What's that CES magic word we hear? Convergence? Yes, indeed: Sharp's all-new BD series, as the name suggests, features a built-in side-loading Blu-ray player in all fives sets ranging from 32-52 inches.
The sets themselves are all 1080p, with 120Hz on the 52, 46 and 42-inch sets of the series. As you might have guessed, the portliness rating here is about as polar opposite of Sharp's insane Limited Edition LCDs as it gets. The press release is conveniently free of dimensions, but as you can see in our shot, these babies are packing quite a bulge.
But then again, thin's not really the idea. Sharp's banking on a world of folks ready to make the jump to Blu-ray who just so happen to need a new TV? Or maybe they're looking to push over the edge ever-dwindling number of households who still haven't made the leap to an HD set? Either way, this seems a little late, but we shall see. Availability starts rolling out this month for the 32, 37 and 42-inch sets, with the 46 and 52-inchers coming in February.
It also reminds us the combination TV/VCR.
Update: We've got prices: $2599, $2299, $1899, $1299 and $1099 descending according to size.
SHARP® PREMIERES WORLD’S FIRST HIGH-DEFINITION LCD TV SERIES WITH BUILT-IN BLU-RAY PLAYER
Full line-up of AQUOS® BD Series Provides All-in-One Home Theater Solution for a Paramount
High-Definition Viewing Experience
LAS VEGAS, January 7, 2009 – Strengthening its position as an innovative leader in the LCD TV industry, Sharp today introduces the world’s first AQUOS® LCD TV Series with a built-in
Blu-ray Disc TM player, for a convenient all-in-one home theater solution. The Full-HD 1080p AQUOS BD series, which includes the 52-inch class (52-1/32” diagonal) LC-52BD80U, 46-inch class (45-63/64” diagonal) LC-46BD80U, 42-inch class (42-1/64” diagonal) LC-42BD80U, 37-inch class (37” diagonal) LC-37BD60U and 32-inch class (31-35/64” diagonal) LC-32BD60U screen class sizes, combines the ultimate high definition television with the ultimate high definition content format with a side-loading multi-slot for Blu-ray, DVD and CD content. The series offers a single-step operation feature that turns on the TV and activates play when a BD disc is inserted. In addition, the BD series features a newly developed Advanced Super View (ASV) Superlucent panel for a dramatically bright and crisp picture with reduced reflection and a new AQUOS Pure Mode for convenient optimized viewing of Blu-ray titles. A new elegant “AQUOS Blue” design includes a subtle blue accent at the bottom of the frame and a swivel stand for viewing convenience.
“We created this series to offer consumers a product that provides the same high-quality, clear picture they’ve come to expect from a Sharp AQUOS, but with the added convenience of a Blu-ray player for a unique combination solution that allows playback of the latest HD Blu-ray movies,” said Bob Scaglione, senior vice president and group manager, Product and Marketing Group, Sharp Electronics Corporation. “This product is a one-stop, stylish home theater and the built-in side-loading Blu-ray slot is also a space-saver for style-conscious consumers, eliminating the need for a separate box and extra cables.”
Superior Image Quality
To realize the full capability of Blu-ray movies, the AQUOS BD Series offers an excellent picture, with the most advanced imaging technology on the market. Sharp’s new ASV Superlucent panel applies an ultra-smooth finish that minimizes gloss while intensifying panel brightness and contrast. The AQUOS Pure Mode automatically senses the Blu-ray disc content and intelligently adjusts display settings such as aspect ratio to optimize the movie image. The LC-52BD80U, LC-46BD80U and LC-42BD80U further improve picture quality with Fine Motion Enhanced technology for 120Hz Frame Rate Conversion, a 10-bit panel for Deep Color compatibility and “dejudder” technology that results in the smooth reproduction of film content. All five models offer fast pixel response time, ensuring that viewers never miss a detail of high-definition content. Additionally, Sharp’s proprietary Spectral Contrast Engine provides deep blacks and high contrast ratios. This ultimate home entertainment series also offers impressive 176 degree viewing angles, enabling the color reproduction to appear bright and vivid from virtually anywhere in a room.
These Full-HD 1080p models are very fully featured, with four HDMI inputs on the LC-52BD80U, LC-46BD80U and LC-42BD80U and three on the LC-37BD60U and LC-32BD60U, as well as two component video inputs, all of which are 1080p compatible. The HDMI terminals all have 24p input capability for high-quality Blu-ray video processing. A true high-definition TV, the models house a built-in ATSC and QAM tuner for access to DTV channels. The units also feature an RS-232C input for custom installations and a PC input so the TV serves a dual purpose as a PC monitor.
Pricing and availability
• LC-52BD80U will be available in February; pricing is TBD
• LC-46BD80U will be available in February; pricing is TBD
• LC-42BD80U will be available in January; pricing is TBD
• LC-37BD60U will be available in January; pricing is TBD
• LC-32BD60U will be available in January; pricing is TBD