updated 12:20 am EDT, Wed March 21, 2012
Sharp Aquos 7 and 8 TVs ship out
Sharp this week started shipping the two higher tiers of its 2012 Aquos TVs. Both the 7-series and 8-series both revolve around SmartCentral, a new UI intended to make Internet features more accessible, including both quick access to favorites and a filtered system that makes it easier to find Internet music, video, game, and social sources such as Netflix and Skype.
All of them have a newly reworked, slimmer bezel design with 1080p 3D displays. Wi-Fi and at least four HDMI video inputs define each set.
The 7-series includes a pair of models, the 60-inch LC-60LE745U and the 70-inch LC-70LE745U. Apart from using a relatively standard 120Hz, edge-lit LED-based LCDs and the lack of Quattron, they share much of the feature set of their higher-end counterparts.
The 8-series brings in similar sizes (the LC-60LE847U and LC-70LE847U) with the addition of an 80-inch LC-80LE844U. All of them bring in Quattron's fourth pixel for better yellow reproduction and also introduce Quad Pixel Plus 2 to improve the picture both over the 7-series and previous-generation Quattrons. The two smaller sets have edge LEDs for lighting and 240Hz refresh rates, while the 80-inch set jumps to a truer, backlit LED display and a 480Hz rate.
Sharp expects the 7-series to be ready during mid-March, if not already, at prices of $2,300 for a 60-inch version and $3,300 for 70 inches. Waiting until April will allow for the 8-series TVs, which will carry prices of $2,700, $3,800, and $6,000 for the respective 60-, 70-, and 80-inch displays.