CES 2013: Sharp's AQUOS LED TV portfolio gets bigger, smarter

Sharp debuts nearly two dozen 60-inch plus class TV models at the start of CES 2013.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

LAS VEGAS -- Sharp brought a "go big or go home" attitude to the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show as it unveiled a bevy of new LED TV in the 60-, 70- and 80-inch screen classes.

Sitting below the 90-inch AQUOS display (touted by the manufacturer as "the world's largest LED TV") that Sharp debuted last year, all of the new Sharp TVs rolling out this week are promised to be "smarter" too.

All three screen classes feature some common traits, including (but not limited to) AQUOS 1080p LED displays, dual-core processors, built-in Wi-Fi, ultra-slim frames, and Active 3D technology.

Furthermore, all of the new screens in the 2013 AQUOS lineup will support Sharp's SmartCentral platform, which consists of a web browser and support for Flash and HTML5-based apps. The update also includes the ability to split screens for simultaneous TV viewing and Web browsing. Sharp is taking its connected TV strategy a bit further with a new and free app, Sharp Beam, which enables users to transfer content from iOS and Android smartphones or tablets to these TVs.

On the hardware side, one of the most noteworthy design touches would be Sharp's signature Quattron color technology, which adds a yellow pixel to the standard red-green-blue sub-pixel structure. The end result, according to Sharp, is the delivery of more than a billion colors, offering greater detail, smoother lines, and richer colors.

With the 80-inch class displays in particular, Sharp has added a new layer dubbed "Super Bright," which is the combination of an intelligent contrast engine with a 50 percent brighter panel. The goal here to produce Sharp's "most brilliant, most contrasted picture ever" without sacrificing natural color richness.

While the introduction of these new LED TVs represent the immediate future for Sharp's vision, the electronics giant offered a glimpse at some of its long-term plans and experiments too.

For starters, Sharp is showcasing two lines of UltraHD TVs this week, which will be introduced more formally later this year. UltraHD is regarded as the next-generation of HD technology, offering up to four times higher resolution than 1080p displays.

Additionally, Sharp is working on implementing IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) technologies into its screens. Like UltraHD, IGZO is supposed to offer better pictures up to four times that of conventional full-HD or 1080p LCDs. But IGZO is also more responsive to touch as well as more energy efficient.

Sharp is showcasing a mashup of the two with a pair of 32-inch professional LCD monitors at CES. Both feature IGZO technology with UltraHD 4K × 2K resolution (3,840 × 2,160 pixels).

One of monitors is a touchscreen prototype, which supports a 10-point multi-touch option. This means that users can perform multiple touch gestures on the display at once, which would be ideal for professionals working with architectural designs, graphics and other complex visual elements.

This post originally appeared on CNET.

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