Mellow Yellow

Sharp's big announcement, apart from listing of their new models, was Quad Pixel Technology. Instead of the usual red, green, and blue sub-pixels that make up each pixel in the LCD image, Sharp adds a fourth, yellow-filtered sub-pixel. This is said to increase the number of colors up to 1 trillion. But who's counting?

The demo showed extremely vibrant colors, though whether or not they were more natural than the colors in the older Sharp model set up for comparison (the set on the left in the above photo is the older one, the right is a Quad Pixel model) is open to interpretation until we can get our meters on a sample. The left, tri-pixel set in the photo was also at a disadvantage in being a bit more on-axis to my camera location; we all know what off-axis positions can do to an LCD's image. And of course there are too many variables in screen shots to be definitive. But on sight, the horn in the older set's image looked like real brass, while the right looked, well, yellowish.

All of the new Sharp LED backlit sets use edge lighting, with no backlighting and no local dimming. Three Quad Pixel series will ship in the spring. The LE 920 series is the top of the line: a 52-inch model at $3599, 60" at $4999, and 68" (a new large size for an LCD set) at $6499. The LE920's are also Energy Star 4.0 compliant. The other Quad Pixel lines are the LE 820 and the LE810 (neither of which offer a 68" model).

Sharp also announced a new Blu-ray player, the BD-HP70U, with Netflix video streaming, wireless network connection, a new vibration resistant chassis, and Energy Star 4.0 compliance.

There was no splash made at this press conference for 3D, though Sharp will apparently have a prototype on the show floor, and suggested in the Q&A that it hopes to have 3D sets out late this year.