updated 04:15 pm EST, Fri December 5, 2008
Sharp LCDs with Blu-ray
Sharp will bring two world-first LCD HDTVs to the North American market in January, sporting built-in Blu-ray disc burners and another slot drive for DVDs and CDs, says Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America president, Mike Troetti, according to a Thursday report. First introduced along with different-sized models in mid-October in Japan, the 32-inch set features 720p resolution and a 7,000:1 contrast ratio, while the 42-inch set has a 120Hz panel with 1080p resolution and 15,000:1 contrast ratio. The new AQUOS DX-series HDTVs are meant to appeal to people who want or need a clutter-free appearance, minimizing the amount of hardware, or want a clean-looking, wall-mount installation, Troetti says.
Japanese versions of the TVs have built-in dual digital HD tuners, allowing users to watch one program while recording another onto a Blu-ray disc. With H.264 encoding and with an optimized bitrate, Sharp claims 21 hours of TV can be recorded onto a dual-layer 50GB disc. An integrated electronic programming guide allows users to set recordings. It is not clear whether the dual tuner or Blu-ray burning capability will make it to the US versions. Both models will include two HDMI ports and a component jack, which is equivalent to a component input. Sound is reproduced via a pair of 10W stereo speakers.
Pricing has not been announced, but the larger 42-inch version is expected to arrive with a price tag of under $2,000.