updated 07:35 am EDT, Wed October 15, 2008
Sharp AQUOS DX w Blu-ray
Sharp on Wednesday claimed a first by launching the AQUOS DX series of HDTVs. The line is the only to date to carry a Blu-ray burner and uses the slot-loading, side-mounted drive along with a dual digital tuner to record HD broadcasts even while the viewer is watching another channel. By using H.264 encoding and optimizing the bitrate, Sharp estimates as much as 21 hours of TV can be stored on a dual-layer 50GB disc. An electronic programming guide helps for scheduling recording in advance.
Six models make up the starting DX sets. On a basic level, 26- and 32-inch models carry 720p displays with a 7,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, dual HDMI and D4 (component equivalent) inputs for HD sources; the 37-, 42-, 46- and 52-inch models all up the resolution to 1080p and more than double the contrast to 15,000:1. These also use a 120Hz panel to reduce motion blur and, in the 46- and 52-inch versions, carry an extra 15W center channel on top of the 10W stereo speakers present on all models.
Prices are estimated to range between the equivalent of $1,673 for the 26-inch panel and $4,920 for the 52-inch version when the new AQUOS models go on sale in Japan on November 20th. Sharp hasn't made mention of international plans; most Japanese firms don't supply Blu-ray recorders outside of their home country, though Panasonic has recently made US plans for 2009. [via Impress]