Sharp Announces New LCD HDTVs and First Blu-ray Disc Player

January 8, 2007 - Sharp introduced its latest products against the backdrop of a 108-inch LCD HDTV - the world's largest. No price (or model) was given for the prototype, but expect it to exceed your budget if and when the gargantuan panel makes it to production.

The company did introduce more modest LCDs, in the 26- to 65-inch range, however, the highlight being the 65-inch LC-65D93U, which is slated to go on sale in March for $11,000. The new lineup includes both 1080p and 720p models with a new 120-Hz Frame Rate Conversion feature for reducing blur in fast-motion images. Sharp also announced 37- and 32-inch 1080p-rez Gamer series sets sporting a "Vyper Drive" feature it claims can significantly reduce lag between the console and display when playing videogames.

Sharp encouraged attendees to check out several other cool new technologies on display in its booth, including a 4,000 x 2,000-pixel LCD and a Network Aquos TV demo that uses PLC (Power Line Communication) to send dual hi-def video feeds to TVs equipped with PLC adaptors - a product that Sharp plans to introduce sometime this year.

It wouldn't be CES without Sharp rolling out some new DLP front projectors, and two 720p models, the XV-Z3100 ($2,700) and DT-510 ($2,500), were announced this year. These budget models will join the company's $12,000 flagship, the 1080p XV-20000, when they hit the streets in February.

Finally, Sharp's first Blu-ray Disc player is scheduled to arrive in stores sometime in the second quarter at a price of $1,200. Details on the new (and as-yet unnamed) model are still sketchy; a Sharp rep couldn't confirm if it would have an HDMI 1.3 output, and there's no word yet on built-in decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master audio.

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