updated 05:40 pm EST, Wed January 7, 2009
Sharp AQUOS at CES 2009
Sharp today joined its rivals in updating its TVs by introducing three key new ranges to its AQUOS models. Leading the group is the BD series, one of the few HDTV lines to include a built-in Blu-ray player. The feature not only lets owners play HD movies without occupying an HDMI port but is also designed to be much more automated than a typical home theater: inserting a Blu-ray movie automatically activates the TV and begins playback.
The blue-tinged display also marks the debut of a fresh anti-glare coating known as ASV Superlucent that aims to reduce the amount of visible gloss while reducing the dimming and wash-out effects as much as possible.
Split into five sets, the 42-inch, 46-inch and 52-inch models all bring 120Hz panels while smaller 32- and 37-inch sets go with standard 60Hz screens. All support 1080p. The smallest three sets will ship this month at prices of $1,099, $1,299 and $1,899 and will be followed up in February by the remaining two at $2,299 and $2,599.
The E77U series abandons Blu-ray for a more typical setup while keeping the anti-glare screen. It ships in 40-, 46-, 52- and 65-inch dimensions and will have the two middle TVs appear in February for $2,099 and $2,399 respectively. The entry 40-inch screen launches in March for $1,399, while the 65-inch model shows last with a June release and a $4,500 price point.
Basic users are served by the E67U, which uses the special screen but only a common 60Hz panel and is limited to 32-inch ($900) and 40-inch ($1,200) models that ship in March and February respectively.