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JVC, Sharp launch LCD TV/Blu-ray combos

Consumer Reports News: January 17, 2009 12:08 PM

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In a battle for consumers who'd like one less black box to deal with, JVC and Sharp came out swinging at the recent CES with new LCD TVs that feature integrated Blu-ray players.

JVC's entry is the LT-B300 (click on the image for a closer look), a 42-inch 1080p LCD TV/Blu-ray combo slated to arrive in June at an undisclosed price. Speaking of Blu-ray, the company also showed its first standalone Blu-ray player, the $300 XV-BP1, which arrives in March.

Sharp also did the Blu-ray/TV combo hustle at CES, with a more extensive, five-model lineup. The Aquos BD series (Click on the image below for a closer look) includes TVs ranging in size from 32 to 52 inches, all with slim frames and a new “Aquos Blue” design with subtle blue accents at the bottom of the frames. Models 42 inches and larger have 120Hz technology.

Both the JVC and Sharp players are BD-Live-enabled, so they can access Internet content when playing compatible discs.

Sharp_Aquos_LCD-TV_Blu-Ray The two companies also expanded their lineups of standalone LCD TVs. JVC unveiled new P300- and P500-series 1080p sets with integrated TeleDock iPod docks; the latter series includes 120Hz technology. Also new is a J series of sleeker-looking 1080p models that have a dynamic backlight for claimed improvements in black-level performance. JVC also showed a new super-thin 1080p LCD monitor that sports a “360-degree” design with a finished back panel so it can be placed anywhere in a room, and a 32-inch ultra-slim prototype LCD with a unique magnetic wall-mounting system. The set, said to weigh just 11 pounds, is less than a third of an inch thick, and uses LED edge lighting and a separate tuner module.

During the show, Sharp rolled out new E67- and E77-series models—all with 120Hz technology—in sizes ranging from 32 to 65 inches. The step-up E77 sets, which have gold-colored accents at the bottom of the cabinet, have 10-bit panels; the E67 models have copper accents at the bottom of their cabinets. Sharp said it will offer an 82-inch behemoth later this year. The model will sit between the company's current 65-inch set and its outrageously large (and expensive) 108-inch model. The company hasn't yet disclosed price or availability.

—James K. Willcox

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