panels from Sharp’s new Sakai City, Japan plant that provide deeper black levels, says the company. All but the 32-inch model have access to AQUOS Net customized Web content and AQUOS Advantage Live real-time customer support. All also use 120Hz frame-rate conversion and a feature a pixel response time of 4 milliseconds.
With the new LE700 series, Sharp is also addressing consumer preferences for “green” products in a survey it took; 82 percent of respondents said greenness plays a part in their purchase decision. The sets, said Sharp senior vice president of marketing Bob Scaglione, exceed Energy Star 3.0 EPA standards by up to 68 percent (on the 52-inch model, representing a 50 percent reduction in power usage). They also use Optical Picture Control (OPC), an ambient-light sensor feature that automatically adjusts the screen image to a room’s brightness.
Still, technological refinements that included newly developed red and green phosphors, 10-bit processing, and a wider aperture that permits more light to pass through the panel combine for what the company is saying is a 2 million:1 dynamic contrast ratio specification on the sets.
Scaglione also announced that 60- and 65-inch models would be added to the company’s current 120Hz AQUOS line – the 60-inch SKU representing a new screen size for Sharp. The 60E77 ($3,499) and 65E77 ($4,499), to arrive in September, are 120Hz, 4-millisecond-rated models. These introductions, he said, represent Sharp’s efforts to offer “ultra-large screen sizes at affordable prices.
“Sixty inch will be the next battleground in the LCD TV wars, and we’re staking our claim,” Scaglione added. Troetti said that he expected market pricing trends in the 60-inch-and-above category would remain “somewhat stable through the end of December. But in the Super Bowl sales period, they will get more aggressive.” “Sixty-five inch has been relatively stable,” commented Scaglione, “but 60-inch will hit the mainstream, and market share [for the screen size] could be in the teens by this time next year.”